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DarkHououmon

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« on: November 17, 2013, 10:21:49 pm »
This is the sequel to Sinful Behaviors. It is still in the works. It takes place a year and a half after the events of Sinful Behaviors.

Plot-"I know very well who you are...Snap White. You are the zoner that beat the odds against the Dark Creator. But can you save your dear friends...from me? Time is running out, Snap. You better hurry."



PROLOGUE-



The jail..no..the reform facility, as some have chosen to call it, was very quiet. There would usually be the bustling and shouting of inmates locked up for whatever crime they had committed. In addition to that, there would usually be the sound of wardens trying to get the prisoners to calm down and not start a riot. Riots had been occurring a little too frequently, and they wanted to put an end to it.

But right now, it was just quiet. And it wasn’t because anything strange was going on. There was no bailout where most of the prisoners escaped. It was just time for them to sleep. It was difficult to tell, at least to someone outside of ChalkZone, when it was time to sleep when ChalkZone was divided into Day and Night Zones, neither changing.

During these times, the wardens didn’t have much to do. They would sit around, perhaps eat donuts and drink coffee. Sometimes they would tell jokes or play games. What else could they do? They had no prisoners to keep in line. And they didn’t have to worry about anyone escaping. Security cameras were activated all the time, and if anyone tried to get in and out, they would see it.

But now, this time, things were going to be a little different...

It all began with the alarm. The red flashing light gave the room a pale red hue, alerting them. The wardens got out of their seats and immediately checked what the problem was. Going through their security cameras, they did not see anything unusual. All the prisoners were sound asleep.

Yet still the alarm went off, and something was not right. Soon a shadow moved along the wall. The wardens got out their guns and readied themselves for a fight.

“Who is there? Show yourself!” A warden shouted.

Something that looked like a blur of yellow and red rushed towards him. A horrible scream as something punctured his arm. The warden fell to the ground, clutching his arm in absolute agony. The other wardens stared at him in horror as the arm started to swell.

A second warden began to open fire at the blur. He only got two shots in before there was a colorful slash, and then blood spewed from his neck. He fell backgrounds and crumpled onto the ground.

As the remaining wardens rushed their fallen comrades, pulling out their radios to call for help, the yellow blur moved quickly down the hallways, prisoners on both sides. The commotion woke up some of the prisoners and they scowled at the strange intruder, unsure of what to make of what was going on. Some of the prisoners were amused by the intruder’s actions, while others were clearly frightened and backed away, not wanting to get killed as well.

But this intruder had other plans. He had no use for any of these prisoners. There was only one that mattered. He moved down the halls, looking left and right. He would bare his teeth when he saw he didn’t find the prisoner that he wanted. And as he took each step without finding this particular one, the angrier he began to look.

Then, finally, he saw what he was looking for. Ears swiveled upright as a smirk came across his face. His long fangs, dripping with blood, were exposed in demented glee. There, at the end of the hallway, was a very large cell, closed off by huge, thick bars. There was only one prisoner this place had that would require such a strong cell to hold.

The intruder made his way over quickly. He slowed to a walk and he stopped in front of the cell. He stared into the room, eyeing the prisoner that was kept inside.

A large zoner, standing high above him easily. Large wings with hooks at the end of each elongated finger. Bushy fur covering his body. A tail that swished back and forth. Piercing eyes staring into his, and a long muzzle with sharp teeth, exposed as the lips were pulled back into a snarl.

“What do you...want...?” The zoner asked, his voice low, dark, and growly.

The intruder stayed quiet. He examined this zoner up and down. He was bigger than he thought he was going to be. And he certainly was ferocious. He could see that the zoner had been chained to the wall, a clear sign of his brutality. If that wasn’t enough evidence, the floor and walls had clear signs of claw marks, deep and long. Yes, he would do quiet nicely.

The intruder placed his hand on one of the thick cell bars. His mouth contorted into an evil smile.

“I want to make a deal with you.” The intruder said, green eyes brightening.

The zoner tilted his head. He looked surprised at first. Then a glare replaced that initial surprise. “What did you have in mind?”

“Something..that you would enjoy. Oh so much.” The intruder said.

The alarm was still going off. The intruder knew he did not have much time left to get this zoner. He turned his head to make sure the wardens hadn’t come over yet. He knew that the remaining wardens wouldn’t be dumb enough to come after him without reinforcement.

He turned his attention back to the zoner. He used a thick claw to pick the lock. And open it swung. He took a few steps into the cell, staring at the winged zoner.

“If you agree to help me, I will get you out of this dump.” The intruder said. “And you can have what it is you desire so much... I can sense it. And if you help me, you will get it.”

The zoner stared at him, eyes narrowed into slits and teeth bared. It looked like, at first, the zoner did not believe him and had no desire to take orders from anyone. But then, the angry look was soon replaced with an evil smile of his own.

The zoner said, “Okay then... Free me, lead me out of here...and tell me what this..plan of yours is.”

The intruder went up to the control panel that kept the zoner locked in those chains. With a swipe, three deep gashes cut through, destroying it in an instant. The zoner stretched his wings, letting out a screech. The intruder jumped onto his back. Like he was requested, he guided the winged zoner out, knocking down anyone who stood in their way.

They took off into the air. The wardens, including the reinforcements that came, began to shoot at them. But each bullet missed. They were horrified by what had transpired. One warden pulled out his radio and shouted into it in a panicked voice.

“Attention! Code red! Draow has escaped!”

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 10:22:34 pm »
CHAPTER 1: INTERRUPTION ON THE COURSE-




A small red ball was set on the ground. Green and flat, and seemed to glint in the light. Something cold and metal was placed next to it. This metat thing moved back and forth slowly, deliberately, before it was finally struck. It made a clang sound as it hit against the red ball.

The small sphere was sent flying through the air. It rolled across what appeared to be green hills, although grass was not present. The ground was still fuzzy, but it wasn’t plants. It looked fake, synthetic. A little ruffled, yet not enough to slow down the ball. The object rolled easily over the structures as it headed towards what looked like a hole in the ground.

The ball kept rolling until it reached a metal rim. It rolled around in circles for a couple seconds. It was about to roll over into the hole, but then it stopped.

Suddenly, tiny mechanical legs sprang out from a hidden compartment underneath the ball. It stood up and, with the whirring of mechanical parts clanging together, walked away from the hole. It went roughly a foot away. Then the legs disappeared and it dropped back on the ground.

“What?!”

The cry came from Penny, who stood a distance away, holding a put in her hands. She looked absolutely shocked and frustrated by what had happened.

“You didn’t do anything wrong, Penny.” Snap said. He stood next to her, holding his own golf club plus a blue ball. “Why are you so worked up?”

Penny’s eyes were still on the ball. “That ball just...walked away!” She exclaimed, pointing at the small object.

“Uh...yeah. So?” Snap asked.

“That’s not how you play miniature golf!” She replied.

Snap shook his head. “Oh, Penny. Of course it’s not how you play mini golf. We aren’t playing mini golf, remember? We’re playing...” Snap walked up to place his ball down. He twirled his golf club with ease, giving Penny a somewhat smug smile like he was showing off, which it was most certain that he was. “Chalk golf! It’s way more fun than boring old miniature golf!”

As Snap placed his ball down and got ready to hit it, Penny put a hand on her hip and narrowed her eyes.

“At least ëboring miniature golf’ makes sense! I don’t know how I’m supposed to play this...chalk golf if the balls just walk away like that.” Penny said. “They’re supposed to stay put!”

“But that’s where the fun lies, Penny.” Rudy said. He was throwing his green ball up in the air and catching it repeatedly. He took a stand next to Penny and said, “In chalk golf, the object is to force the balls into the hole, not knock them into the hole. They will do whatever they can to get away from the hole. They are allowed to walk a foot away in any direction. That’s where the fun comes in. The challenge. Don’t you think that is more entertaining?”

“Hmm well I suppose...” Penny muttered. “But it still doesn’t make a lot of logical sense.”

“We’re in ChalkZone, Penny. Different rules.” Rudy reminded her.

Rudy was enjoying spending the day with Penny and Snap. His parents would be gone all day and Penny’s mom allowed Penny stay over at Rudy’s for a while. Since they had a lot of time, he decided to go into ChalkZone and play a round of chalk golf with Snap and Penny. He had played the game once before with Snap and he found it to be quite fun and challenging. He wanted Penny to have fun with it too, so he had asked if she wanted to play.

Penny wasn’t too big into golf, but she did like miniature golfing from time to time. So she agreed. Rudy realized, too late, he should have warned her chalk golf was...different than mini golf. The thought hadn’t crossed his mind, and he felt bad for not saying anything earlier. He understood her confusion of the ball walking away. He was perplexed too until Snap explained the rules of chalk golf.

He had thought about playing something Penny was more familiar with, such as chinese chalkers, but he wanted to do something new and different today. It would become boring if they played the same games over and over again. And he knew Penny would have wanted to try something new, so he thought this game would be perfect.

After Snap hit his ball, it was Rudy’s turn. He went up to the clearly defined white mark on the ground where the ball is supposed to go. He put his green ball down and prepared to hit it. As he was preparing, he couldn’t help but take notice of the golf club he was using.

It was shaped a little different from Penny and Snap’s putts. It was a tad heavier and thicker. It was designed to accomodate for his left hand. And one only needed to take one look at his palm to know that something was wrong with it. Although Snap’s scars have all but disappeared, for some reason, the scar on Rudy’s left hand never completely vanished. To this day, he could still see the reminders of when Mr. Cosmo stabbed him in the hand.

But the scar was not the only reminder. There was no pain, which relieved Rudy, but there was some permanent damage. The knife had harm to some nerves and tendons there. He didn’t notice it at first because of the adrenaline pumping through his body. There was so much going on, he hadn’t realized that he could be doing more harm to his hand.

He had lost some range of motion and some strength from his left hand. He could still use it adequently, but he could no longer grasp things as tightly as he used to, nor could he close his hand as firmly. Due to this, if he were to try to use a regular golf club, his left hand would constantly be slipping and he wouldn’t be able to muster up enough strength to knock the ball very far.

Rudy remembered how stupid he felt when the doctors told him that if he had allowed his hand to heal and not moved it around so much, the damage would have been less severe. Rudy recalled that he still used his left hand quite a bit in the fight, and he wished he had remembered to take extra care. Snap and Penny didn’t fault him for it, though, as the situation handed to him at the time would have made it difficult to not use both hands.

The doctors had been hopeful that he would regain the lost motion and strength within several months. But now, being 18 months since they fought Mr. Cosmo, there was no sign of change in his hand. The doctors declared that it was, most likely, permanent and that he’d have to adjust to it.

For most tasks, Rudy didn’t really notice. It was only when he tried to do certain things, such as hold a golf club in the correct manner, or manipulate something small such as a pencil or a piece of chalk. He was thankful for being right handed in this regard. If it had happened to his right hand, he wasn’t sure how well he could protect ChalkZone if the task of drawing became too hard for him.

Rudy sometimes still has nightmares about Mr. Cosmo. Sometimes he dreams that he survived, somehow, and was coming back to get him and his friends. Penny and Snap admitted they had similar dreams as well. The man had left such a big imprint on all of them, and as much as they wanted to forget the ordeal, they knew it was impossible.

Rudy put those thoughts away. He didn’t want to dwell on the topic of Mr. Cosmo right now. He was supposed to be having fun.

He quickly realized that he had been taking a little too long to swing his club. Penny and Snap were staring at him, eyes narrowed in annoyance. He smiled sheepishly and apologized quickly. He positioned his golf club and swung it.

The trio watched the green ball roll across the flat ground. Rudy’s ball almost perfectly blended in, the only thing making it stand out was the fact that it reflected more light and thus was a little more noticeable. It went past Snap’s blue ball, which rested two feet away from the hole. It did a circle around much like Penny’s did, but unlike hers, his went right in.

“Great shot, Rudy!” Penny exclaimed, giving Rudy a few claps.

“Yeah!” Snap cheered. “Way to go, Bucko!”

“Thanks!” Rudy said, smiling. It was at times like these that Rudy forgot about how weak his left hand was.

Now it was Penny’s turn again. She walked over to her red ball. She stood next to it and readied her golf club.

“Now you remember the rules, don’t ya, Buckette?” Snap asked, a smile on his face. “Or are we going to enjoy another round of a loud ëwhat’ in our ears?”

Penny glared at him for a second. Her expression quickly softenend and she let out a light chuckle. “No, Snap. I think I got it now.”

She stared intently at the ball and looked at where the hole was. She moved her golf club back slowly. Her arms tensed up. Rudy and Snap watched as she did this. She looked like she was having some difficulty deciding what angle to shoot from and with how much strength. Finally, she pulled the club back and swung hard...

“What?! Are you kidding me?!”

The sudden shout caused Penny to overshoot her putt, causing her to stumble forward. She wound up kicking her ball clean out of the golf course and onto the grass. Rudy rushed forward and grabbed her arm to steady her.

“What was that?” Penny asked.

Snap had already found the source. “Over there!”

The trio saw a group of zoners gathered near a small chalky lake, located downhill from the golf course. There looked to be about five zoners, all of the stick figure variety. Most of them were a little shorter than Rudy and Penny, but one was pretty tall, about as high as an average human. And it was clear he was the one who was speaking. He stood in front of the group and made wild gestures with his hands.

Rudy, Penny, and Snap got closer to see what the commotion was. The tallest zoner was excited about something, but from the looks in his eyes, it wasn’t anything too good. He looked startled, like something had really disturbed him. The other zoners either looked surprised or skeptical.

“No way, man! They, like, have tight security over there.” One of the zoners said. “There’s, like, no way something like that could have happened, man.”

“I second.” Another zoner agreed. “I think it is preposterous to suggest that one of the most refined...rehabilitation facilities...could fall prey to something like this.”

The tall zoner shook his head rapidly. “No, you don’t understand! This guy, he was fast!”

“He does have a point there.” A third zoner commented.

The fourth one nodded his head in agreement. “I don’t find it that farfetched that someone could have been skilled enough to pull a job like this off.”

“Thank you!” The tall zoner said before turning to address everyone. “We need to be on the lookout! They don’t know where he could be! He might be anywhere in ChalkZone by now! We need to...”

“Excuse me?”

Rudy hated to interrupt, but curiosity was getting the better of him. And from how this zoner was talking, whatever had happened was a huge deal. If there was anyway at all he could help, he wanted to do so. He was the protector of ChalkZone after all. Whenever possible, he would take up responsibility and offer aide wherever he could. And this sounded like a time where his help would definitely be needed.

The tall zoner turned his gaze towards Rudy. “Great Creator! Thank goodness! Maybe you could do something!”

“What happened?” Penny asked.

“It was horrible! Absolutely horrible!” The tall zoner cried, raising his hands in the air. “The jail..it had been attacked! And whoever it was helped a dangerous criminal escape!”

The trio gasped in surprise.

“Who managed to escape that place?” Snap asked. “And why would anyone help them get out?”

“I don’t know, Snap.” Rudy said. If he had to guess, whoever broke out this dangerous criminal must have wanted this criminal for something. But what, he didn’t know. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be good. He turned his attention back to the tall zoner. “Do you know anything else? Anything at all?”

“Yeah! I know who the prisoner was who escaped!” The tall zoner cried.

“You do?” Penny asked.

The tall zoner nodded. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. I thought it was impossible. But no! It’s true! It’s all true!”

Rudy only noticed now, but the tall zoner’s frantic cries had drove away the other zoners. Even the ones who agreed with him. He guessed that they were tired of hearing him rant on about the same bit of news. But the zoner didn’t really seem to care that they left, since he found someone else he could spew the information to, which was Rudy and his two friends.

“Well? Don’t keep us in the dark. Tell us who escaped!” Snap asked.

“It was...” The tall zoner gulped, his eyes widening. “It was...”

“Yes?” Rudy asked, waiting somewhat impatiently for the zoner to spill the beans.

The tall zoner paused, gulping loudly. He looked at the trio in their eyes, his own filled with absolute terror. He finally answered. His voice was but a whisper. But it was enough for the three to hear. And what they did hear, made their blood freeze into ice.

“Draow...”

Rudy’s eyes widened in horror at the sound of that name. No..it wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be. Draow was locked up in a tight facility, secured with the best cell and chains. There was..no way he could be out. Of all the prisoners there, surely he wasn’t the one who escaped. No...no it couldn’t be..

Rudy backed slowly away, his face going pale. His friends looked just as horrified by the news. They didn’t move, just stared at the zoner in absolute shock. Rudy looked in the direction of the prison that Draow had been sent to. If that had been the one that was attacked, and if Draow was really free...

He tried to shake off his shock and turned to his friends. “Come on. We need to check this out.”

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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 10:23:10 pm »
CHAPTER 2: ESCAPED JAILBIRD-



Hearing Draow’s name mortified Rudy, and he knew his friends felt the same way. He found it hard to believe that, out of all the prisoners, it had to be Draow who got out. Draow, the most vicious of all Cosmo’s drawings, and the most loyal to him. Rudy hoped that he misheard, or this was all just some kind of terrible nightmare...but something told him that, this time, it was for real.

Out of all of them, Snap had been the most frightened by the news of the escape. Rudy couldn’t blame him. It was because of Draow that Snap suffered so much at the hands of Mr. Cosmo. Draow was the one who viciously attacked him, knocked him out, and dragged him through the portal to deliver him to Mr. Cosmo. And Draow had almost killed Snap by ripping open a hole in the wall and let water spray all over him. Had it not been for Mr. Wilter, Snap would have been washed away.

And even after that failed, Draow had been still determined. He tried to rip Snap from Rudy’s hands and crush him in his jaws. He had gotten so close to doing that, with the only thing stopping him being Tsere. According to what Rapsheeba and Wilter told him, Draow had snatched Snap from the hospital and attempted to murder him by dropping him from a great height. It was only by luck that Tsere was able to catch him in time.

Rudy and Penny also had their share of Draow’s ferocity. During their first meeting, Draow had menaced Rudy, and in the hallways when they tried to escape, Draow used his glass trick to get closer to them. Rudy’s ears sometimes still ache as he remembered how horrible that noise had been. Rudy can still feel the beast’s jaws on his arm from when Mr. Cosmo went to take him up to decide on Snap’s fate. The sharp teeth puncturing his skin...that was not something he wanted to ever feel again.

And Penny...she had almost been killed by him, too. She had been taken down to Draow’s room and nearly fed to him. Well not fed...zoners can’t eat humans even if they tried. The fluids would dissolve them from the inside out. But they can still harm humans and Draow was doing all he could to do just that to Penny. He even managed to slice her shoulder open. If it hadn’t been for Ms. Saffron, Penny would have surely died.

Rudy winced as he thought of Ms. Saffron. Although it has been over a year, he still feels a pang sometimes when he thinks of that woman. It still hurt knowing that, even though they managed to defeat Cosmo, it still came with a hefty price. Ms. Saffron didn’t deserve to die...

Rudy was going to make sure that no one else would fall victim to Cosmo. He was going to make sure that Draow, the one zoner that is most like Cosmo in terms of personality and viciousness, would be unable to bring damage to innocents. He would do whatever he could to capture him and bring him back to jail where he belongs, where he won’t be able to hurt anyone. And this time, he would ensure that Draow can never escape again.

They soon came upon the jail. It was sitting on top of a hill. Rudy noted that it looked a lot like the jail that Penny sent Butch to on her first trip to ChalkZone. The major difference was that it was larger and scarier looking, colored black with sharp, hooked spires at the top. The very shape of the jail sent chills down his spine. It looked almost like a fanged skull, glaring at him hatefully. If he didn’t know this was just a jail, he’d think it was some painfully obvious hideout for vicious baddies.

When they got closer, they started noticing some damage done to it on the outside. It wasn’t a whole lot. They assumed most of the damage was on the inside. On the outside, they could see what looked like a hole in the wall. It was hard to tell how that was put there. Something about it looked...weird. Something wasn’t right about it. And when they arrived at that spot, they quickly saw why.

The hole looked too clean. It was a near perfect circle with no rough edges at all. Whoever cut open this hole, whatever they were using was very powerful and efficient. But it also had to have been quiet. If there had been any noise, the intruder would not have been able to get in. The jail’s outside weapons would have shot him away quite easily. With Draow’s help, he would be able to survive the weaponry, but when he was getting in, obviously he didn’t have the bat wolf’s help yet.

Rudy could hear a commotion going on inside the building. Arguing it sounded like. Some of the voices sounded worried, others angry, others indifferent or confident. A part of Rudy wanted to stay outside as he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to see the damage done to the interior of the place. Yet he knew he couldn’t do that. Not when Draow was involved. Cautiously, he and the others entered the jail.

The first thing they saw horrified them. Laying out on stretchers, prepared to be moved, were two zoners. They were clearly dead, their eyes wide with the eerie stare of the lifeless. One of the warden’s necks was ripped apart, revealing a red mess. The other one was much more gruesome. Their arm had, for a lack of a better time, burst open. It must have swollen so much that it broke the skin. Blood and green ooze could be seen, and it made them all sick to their stomachs to witness, especially with the rotten bone and muscle exposed to their sights.

In addition to that, they could see clear damage to the interior. Broken bits off the walls. Claw marks in the concrete and brick. Blood stains from where the wardens were attacked. In the distance, in the direction they knew Draow had once been held, they could see smoke pillowing out. They guessed that the intruder must have damaged the controls that kept Draow chained to the wall. Either that, or something else was down there that they weren’t aware of, which could be the case.

Rudy found a tuft of light brown fur on the ground. He went over and picked it up. He stared at it closely. His eyes quickly widened. The shade of brown perfectly matched Draow’s. There was no one else he knew it could be. He showed the tuft of fur to his two friends, and they were just as shocked.

And if that wasn’t evidence enough for them, Rudy could see deep cuts in the walls that were the perfect size for Draow’s ëfinger’ claws. Judging from the position of the lines, Draow had opened up his wings and ran through the hallway, knocking down the wardens as they tried to stop him. Some of the claw marks on the ground could have been made from when he was running to get out the door.

Rudy was about to look a little more when he heard someone shout from behind him.

“How can you let this happen?!” A familiar voice called out. “Can’t any of you morons do anything right?!”

“We’re sorry! We tried, but Draow...” A surviving warden pleaded.

“Don’t give me any of your excuses! I gave you some of the best weaponry money could buy, and even that wasn’t enough for you!” The familiar voice snarled.

Rudy, Penny, and Snap looked over at the source of the voice. They didn’t see who it was at first because the ambulance were walking in the way. They were getting the two dead wardens out of the prison. It was a surefire thing that the warden with the burst arm would be taken to get an autopsy done to see what had caused that to happen to his arm. Once they had gotten out of the way, they could see who had been talking.

It was Skrawl. He was dressed up in what looked like a warden’s uniform, except his outfit clearly marked him as higher up on the hiearchy ladder. He was scowling at the other wardens, who backed away from him like they were afraid they would get hit by his claws.

The trio weren’t at all surprised to see him. After Mr. Cosmo’s defeat, Skrawl’s desires to scheme had diminished. Oh he tried once in a while, but he found he could no longer do it. He found it even harder fighting against Rudy again, especially after all that time helping him to defeat Mr. Cosmo. So, eventually, Skrawl had given up on schemes and instead opted to assume control of one of the jails.

They hadn’t known it was this jail, but then again, it seemed pretty obvious. The weaponry built into the jail, along with its overall look, did look kinda like something they’d expect Skrawl to do. Although the idea of Skrawl being in charge of a prison took some time to get used to, Rudy was glad that he no longer had to worry about the jellybean trying to take over ChalkZone.

Rudy and his friends move closer to where Skrawl and the wardens were. Rudy hoped that they could overhear something that would tell him more of what happened, like just who it was that broke Draow out of prison.

“Weren’t you paying attention to the cameras?!” Skrawl snarled, pointing a claw at one of the wardens.

The warden backed up a couple of steps. “Well c-certainly! But nothing had showed up on the cameras!”

Skrawl narrowed his mismatched eyes. “Impossible! My cameras detect everything! They would have seen...”

Another warden interrupted Skrawl. With a nervous voice, he said, “With all due respect, sir... He’s telling the truth. We were all watching the security cameras. There was nothing on there.”

But Skrawl looked far from convinced. He bared his pale yellow teeth at the wardens and advanced on them. The wardens backed up away from him, putting their hands out in front to protect them from the jellybean’s wrath. Had this happened before the incident with Mr. Cosmo, Rudy would have thought he would attack. But, given with how Skrawl had changed, he was not surprised when Skrawl stopped advancing and chose to just glower at the wardens instead.

Skrawl opened his mouth to say something, but something made him stop. He noticed something in the corner of his eye. He turned his head. His eyes widened briefly. Then he folded up his arms against his chest and gave what could be described as a non-malicious amused smile.

“Master Tabootie... What a surprise to see you here.” He was being sarcastic of course. There was no way Skrawl would be surprised by Rudy arriving.

Rudy and his friends walked towards Skrawl. Rudy asked, “Skrawl, what happened here?”

Skrawl gave him a skeptical look. “You mean you don’t know? Someone broke in here and freed Draow!” He cast his gaze on the wardens. “And these idiots not only weren’t able to stop him, but they claim that my cameras didn’t catch this intruder...”

“Maybe they’re telling the truth.” Snap suggested, smirking. “Maybe your security cameras aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.” Snap jumped back when Skrawl snarled angrily at him and looked like he was going to rip his head off. “Whoa! Sorry! Man, talk about your bad temper...”

Rudy glared at Skrawl. “You didn’t have to react like that, Skrawl. Snap has a point. Maybe something was wrong with the cameras at the time.”

The jellybean narrowed his eyes. “Impossible! They’re always up and running twenty-four seven!”

“Unless the intruder knew how to disable them.” Penny suggested. “Or maybe they figured out a way to get in during a time when the cameras weren’t looking at him. I know how much you take pride in your...work Skrawl, but you should accept that someone could find flaws in them, and exploit them.”

Skrawl sighed. “Perhaps you are right, genius girl.”

“Skrawl, we know the basis of what happened.” Rudy said. “What we want to know is do you know anything else? Do you know who freed Draow?”

Skrawl shook his head, a look that showed slight regret on it. “I’m afraid not, chalk boy. They didn’t get a good look at him. They claim he was too fast for them to see. The only thing we know is that two of its colors were apparently yellow and red. It possessed claws which it used to tear open one of my wardens’ throats, and it is apparently venomous too. That’s what happened to that guy’s arm if you didn’t see that coming in.”

Penny shivered visibly. “It was absolutely horrible...”

Skrawl nodded. “It was even worse when I first arrived. Be glad that you didn’t see it burst open.”

This sent chills down the trio’s spine. They already had a feeling that the arm burst open, but to actually witness it... They were glad they didn’t get here until now.

The idea of a venomous zoner disturbed Rudy. He wondered how many more zoners would suffer at this intruder’s hands. He wondered just how much more damage the intruder could cause now that he has Draow at his side...

He wanted, no, he needed to know, as soon as possible, just who this intruder was and what he wanted with Draow. He couldn’t help but think this was some kind of terrifying alliance. He already had an idea on what Draow would want. But, this intruder, he was an unknown variable. Without a clue on what this intruder wanted, Rudy was completely in the dark on what dangers lurked ahead.

The only way he could find out was by investigating. He had to figure out some clue on what the intruder looked like. That would be the first time to finding out how he was. If he could positively identify him, he could ask some zoners if they know anything about him, and get information. Then, once he understood what the intruder was like, he could begin to fight back. He could come up with a plan to get both him and Draow arrested and sent to jail.

Rudy wondered if anyone outside of the prison had seen something. It was hard to miss a large flying wolf bat. Surely, someone had to have seen something. Anything at all. Any tiny bit of information would help them out.

He turned to Penny and Snap. “Come on. Let’s get going. Maybe someone...”

Before the trio could get very far, Skrawl blocked their path. He had his hands on his side, balancing himself on one limb with ease. He glared down at them, his mouth contorted into a small snarl.

“Where do you think you three are going...?” He asked in a low, growly voice.

Rudy glared back at him. “Get out of the way, Skrawl! We’re going to find out about this intruder!”

Skrawl shook his head once. “No you’re not. You three are going to stay far away from this case.”

“Why?!” Snap exclaimed. He stared at Skrawl with a mixture of shock and anger. “Rudy just wants to help!”

“I am aware of that. But I will take care of it!” Skrawl said. “I already sent a couple of my best wardens to find out about this intruder. So consider the burden lifted from your shoulders, Master Tabootie. Let me handle this.” He pointed a claw at the boy. “This intruder might be more than you can handle. His venom might not be able to hurt you, but that doesn’t mean that he’s any less dangerous.”

As much as Rudy didn’t want to admit it, Skrawl had a point there. They didn’t know what they were up against. And even though the intruder’s venom wouldn’t hurt him or Penny, they still had to content with his speed and his sharp claws.

Skrawl took a step towards them. “So do yourselves a favor and stay out of this. I will do whatever I can to get Draow back to jail. You can trust me on that.”

But as much as Rudy wanted to believe him, a part of him was skeptical. He knew what Draow was like. So did his friends. Even Skrawl knew. And from what he encountered with Draow in the past, he was not the kind to give up so easily. He was tenacious and ruthless. Even when he was tired, he would still put up a fight.

And now that he is partnered up with a venomous intruder who is able to sneak around undetected...

Rudy knew there was no way they could take this lying down. As they walked out of the jail, he pondered what their next move was going to be. He didn’t care what Skrawl did to them. The jellybean wouldn’t be able to keep them from working on this case for very long. And he had a feeling Skrawl understood that as well.

“So...what now, Bucko?” Snap asked when they were out of earshot of the jail.

“I’m sure everyone is on the lookout for Draow.” Penny said. “We could ask some zoners around here. Maybe they can help.”

Rudy was about to say something when he looked at the time on his cellphone. His eyes widened. “Sorry, Penny. We’ll have to continue this investigation later. It’s almost time for our parents to get back.”

Penny looked surprised. “Already? Time really just flew.”

Rudy turned to Snap. “We’ll be back whenever we can. Inform us, when we return, if you figured out anything new, okay?”

“Okay, Rudy! Will do!” Snap said as he watched his two friends leave.

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 12:06:36 am »
Heheh, I like Skrawl's new job :smile
These guys just can't get a break :blink: Looks like it's off to a good start so far :D


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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 02:02:19 pm »
CHAPTER 3: DO NOT PUT YOUR GUARD DOWN, RUDY-



Rudy couldn’t shake off the feeling of disappointment as he sat in class, listening to Mr. Wilter talk about an upcoming chemistry test. When he and Penny went back into ChalkZone later that night, they were both disappointed to learn that Snap was not able to find out anymore information. They knew just as much as they did yesterday, and that wasn’t really a whole lot at all. Rudy had hoped that something new would pop up, something that would give them a clue to the identity and motives behind this mysterious zoner.

Snap had attempted to ask for more information, but he had forgotten about Skrawl, who wasn’t too far away. The jellybean was determined to keep the three of them off the case. It frustrated Rudy because he feels that they, who had dealt with Draow before, should help in finding him. He thought Skrawl would have understood that.

Or maybe he does, and just doesn’t want him involved in it. Rudy thought two things. Skrawl’s pride was hurt, which was a very real possibility as he is often arrogant in his machinery. He claims they are state of the line, and yeah, they might be, but he refuses to acknowledge any flaws in them. So Skrawl is trying to fix his hurt pride by being the one to recapture Draow.

But another possibility, and this was just as likely, at least nowadays, Skrawl doesn’t want them to get hurt. It was hard to believe, since he was so used to him causing trouble for years. And a few years ago, he wouldn’t have considered the possibility of him and Skrawl being anything close to friends. They still weren’t, at least not in the same way as Penny or Snap. But Skrawl, even if he didn’t admit it, did start to care, if even just a little, for him and his friends. He guessed being stuck in a cell for hours all by himself with no way out forced him to do a lot of thinking.

Rudy thought back to his cameras. He hadn’t thought to bring it up with Penny, and he kicked himself mentally for not doing so. But, whenver they could, he thought it would be best to head back to the prison and take a look at the cameras. He didn’t know when they could do it as Skrawl would not be pleased with them returning to the jail so soon. He’d probably have his Beanie Boys, who he had turned into policemen to capture criminals, throw them out.

But Rudy felt it would be a good place to start. This criminal was said not to have been seen on the cameras. But Skrawl claims that his cameras catch everything. What if they didn’t...? Rudy wasn’t sure why he didn’t think of it until now, but there might be a flaw in the camera that this criminal was able to take advantage of, to exploit so he could get into the jail without the cameras revealing he was there.

Obviously something had to have set off the alarm. From what he recalled, the alarm had gone off when the intruder was inside, so whatever this intruder used to get into the jail, it didn’t work on the inside. But why? What could cause a camera to detect something of the prisoner on the inside, but not on the outside? Maybe Penny would have some ideas. She had a better understanding of technology than he did. After school, he planned on talking to Penny about it.

He remembered when the whole trouble with Mr. Cosmo started. He remembered how helpless he felt, not knowing just what that man’s motivations were, and how the only person in the real world he could talk to was Penny. She was, at the time, the only person he knew that he could trust ChalkZone’s existence with.

This time, things were a little different. Penny was not the only person he could speak to now. There was also Mr. Wilter. Ever since he revealed what he had been in the past, that he knew about ChalkZone, going to that world during school was easier. He and Penny no longer needed to sneak behind the man’s back to gain entry. And Mr. Wilter would often cover for them if they were gone too long.

Rudy had plans on talking to Mr. Wilter about this as well. If there was anyone who knew Draow pretty well, it was him. He had faced off with him in the past, and he had confronted them when they did battle with Mr. Cosmo a year and a half ago.

He hoped that Mr. Wilter could provide some information, some clue, to why someone would want to free Draow, and where he could be. Draow was a tricky beast, and the sooner he was recaptured, the better. Mr. Wilter could have info they could use to achieve this. Mr. Wilter knew how dangerous Draow was, and he would definitely want him to be recaptured as soon as possible. The fact that Draow was similar to personality to Mr. Cosmo himself made the situation more dire.

Mr. Wilter would not be able to talk to Rudy just yet, though. They were still in class, and he hadn’t stopped speaking. Once in a while, Rudy would glance over at Mr. Wilter. The man seemed to catch the expression on his face and, with subtle gestures, indicated he understood something was wrong. Rudy would still have to wait, however. He didn’t know what kind of commotion there would be if Mr. Wilter suddenly talked about ChalkZone in class. Even if nobody believed him, that was something neither he nor Wilter would have wanted.

Class was almost over. In a few minutes, the bell would ring. And when it did, he and Penny would be free to speak to Mr. Wilter on the subject. At least, when everyone leaves. They couldn’t risk speaking about ChalkZone until they knew, absolutely, that no one was around to overhear their conversations. Even if no one believed them, there was still that worry that someone would believe it, and then try to get more information out of them. With all that ChalkZone almost endured with Mr. Cosmo, another incident like that was the last thing that it needed.

Rudy thought back to the poisonous...no..venomous zoner. Penny was a little adament about them using the proper terminology, stating that there was a difference between poison and venom. From what they had heard had happened, Penny determined that Skrawl had used the right term, venom, because venom, unlike poison, is delivered via a bite or sting, and, interestingly, is often safe to injest. It’s only deadly when it gets into the blood stream. Though she did not recommend going around drinking venom as small cuts in the stomach or intestines would allow the venom to seep through and spread into the bloodstream, where it would cause a lot of damage.

The venom that this zoner possessed was very lethal, at least to other zoners. Snap was not safe from the venom, and that was a great concern he and Penny shared. Since they know so little about this zoner, they don’t know if he would be the kind to just attack any zoner it so pleased. They don’t know if he won’t go after Snap or not.

Penny had been, luckily, get more information on this type of venom. Knowing as much as they could about this venom was important, especially if they were going to have to tangle with him in the future. The venom’s properties weren’t like anything they had heard of before, making Rudy even more worried of the possibility of Snap being bitten.

The venom targets the marrow in zoners’ bones. The marrow is where red blood cells are formed. It causes them to reproduce out of control, filling the target limb with an excess amount of blood, but only in that one area. The blood ends up clotting the veins and arteries and the limb rapidly swells. The clotting causes tissue to die, which was why they saw dead muscle and bone from the dead zoner’s burst arm. Penny isn’t sure how long it takes, but eventually, the skin breaks and the arm, for a lack of a better term, explodes.

When this happens, death happens swiftly. A ton of blood is lost in this process. And if the blood loss doesn’t kill, the clots that shoot up towards the brain, blocking important blood vessels in those areas, sure would.

Rudy felt cold shivers sweep through his body as he thought about this venom. He was glad that he and Penny don’t have to deal with it. But he was fearful of what would happen if any of his zoner friends were bitten. Penny was unable to find out if there was any antivenom for it, or how long someone who was bitten has before it kills them. He was very worried about Snap. He had already been through so much with Mr. Cosmo. He didn’t want him to worry about suffering another near death experience...

Suddenly, Rudy was torn from his thoughts as the familiar, loud school bell rang. It came as a surprise to him as he wasn’t paying attention to the time. He had all but forgot where he was, deep in his thoughts. So when the bell rang, it took all of his mental strength not to jump up from his seat in fright.

Although he managed to keep himself from jumping, his heart was pumping really fast, and he couldn’t stop a few shudders going through his body. He thought that they went unnoticed, but he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked back and saw Penny looking at him worriedly.

“Rudy? What’s wrong?” She asked.

Rudy smiled sheepishly and looked away. “N-Nothing. The bell just took me by surprise. That’s all.”

Penny tilted her head in confusion. “The bell always rings at this time. How could it have surprised you?”

“I wasn’t paying attention.” Rudy admitted. He was vaguely aware of the students turning to leave, and he knew, within seconds, the room would be empty, save for Mr. Wilter.

Penny decided not to question Rudy further. She simply gave him a nod of understanding before she shifted her focus onto Mr. Wilter. She then gave Rudy a sideways glance. “Let me know what Mr. Wilter says.”

In that instant, Rudy was briefly confused, then he realized something. He recalled Penny could not stay after class for that long. Her mother was taking her somewhere, and she had to leave the school right away. She had apologized for it in advance, and he understood. It wasn’t her fault, really, and it wasn’t like her mom even knew there was anything important going on that would require Penny having to stay behind.

Things might be a little easier if they just told their parents the truth. But that might create brand new problems. They have no idea how either of their parents would react to the knowledge of their children going into some strange world where they have the chance of facing danger. They don’t know how they’d react when they find out that, sometimes, that danger almost has them killed. He’d hate to think what his parents would do if they found out about what Mr. Cosmo really had done.

Rudy knew it was too much of a risk of letting their parents know the truth. Yet he couldn’t help but wonder...just how long could it stay a secret? He had managed for the past eight and a half years keeping ChalkZone a secret from most people. But how long could he keep it up?

He already had some incidents where he almost exposed ChalkZone by accident. All it would take is one screw up and it would all be over. He bit his lip as he thought about the possible consequences of his parents, or Penny’s, finding out about ChalkZone...

“Rudy Tabootie.”

Again, he was broken away from his thoughts, but htis time, it was not from the bell, but from Mr. Wilter. Penny whispered goodbye to Rudy before she headed out to greet her mother, leaving Rudy alone with the teacher.

It still, sometimes, felt awkward talking to Mr. Wilter. He was so used to having to hide ChalkZone from him that, even after a year and a half, it was sometimes still hard bringing up the topic with him. He had to constantly remind himself that his teacher was an ally, not an enemy or unknown factor. He had to keep telling himself he could trust Mr. Wilter on the topic of ChalkZone.

Mr. Wilter walked up to Rudy’s desk. His eyes were narrowed, but not from anger. It was from concern. “What’s wrong? You look like you wanted to talk to me about something.”

Rudy nodded his head. It took a few seconds, but he managed to get himself to speak. “Yeah I do. Something...happened in ChalkZone.”

Mr. Wilter cocked an eyebrow. “Oh? Is it bad?”

“Yeah you could say that again.” Rudy said softly. He looked at Mr. Wilter for a few seconds, before he turned his gaze towards his desk. “Someone broke Draow out of prison...”

At this, Mr. Wilter’s eyes went wide. Rudy swore that he lost several shades of color. Mr. Wilter remained frozen there for what seemed like several minutes. When he spoke, his voice was hushed and shaky.

“A-Are you..certain?” He asked, his voice having a tinge of hope in it. Hope that Rudy was wrong about what he said.

Rudy nodded his head numbly. “Yeah. Penny, Snap, and I were in ChalkZone the other day, and we overheard some zoners talking about how some intruder broke Draow out of prison. We went there, and we learned that the intruder was venomous and somehow avoided the cameras.” Rudy paused for a moment, letting Mr. WIlter take all of this information in. “We haven’t been able to find out much. Nobody knows who or what this intruder is, nor what he wants with Draow.”

Mr. Wilter remained quiet. He was in a state of shock. Rudy couldn’t blame him. He knew just how dangerous Draow was. His freedom could only spell trouble for the rest of ChalkZone.

Rudy wished he could tell the teacher more. He wished he knew more about what was going on. Being left in the dark was terrifying. Not knowing really was scarier than knowing. He didn’t know where this zoner was, or where Draow went or even if Draow is still with this mystery zoner. He doesn’t know if Draow isn’t on his way to Snap’s right now to kill him. He doesn’t know what kind of plans this mystery zoner has.

And given with what happened with Mr. Cosmo, not knowing was not something they could afford...

Mr. Wilter finally spoke after a long, uncomfortable silence.

“I...don’t think it’s Draow we should be concerned about.” He said. Rudy’s eyes widened and he looked at Mr. Wilter like he had gone insane. “I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I am well aware of the threat Draow poses. I faced him before. However...” He paused, his eyebrows furrowed as he tried to think of how to continue. “Draow isn’t as much of a planner as Mr. Cosmo was.”

“But with him loose, he could try...” Rudy started to say.

Mr. Wilter held up a hand to quiet him, shaking his head. “Draow is capable of some planning, but not to the same degree as his creator. Draow has always been a follower-type. If he tried anything on his own, it would be apparent. You would see clear signs. The only time he is going to do something sneaky and efficiently, such as kidnap your friend Snap, is if someone else is behind the wheel, so to speak.”

“Someone else? Like Mr. Cosmo?” Rudy asked.

“Yes.” Mr. Wilter replied. “Draow functions at his best when someone else is doing all or most of the planning. He can do things on his own, such as when he used the glass to get closer to you and Skrawl. But that is about how brilliant he gets when he’s acting entirely on his own.” Mr. Wilter narrowed his eyes slowly. “No, the one you should be most concerned about is this mystery zoner. Whoever broke him out, the reasons can’t possibly be good. Draow is too dangerous for just anyone to work with.”

“Yeah...he’s too volatile.” Rudy said. He remembered his first encounter with Draow and how, even when he didn’t realize how big of a threat he was, terrifying and vicious he was. And that was just a taste of what he’d experience later on. “The only one who could control him was Mr. Cosmo.”

“And Mr. Cosmo was worse than Draow. He orchestrated all those terrible things you and your friends had to endure.” Mr. Wilter said. “Given this information, it is safe to assume that this zoner has to be more dangeorus than Draow in order for him to listen to him.”

Rudy let this information sink in. The intruder already sounded dangerous to start with. But the idea of him being more dangerous than Draow, at least in terms of personality, was frightening. Draow himself was scary. Even though the knowledge of Draow not being very subtle on his own did bring some comfort, it wasn’t enough to shake off the feeling of dread welling up inside of him.

Now, more than ever, he had to find out about this intruder. What were his plans with Draow? Was he more dangerous than Mr. Cosmo? Where was he going to strike first? These questions and more flooded Rudy’s mind.

“Don’t get me wrong. Draow is still dangerous even without a leader. He could still cause a lot of harm to unsuspecting zoners. You should still keep an eye out for him. It is imperative that he get recaught as soon as possible.” Mr. Wilter said in a serious tone. “However, priority should go to discovering more about the intruder, who he was. Finding out what his motives are will tell you everything you need to know about what Draow is going to do. If this zoner wants to flood ChalkZone, you can bet Draow will be the one to turn on the valve. If the zoner wishes to destroy important buildings, you can be certain that Draow will be the one doing the dirty work.”

This dire warning made Rudy even more anxious than before. Mr. Wilter really drove home the point there. Where and what they’d find Draow doing would indeed highly depend on what this mystery zoner wants. And if they didn’t find out soon, so many zoners could end up getting badly hurt...

“Draow isn’t stupid by any means, Rudy.” Mr. Wilter added. “He seeks opportunity. And if he has found someone to lead him who has plans that would benefit him in some way, he would jump on it.”

Rudy’s immediate thought was revenge. Draow would have surely remembered his creator’s defeat. He was certain the bat wolf held a grudge against all of them for what happened. This did provide some clue as to what this mystery zoner might want. If Draow willingly involved himself with him, then whatever the intruder wanted...

...it had to do with him and his friends... His eyes widened in horror as the realization sunk in.

Mr. Wilter said what Rudy’s mind was echoing. “Stay on your guard, Rudy.”

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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 02:02:53 pm »
CHAPTER 4: LYING IN WAIT-



The Mumbo Jumbo Jungle is a large and dangerous section of ChalkZone. It is frought with hidden dangers and anyone daring enough to go in there had better be prepared. Some of ChalkZone’s most dangerous wild creatures lurk there, ready to strike unsuspecting visitors. Creators like Rudy are better armed against it, but even he must be careful when traveling through here.

In a deep part of the jungle, a tall cave structure jetted out of the ground. It was covered in moss and vines. The entrance was completely covered and looked quite solid. Only when a breeze pushed against the moss and vines was it exposed that the entrance hadn’t been blocked and was, in fact, hollow.

The rock structure itself looked almost like the head of a rhino. The angular sides looked very sharp and the spike in the front appeared to be broken, as if some kind of poacher mistook it for a real rhino. Most creatures who walked by here paid no mind to this. A few were intimidated, especially when it almost appeared as though the ëeyes’ were glowing.

Inside the structure, it was very dark. There was little light to be found. Just a few faint candles on the wall, mounted there via thick nails. Not an efficient way of doing it, but it still worked. There were a few tunnels, but the inside did not look it went very far in. The walls were curved, giving what might be the entrance room a very rounded look.

The place appeared pretty empty. Outside the candles, there was no other source of life, at least not in the initial room. Down one of the tunnels was another room, a bit bigger. This room had all sorts of equipment in it. At a glance, it would be hard to tell what these things would be for. Saws, nails, metal pipes, hammers, all sorts of tools and materials laid scattered on the ground in a big pile. The smell of metal hung heavily in the air.

In this room, there was a bigger source of light. It wasn’t much. But on one of the walls, there was a small opening. Anyone who looked through the hole could see the jungle outside. A river flowed behind it, not too far off in the distance. Sunlight shown through the hole, illuminating a small part of the interior of the cave.

A shadow appeared on the wall. It covered up the light source for only a brief second. Then the shadow shifted across the rocky surface, cascading further along the walls. It slowly shrank, and what was once a line of darkness now had a more definite shape. As the howl of an outside animal zoner sounded out, two triangles, clearly ears, swiveled and shifted at the sound. A low growl filled the room.

The light’s shining bounced off the form that was creating the shadow, exposing light brown fur, ruffled up and looking almost like spikes. The face, clearly wolf-like, was partially light. But most of it was in shadow. This, combined with the piercing teal eyes, made the individual a very menacing sight to behold. The muzzle contorted into a snarl, pink gums exposed along with razor sharp teeth.

It was Draow. He stood, his wings folded at his sides, as he stared out the ëwindow’, his pupils shrinking as his thoughts were filled with the memories of what happened over a year ago. Rage filled almost every crevice of his mind as he remembered what had happened.

His master, his comrade, Mr. Cosmo...He had been so close to achieving his goals. He was very close to finally conquering ChalkZone. They would have had it all. He would have been second-in-command. He would have won. He should have won. Everything had been planned out meticulously, perfectly. Mr. Cosmo had been prepared for almost everything imaginable. He should have been able to succeed...

But those brats...They ruined everything. And that darn woman. Draow knew she couldn’t have been trusted. He knew that Mr. Cosmo should have gotten rid of her much sooner. Ms. Saffron’s interference put a kink in his master’s plans. If she had been killed sooner...

And he did not forget what Rudy and his friends did. Penny helped snap Rudy out of his corruption, and he and his master lost a valuable ally. Snap sliced Mr. Cosmo’s eye, which interfered with the fight. If that hadn’t happened, Mr. Cosmo would have had an edge over Rudy.

And Rudy...

He killed his master.

Draow’s mind burned as he remembered what happened. It was in the newspapers as well as on the news. Rudy had killed Mr. Cosmo, and hailed as a hero. Draow snarled at the memory. That boy would pay for what he did. So will his friends. He would make sure of that.

Draow lifted up his head as a scent filled the air. He swiveled his muzzle towards the source. He knew who was coming in.

It was the intruder that had saved him from that wretched jail. The intruder promised to deliver to him what he wanted if he decided to help him. Draow agreed, but only because he got something out of it. He knows that he, himself, is not an excellent planner. He would simply just rush out and kill Rudy, Penny, and Snap, without a care of who sees. So long as he gets his revenge, he’s happy.

But working with this intruder may be more beneficial. He reminds him of Mr. Cosmo in many ways, and he could smell just how dangerous he was. The venom gave off a strong scent. Draow knew he wouldn’t be able to fight the intruder on his own. It would be suicide. But working with him... He smiled evilly as he thought of this intruder biting and injecting Snap with venom. Oh yes, that would be a beautiful sight to witness...

The intruder hadn’t revealed too much of his plans. He had confirmed that it will, in some way, involve the three brats that took down his master. Yet he wouldn’t say exactly what he had in mind. And all these tools, they suggested he planned on building something. Judging from how much material there was, it was a lot of stuff. Just what did he have in mind? And how long was this intruder going to keep him in the dark for?

The intruder entered the room. The darkness made it hard to see his form. The intruder did not walk in very far, keeping most of his body in shadow. Draow could make out the bright, piercing green eyes barely glinting in the light. A tail was swishing back and forth. A muzzle with lips curled back into an evil grin, the long venom fangs exposed.

“Just as I hoped...” The intruder said. His voice sounded pleasant, almost like Mr. Cosmo’s except this voice was devoid of any malice. The intruder hid this part of him well, it seems. “Your escape from jail has caught the attention of those three. They will surely be trying to figure out about how you got out of there.”

Draow turned around and began to walk towards the intruder. His eyes narrowed into slits. “You still haven’t told me more of this plan of yours...” He paused for a moment. Now he thought of it, there was a lot this intruder didn’t tell him, including... “I don’t even know who you are.”

The intruder blinked once. The smile vanished, replaced with a confused expression. Then the intruder laughed half-heartedly, his green eyes almost brightening. “Oh...silly me, I must have forgotten! My name is Bardot.”

Draow said, “Bardot, eh?”

Bardot nodded his head once. “Yes.”

Well that got one question out of the way. Draow thought he recognized the name Bardot, but he couldn’t remember where he heard it from. The name did ring a bell, but he felt frustrated that he couldn’t remember anything about it, other than it was tugging at the back of his mind. There was something he should remember about this zoner.

Well, he will worry about it later. Bardot was offering him a chance at revenge against the three that defeated Mr. Cosmo. Draow planned on carrying on his master’s plans after that, forcing Rudy into it. He planned on breaking the boy, just like how his master broke Snap. And once the boy’s spirit was shattered, he would force him to do what he says.

Draow didn’t plan on killing him and his friends right away. No, he wants them all to suffer for as long as possible. He would keep them alive and torment them. He’d break all of them to teach them a lesson about crossing paths with his master. And by the end of it all, they will be begging him to kill them... He only would kill them once he has had his fun with them.

Draow finally spoke after a while of silence. “You said this plan would involve those three brats... But you did not tell me exactly what you had in mind.”

Bardot nodded his head. “Yes, I understand you must be frustrated.”

“Especially since we haven’t made a move yet.” Draow growled softly, folding his ears back against his skull. “We’ve been hiding for two days now. When are we going to strike?”

“Patience, Draow...patience.” Bardot said, raising a hand, the sharp claws glinting in the light. “We cannot move yet. Everything must be set up first. If we act too soon, everything will fall apart. We must let those three play right into our hands. I will tell you when you can move in. If we play our cards right, not only will we have them at our mercy, but they will not have any magic chalk to help them this time....”

Draow watched as Bardot’s evil smile returned. Liquid dripped from his jaws. It hit the ground, and he saw a bit of steam rising above it. The venom was more potent than he had imagined. This made him more excited than ever to watch Snap suffer at the fate of the venom.

And the two humans...if Bardot lived up to his promise, and if he gets a chance to, he would make sure that Rudy and Penny regret ever being born....

Draow chuckled evilly, his teal eyes shining at the prospect of what was to come. He was starting to really like this guy. Ruthless. Merciless. So much like Mr. Cosmo... He took a step towards Bardot, unfurling his wings slightly.

“When...do we begin..?” Draow asked.

Bardot simply stared at at the winged wolf for a few seconds. At first, his expression was blank. Then, slowly, a sly grin plastered over his muzzle. The dark shadows on his face seemed to almost intensify, making him look even more frightening than before.

“Soon, Draow...” Bardot replied, chuckling darkly. “Very soon...”

sss

“Whoa whoa! Slow down, Bucko!” Snap cried, waving his hands in the air as he walked alongside Rudy and Penny. “Are you saying that this intruder wants something with us?”

Rudy nodded his head solemnly. He recalled his chat with Mr. Wilter all too clearly. The signs, they all still pointed in this direction, and it scared him. “Yeah, Snap. Mr. Wilter said that Draow would only work with this guy if his plans benefited him.”

“But that doesn’t mean it automatically involves us.” Snap said.

“Snap is right, Rudy. Yeah, Draow would want to come after us, but I don’t think we should jump to conclusions just yet.” Penny said. Rudy looked at her, confused. “I’m not saying that it is impossible this intruder wants us. What I’m saying is we should look for clues and information about this guy and try to figure out what his real motivations are. If we prepare for the wrong thing...”

Rudy nodded his head. “Yeah, I know.”

He remembered when Mr. Cosmo tricked him into going to ChalkZone. He had been so certain that Mr. Cosmo was going to come in with some FBI agents and force him to speak. It was the only conclusion his mind would jump to. And so he left. He thought he had done the right thing to help ChalkZone...but instead, he just fell into that evil man’s little trap. He had been played for a fool.

He knew he couldn’t afford to make that same mistake here. Even though he was still worried that this intruder wanted something with him and his friends, he knew Penny and Snap were right. He shouldn’t jump to conclusions too quickly without much evidence. They knew so little about this intruder or what he wanted. And the things they knew about him were useless in determining his motivations.

Finding out more information was not going to be easy. Skrawl would keep them away from the case the best he could, so they had to be on their toes. Skrawl wouldn’t arrest them, but he would make things difficult for them. And he was quite stubborn, too. Even though he had changed for the better, bits of his old personality remained in tact, and that was a bit of annoyance to him during times like these.

Penny spoke up, breaking Rudy out of his thoughts.

“I think checking the cameras was a good idea, Rudy. Skrawl is so prideful of them, I doubt he would have checked them thoroughly.” Penny said. “We could get a hold of one and look for any signs of weakness. Something the intruder could have exploited to get past it.”

Rudy shook his head. “The only problem is Skrawl is the only one with these types of cameras. And they are all in that jail. We wouldn’t be able to check them efficiently, not with Skrawl around.”

“Well then, we can check when Skrawl is on his break.” Snap suggested. “He usually takes one around noon, where he goes back to his place to relax for about an hour. That would give us some time.”

Rudy looked at Snap. “And what of the other guards? Skrawl would probably tell them to keep us out.”

Snap waved a dismissing hand, smiling. “Oh don’t worry about them! They would be more willing to accept the Great Creator’s help! And besides..” Snap moved his hand in front of his head as if he were whispering some deep dark secret. “..they don’t like Skrawl very much, so any chance to defy him would make them happy.”

Snap did have a point. Rudy wasn’t at all surprised the guards didn’t like Skrawl. He still had that attitude of his, and he was sometimes pretty hostile towards them. He never did any physical harm, but he was intimidating towards them, perhaps as a way of keeping them all in line. Snap could be right and the guards themselves would be more cooperative than Skrawl.

Then again, there was still the chance that they would still stop him. Skrawl could have them so under control that, even though they don’t like him, they would still fulfill his wishes. Attempting to look at the cameras might not do them any good, at least not until they could figure out how to get to them without being seen. But how would they do that? It wasn’t like the jail took any time off. It was open twenty-four hours, seven days a week, and the cameras were running that whole time.

No, they needed another course of action to take first. The cameras would have to wait, at least for a time. They needed to go an easier route, something simple. Asking zoners may be their best bet at this point. Someone could have seen something. Draow was large. Surely someone spotted him. Even if it was just a brief glance, an idea on where he want would be crucial.

They find Draow, and they find this intruder...

“There is a thought I had, Rudy.” Penny said, snapping Rudy to attention. He looked at her expectantly. The three of them stopped, and Penny started to explain her idea. “There is...one way I can think of the intruder got passed the cameras outside, but not the ones on the inside. It’s...tricky. But if this intruder was as fast as the guards say he was, then I don’t doubt he could have pulled this off.”

“Turned the cameras off?” Snap asked.

Penny shook her head. “That would have alerted the guards. No, he did something else that covered his tracks, but kept himself from being discovered.”

A moment of silence, and Rudy said, “Well? What is it?”

“He could have covered the cameras with photographs.” Penny said. “If he was fast enough, and I don’t doubt he was, if the guards couldn’t even get a good look at him, then he could have somehow obtained photos of the area and placed them at just the right spot. He clearly had claws if he was able to tear that guy’s throw out.” She shuddered at the thought. “So he could have used his claws to scale the building and stay out of sight of the cameras. Then he could have placed pictures in front, taken in such a way that it looks like the camera is still recording what is going on outside the building.”

She paused, letting Rudy and Snap take this information in. Their eyes were wide with shock.

“With the cameras blocked this way, it would explain why, even if the intruder walked right in front of one, they didn’t detect him. This would also explain why, as soon as the intruder get in, the alarms went off. He didn’t have time to cover up those cameras, prompting him to attack swiftly.” Penny said. An anxious look was on her face. “That would surely explain why the guards didn’t see anything on the outside, no matter how hard they looked at the cameras.”

Rudy shuddered at this. The idea that the intruder was so fast and so smart that it could pull something off like this... He was truly going to be one nasty bad guy to deal with. It made him all the more worried about what he wanted. Would he even be able to find out in time? If this intruder was so intelligent, then what would happen if he found out too late, and he wasn’t able to do anything to stop him?

He glanced down at Snap. He looked just as horrified. He couldn’t blame him. This guy was starting to sound a little too much like Mr. Cosmo. That man had been a great planner, so precise. It took all they had to defeat him. To think they may have to deal with someone else like this...

A horrible thought entered Rudy’s mind. His face paled thinking about it. He didn’t want to think it could be true. He hoped that he was mistaken. But he couldn’t deny that it was a very real, terrifying possibility.

“Rudy?” Penny asked worriedly. “What’s wrong?”

“I just...thought of something...” Rudy said, his eyes wide with fear. He looked at his friends, who stared at him, waiting for him to say something. “What if this intruder...is one of Cosmo’s creations..?”

He had never seen color drain so fast from his two friends before.

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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 02:03:30 pm »
CHAPTER 5: A DANGEROUS COMBINATION-




Penny couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of it before. Why hadn’t she thought to find out if this intruder was one of Cosmo’s drawings? It would explain why he would go through all that trouble to free Draow. Same creator and all. And this drawing clearly had the same viciousness Cosmo displayed. And he had clearly thought things through with that escape, much like Mr. Cosmo and his well thought out plans.

The idea sent shivers down her spine, and she didn’t doubt that Rudy and Snap felt the same way. It was bad enough with Draow. The vicious bat wolf caused them enough problems. The last thing they needed was another vicious Cosmo drawing to worry about. It didn’t help that, even if they were correct about him being Cosmo’s, that still didn’t answer their question on what he was after. Revenge was a possibility, but they didn’t know for certain if that is what this intruder was planning.

They had to figure out, for certain, if this intruder was one of Cosmo’s. The best place she could think of to look was going to the Chalk Mine and talking to Biclops. He would probably recognize this intruder if they tell him the very little information that they know. It wasn’t much, but Biclops might be able to work with it. He had wrangled with Cosmo’s creations before. So surely, he’d be able to tell them more about this intruder...provided he turned out to be one of Cosmo’s that is. There was still that chance that he wasn’t connected to Cosmo in anyway.

And if that were the case, they’d be back to square one. As much as it frightens her that the intruder is Cosmo’s, she kinda hoped that it turned out to be the case. Because that means they would be a step closer to being able to deal with this intruder. They would have a better idea on what the intruder might want. It wouldn’t tell them exactly, but knowing the intruder’s identity was crucial in stopping whatever he and Draow were up to.

She was worried that Rudy might have been right. Maybe this intruder, regardless if he’s connected to Mr. Cosmo, did want something with them. Draow must be furious with his master’s defeat. He had been locked up because of them, and it’s been over a year. Draow might still hold a grudge, and might only be willing to work with the intruder if he had a chance at vengeance.

That did mean they would have to be careful. They had no idea where Draow or this intruder was. And so far, there hasn’t been any word from anyone on where they could have gone. Since they could be anywhere, Penny believed it would be safe to stay on their guard. Rudy and Snap surely wouldn’t disagree with her on that. If they were a part of this plan, they would have to be prepared. They wouldn’t know when or where they would strike. If there was one thing Penny was going to make sure to do, it is to avoid walking right into their plans, like how she and Rudy did with Mr. Cosmo.

Although she had told Rudy that they shouldn’t jump to conclusions about this intruder wanting something with them, she would be lying if she said she wasn’t concerned about that herself. True, there was the chance that the intruder wasn’t going to specifically target them. But why take the chance? Draow was involved with this guy, and if there was one thing she was certain of, Draow would want to come after them. Maybe not now. Maybe not tomorrow. But she was certain that he would come after them at some point. And even if he didn’t, they would still eventually cross paths with him, somehow, someway.

And this time, they wouldn’t have Tsere to help them. Draow’s attack over a year ago had done a lot more damage than previously thought. His wing was so badly damaged he wasn’t able to fly anymore. Tsere hadn’t been able to use his wing since the attack, his wing membrane torn to shreds. Rudy wanted to help Tsere, but by the time he had gotten word, Tsere was relocated to some rehab place in ChalkZone where he could being a long recovery. It was already paid for, so Tsere chose to stay rather than let Rudy help him.

It wasn’t out of any disrespect towards Rudy. Tsere just thought it wouldn’t be fair for his stay at the rehab to be paid for and him not using it. Though his membrane mostly healed up, he still couldn’t fly. The wing was a little weak from underuse and his new membrane was too thin for rigorous flying. The doctors there say he may not regain full use of his wing until another year at least.

They would be at a disadvantage without Tsere. He was the one zoner they knew who could not only take on Draow, but was also on the same level as him. Draow could fly and so could Tsere. The two were evenly matched. Without him, Draow had the advantage of sky. Though Rudy could easily draw them something they could fly with, that didn’t mean they’d get an edge over Draow. And there was that chance that Draow could catch them offguard, when there was little to no magic chalk for them to use.

The thought of having no magic chalk also frightened Penny. That was the advantage of being human in ChalkZone. Using the magic chalk to create anything they could ever want or need. There were still times when, even with the magic chalk, they’d still be struggling. But even so, facing danger in ChalkZone was made a little easier with the fact that she and Rudy could use magic chalk to draw things into existence.

But without it...she and Rudy would be just as vulnerable as any zoner. They would still have some advantages, such as the venom from the intruder not effecting them, since it would just chalk, but they would still be in a lot of danger. Going up against Draow without chalk would be suicide. He was so much larger than them and his jaws could crush bone. They wouldn’t stand much of a chance against him. Snap would be in the biggest trouble as he was the smallest of the three.

The very idea of having to face Draow and this intruder without magic chalk was a frightening thing. She recalled how helpless Rudy feels when he isn’t able to use his magic chalk to help him and others against a foe or some sort of danger. One moment in particular she remembers is when she had acted like she betrayed Rudy and joined Skrawl, back when he was still evil. She had defeated Rudy not by shere force. No, she did so...by making him use up the last bit of his chalk.

And when he had lost all of the chalk, he didn’t look like he had any fight left in him. Part of it, she knew it was because they were friends and he didn’t have the heart to fight against her. But she also knew there was another reason. It was because he was chalkless and defenseless. She remembered vividly how he looked at her in fear and sadness, and backed away when she got close. Even going as far as putting his hands in front of him in self defense.... She hardly ever sees him do that, and he did it because he knew he was at such a disadvantage.

Penny knew all too well what it was like to feel defenseless in ChalkZone. She rarely ever used the magic chalk. And Rudy is almost always the one to have it. So if she got separated from him, she’d be left to her own defenses. If a large and aggressive zoner were to show up, she would be incapable of fighting back efficiently.

It wasn’t impossible, sure, but still, having no magic chalk would create a lot of problems for them. It would leave them weak against Draow and this mysterious intruder. They could be captured and locked up some place where no one will find them. And who knows what would happen after that.

Penny then had a horrible thought, her mind flashing back to the intruder. Skrawl’s comment on the venom...he had only been partially right...

It was true that the venom’s effects wouldn’t hurt them. What happened to the guy’s arm wouldn’t happen to them. But..that didn’t mean the venom couldn’t hurt them still in someway... She hadn’t thought about it until now, but there were other factors to consider with this venom.

The first thing she recalled learning was its heat. This venom was very hot, which explained part of the damage done to that zoner’s arm. The venom was practically at a boiling level, and stored in a special pouch in this intruder’s mouth so he wouldn’t get hurt himself. The effects of the venom wouldn’t do anything to them, but the heat sure would. Having that stuff injected into them might not kill them, but it would leave a lot of internal burns.

And it wasn’t just the burns they had to worry about...

Having chalk inserted into their bodies would not have pleasant results either. Yes, the chalk would dissolve, but it wouldn’t disappear. The chalk would mix in with their blood, and it could potentially interfere with getting nutrients taken to where they need to go. It could also potentially lower oxygen levels in their bloodstream. This would result in them getting tired and their brain slowly starved of oxygen.

So Skrawl was partially wrong. They may not have to worry about their limbs bursting off, but she and Rudy still had to fear the venom. They weren’t completely safe from it. Both of them could be weakened by it. And if they were weakened by it, what chance did they stand against him and Draow then?

And then there was Snap. He was a zoner, so he would get the full effects of the venom. And since there was no known antidote for it, if Snap got bitten... She felt her heart clench as she imagined the results. Snap was so much smaller than that guard... He would get a far worse reaction. There would be a lot more damage done before he was violently killed... She and Rudy would both have to make sure Snap is safe from this intruder’s venom.

Perhaps if she did some more research, she could find some kind of antivenom. There was so little known about this venom, but a little reading wouldn’t hurt. Maybe someone, somewhere, had written something about it. Or if she could get a sample of the venom, maybe she could analyze it and come up with an antivenom. It would be difficult to do, especially since it wasn’t in her field, but for Snap’s safety and the safety of the other zoners, she felt it was worth the hard work.

Penny was taken out of her thoughts when she heard the sound of Biclops singing. She, Rudy, and Snap stopped in their tracks. They stood not far from the river that curved around the Magic Chalk Mine. Up ahead, they could see a shadow forming on the ground. It was so large they knew it could only be one zoner. And that was Biclops.

Seconds later, they could see Biclops coming out of the Chalk Mine, carrying some pieces of rotting chalk in a wheelbarrow. He pushed it along the side of the river, whistling to himself. He hadn’t noticed them as he started walking in their direction.

Seeing the Chalk Mine reminded Penny of all the damage that was done to it with the real world water. Rudy had been able to repair the damage, though it took a while. A lot of the normal white chalk was destroyed, but Biclops informed them the numbers would increase with time. After the damage on the grounds and walls were repaired, Biclops went to clean up the remaining mess and to gather all broke pieces of chalk that remained in tact and gave them to Rudy.

Rudy was the first one to speak.

“Hey! Biclops!”

To get his attention, Rudy waved his arms back and forth. Biclops took notice of them and stopped the wheelbarrow. He set it down and took a few steps towards the teenagers.

“Rudy Tabootie? What are you doing here?” Biclops asked. “Do you need some more magic chalk? I’m doing some spring cleaning right now, but you...”

Rudy shook his head. “No. We came to talk to you about something.”

Biclops said, “Oh? Well can’t it wait? I’m a little busy right now.”

“It’s...urgent.” Rudy said, putting emphasis on the word ëurgent’.

Biclops’s eyes went a little wide. Penny had a feeling he was thinking of the last time they spoke to him about something serious. Biclops had been utterly horrified when he heard the name Mr. Cosmo. She wouldn’t be surprised if he was worried that they were going to say he somehow came back from the dead or something.

“How urgent?” Biclops asked hesitantly.

“Have you heard of what happened?” Rudy asked. When the giant didn’t answer, he continued. “Someone broke Draow out of prison.”

At this, Biclops gasped and took a step back. His eyes grew large. He shook his head in disbelief. “What? No, I haven’t heard... How...long ago was this?”

Penny said, “Very recent. There was an attack on the jail he was contained in, and the intruder specifically broke him out. He didn’t bother with the other criminals. He only wanted Draow.”

It was clear Biclops understood how serious this was. He knew Draow longer than they have. He was there when he was created. He was there, witnessing all the damage the bat wolf caused years ago, before they were even born. And he, himself, had fought against Draow before. He knows how vicious and vile he can be.

“Do you know who did it?” Biclops asked.

Rudy shook his head regretfully. “I’m sorry, Biclops. We don’t have any idea who might have done it. Or even for what reason.”

“I mean, we have ideas...but without knowing who this intruder is, we’re left in the dark.” Penny said. “Nobody even knows where they went. They hadn’t been spotted since the breakout.”

Snap nodded his head. “Yeah, we were hoping you might be able to shed some light on this.”

Biclops tilted his head in confusion. “Me? What can I do to help?”

“Can you tell us if you know of any Cosmo’s creations that would be very smart and fast who might be capable of bypassing security? And happens to possess a very potent venom?” Rudy asked, taking a step towards the giant.

Biclops remained quiet for a few seconds. He stared at Rudy, Penny, and Snap. Penny wasn’t sure why he was taking so long to respond. Was it because of the shock that Draow was out? Was he trying to remember if he knew of any zoners like that? Was he upset by something they had said?

Soon, the giant did speak, but it wasn’t the answer they had been hoping for.

“No, I don’t. Not off the top of my head.” Biclops said, pointing at his head to emphasize. “And I don’t think this intruder is one of Mr. Cosmo’s creations.”

Rudy, Penny, and Snap were in shock. Well a mixture of shock and relief. It was a relief knowing that they might not be dealing with another of Cosmo’s monstrosities. But it was still a shock because that meant that they were no closer to learning who this intruder was. It meant they really were back to square one, where they started.

Penny said, “Are you...absolutely sure?”

Biclops nodded his head once. “I am very certain. After Mr. Cosmo’s defeat, I went all across ChalkZone to locate his drawings. It took me a while, but I rounded them all up. I didn’t miss any, far as I know.” He paused for a moment, then said, “And even if I did miss any, Mr. Cosmo had never created a speedy, venomous creature before. I don’t think it was his style. Most of the stuff he created was weaponry, particularly cannons. I don’t know if a venomous zoner would be something he would want to make.”

“I’m not so sure about that.” Penny protested. “He was an awful person. A venomous beast would be something he’d create, I would think, just to prolong suffering. I figured some things about this venom, and it does sound like something he would use.”

Biclops shook his head. “While you could be correct, Penny Sanchez, and Mr. Cosmo might have taken interest in a venomous zoner. But I searched all over ChalkZone and never found any of his creations that fit that description. And he has been dead for over a year now. Unless he crawled out of his grave, there’s no chance that any new Cosmo drawings could show up.”

There was a moment of silence as the trio let this sink in.

“Well that is a relief.” Snap said. “I don’t know if I want to meet any other...creation...Cosmo would have come up with.” He visibly shuddered, his mind obviously on Draow.

“But we’re still no step closer into figuring out who this guy is.” Rudy said. He sounded disappointed. “I...thought I had something...”

Penny understood how he was feeling. She was disappointed, too. It meant that they had gotten no step closer to finding out who the intruder is. If he wasn’t a creation of Mr. Cosmo, why had he gone out of his way to break Draow out? Why would he possibly be interested in going after them? If he wasn’t one of Cosmo’s works, then they had no idea why they could be targeted, or why the intruder would risk working with Draow to achieve this. They were no closer to figuring out what this guy goal was.

If they didn’t know what his goal was, it would be harder to stop him. They were stuck with no leads. No clues as to what might happen. All they know is that some dangerous intruder freed a dangerous criminal for an unknown purpose. They wouldn’t know where they’d strike next. They had no clue which way they went. Any zoner that was questioned so far by Skrawl’s police force haven’t seen anything useful. It was like the intruder, or Draow, knew which path to take to avoid detection.

“Well now what?” Snap asked.

“Well I guess we’ll have to do some questioning of our own.” Rudy said.

Penny had some doubts about that. “But, Rudy. Skrawl and his men have already tried asking some zoners. Nobody saw anything. And they asked so many... What makes you think that we can get different answers?”

Rudy turned to her. “Because we’ll ask zoners in areas Skrawl hasn’t searched yet. Further away from the crime scene. Maybe someone in these parts had seen Draow.”

Rudy did have a good point. Skrawl had only been asking around in areas close to the jail. He hadn’t thought to spread out more. She guessed he just wanted to be as thorough as possible. He wouldn’t branch out until he asked every single zoner in the immediate vicinity.

Maybe they could have better luck than him if they asked zoners outside the areas Skrawl had already searched. If someone knew something, anything, even something very small, it could help them. She just had to remember that they still had to be careful with Skrawl. He wouldn’t be happy if he found out they were meddling in his case. She wished he would be more cooperative. Oh well, typical Skrawl. Even as a good guy, he was hard to work with.

“Come on, let’s go.” Rudy said, ushering Penny and Snap to follow him. He waved to Biclops. “Thanks anyway, Biclops!”

The trio started to walk away. They didn’t get too far when they heard the giant rushing towards them.

“Wait!”

Rudy, Penny, and Snap stopped and turned around. Biclops came to a stop a few feet away from them. They wondered what he was going to say. And judging from the look on his face, there was a bit of an alarm to it. Whatever he had to say, it must be important.

“I just remembered something!” Biclops said, raising his hands up in the air. “Before Mr. Wilter stepped up, Mr. Cosmo had talked about creating a hybrid zoner.”

“A hybrid zoner?” Rudy asked, his eyes widening.

Biclops replied, “Yeah! He never got the chance...or so I thought. I never came across any such hybrid, and I don’t know if Cosmo was the only corrupted artist who thought of the idea.”

“What’s a hybrid zoner?” Penny asked. She had never heard of the term before.

“You see, Mr. Cosmo knew of the instability of red chalk. Although he created it, he hadn’t been able to figure out a way to ensure the red chalk doesn’t turn against its user. It was too wild. He needed a way to keep it calm, more obedient. So he had thought of combining it with white chalk, giving it a higher level of intellect and sentience like any white chalk creation, but it would also keep the same ferocity that red chalk creations have. It would be a dangerous combination.”

Rudy gasped and took a step back. Snap’s eyes widened. Penny put a hand to her mouth in horror.

“So what you’re saying is...” Rudy started to say. He wanted to continue, but he couldn’t bring himself to continue more.

“That maybe you guys are right and it is one of Cosmo’s creations. But it could be a creation I had not seen him complete. Or maybe someone else completed it for him, maybe another corrupted artist. This zoner could be a fusion of white and red chalk. And if that’s the case..” Biclops paused, biting his lip for a second. “You’ll be dealing with a red chalk drawing that will be more cunning than any other red chalk creation you faced in the past.”

Penny’s eyes grew large at this. She felt her heart start to pound. A red chalk drawing with the control and sentience of white chalk? That was worse than she and her friends could have imagined. They never knew hybrid drawings were possible, and if that is what is running loose in ChalkZone...

She cast a worried glance at her friends. They looked her, their expressions anxious. They all knew how dangerous red chalk was. Anything drawn in red chalk is more vile than any white chalk drawing, even if they were already nasty to begin with. This would explain, partially, why Draow would listen to this guy. Draow was outmatched in ferocity by the intruder, if the intruder really is part red chalk.

Now, more than ever, they had to figure out who this guy was. They had to warn Skrawl and every other citizen out there. If there was the potential of a red and white chalk drawing out there, then they had much less time than they thought to stop him.

They had to hurry.

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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 06:53:08 pm »
CHAPTER 6: TRYING TO FIND ANSWERS-




Snap wasn’t surprised by what happened when they had reached Skrawl’s jail.

They had decided to go there right away to inform Skrawl of what they found out. They all knew it was important that everyone recieved word, and they felt Skrawl was the best person to talk to first, since he was head of one of the most secure jails in ChalkZone. He had a good number of weaponry that can be used to fight against this intruder if need be...provided that they would be quick enough.

Snap knew that Skrawl was not going to be happy when he would learn they didn’t stay out of the case like he told them to. It did annoy Snap how Skrawl seemed to care so much about keeping up his reputation that he would reject help so readily. He knows that Rudy could be a big help to him, but he is still on his ëI’ll do thing on my own’ mindset. And now was the worst of times to be thinking like that.

They arrived at the jail while Skrawl just got back from his break. He was about to resume his shift when he had taken notice to Rudy, Penny, and Snap approaching. And no surprise, he didn’t look happy to see them. He had assumed they were coming back to look at the scene of the crime again. And Skrawl was fully prepared to keep them out by any means necessary, including force.

While they had wanted to look at the crime scene again, to see if they had missed anything, that isn’t what they came for that time. It had taken a little while before Rudy convinced Skrawl to listen to what they were going to say.

That was when Rudy explained to Skrawl what happened. He had no choice but to tell the jellybean the truth. He had to admit to him that, despite what they were told, they still went ahead to try to figure out more information about this intruder. He told Skrawl that Penny was able to learn more about the venom, and explained its properties to him. He told Skrawl about what Biclops had said about the intruder possibly being a hybrid of red and white chalk.

Rudy had made sure to stress how dangerous this zoner is if it is a combination of red and white chalk. It would have the intelligence and control of a white chalk drawing, but it would be fused with the ferocity of red chalk. Skrawl had encountered a red chalk drawing at least once before, so he was well aware of how dangerous red chalk was. This zoner had the potential of being far more dangerous than Draow, and combined with the venom, Skrawl didn’t have a hard time believing that.

But Skrawl still didn’t take the news of Rudy and his friends interfering with his case. And Snap couldn’t be surprised even if he had tried.

“I can’t believe you completely disregarded my order, Master Tabootie!” Skrawl snarled. He advanced on Rudy, clutching his left claws together into a fist. “I told you to stay out of it!”

Rudy backed up away from the angry jellybean, holding his hands out in defense, like he expected Skrawl to strike him. “I know, but Skrawl...we dealt with Draow before too! I don’t know why you won’t at least consider letting us help. And if we hadn’t gone to get information, you never would have...”

Skrawl cut him off. “I am going to handle this myself, artist boy! And besides, it’s too dangerous for you. Draow could care less about me, but you...as soon as he sees you, he will tear you apart. It is best if you stay far away from this case.”

Snap couldn’t help but smirk at this. “Aww you really do care about us.”

Skrawl shot him a look. “Shut up!”

Snap reacted only with a smile. Skrawl would never admit it. But he did care about their safety. He just would never admit it. And if he did show any act of softness or kindness, he’d demand that they never tell anyone. He didn’t want to lose his reputation as being an aggressive no-nonsense zoner. He didn’t want anyone in ChalkZone to think that he had gone soft. He felt he would lose his control that way.

It had taken Snap a while to get used to Skrawl being a, for a lack of a better term, good guy. He wasn’t sure if he could call him that, as he still retained his hostile personality. He was as stubborn as ever, and still had personality traits that he showed when he was a full on villain. If Snap could say anything about Skrawl, it was that he was in the grey area. Not really evil anymore, but still not entirely good. He still had a long ways to go with his attitude. But hey, at least it’s a start.

Snap still had that plushie that Skrawl and his Beanie Boys had given him. In the past, this would have been an insult to him. Snap recalled how Spy Fly was able to get inside Skrawl’s hideout and he learned that the Beanie Boys used plushies of him as target practice, and called them ëdummies’. He had been furious at that, but luckily he had managed to cool himself down before his anger got the better of him. Although he was lucky he didn’t give himself away, it still ended badly for him when Spy Fly was found and Skrawl chased him out of the studio.

But the dummy..no..plushie that he had gotten when he was at the hospital, it didn’t offend him. It wasn’t given to him to taunt him. It was given to him because Skrawl, even if he didn’t admit it, had genuinely started to care about him, even if just a little. He didn’t want anyone to spread the word of what he did, so not many zoners knew of how he got the plushie or where. Snap did appreciate the gesture, even if it did come from Skrawl, and he kept the plushie in a safe place.

Snap frowned as his mind went back to the possibility of a hybrid zoner. He had never heard of such a thing before. He had thought it was possible, since drawings didn’t come to life or materialize until the artist had intended them to be finished. Yet the thought of just what it meant never crossed his mind before. He hadn’t realized that the main powers of two types of chalk could combine into one zoner.

The thought was frightening. There were other types of chalk out there, too. A whole host of combinations was possible. And what chilled him more was the fact that most of the chalk, he had no idea what their powers were. He only knew of white, red, and black chalk capabilities. But others, such as purple, green, orange, blue, those he had no idea what they were capable of. He didn’t know if any of them had powers that were far more dangerous than red or black.

“With all due respect, sir...” A warden said. The trio wondered where he came from. They hadn’t heard him approaching earlier. “Things might go easier if we cooperated. These kids might be able to help us.”

Skrawl narrowed his mismatched eyes at the warden. “Who asked you?!” He raised his hand in a striking pose. “Now get back to your post!”

The warden nodded his head frantically. “Y-Yes sir...” He turned and bolted in the opposite direction.

Skrawl looked at a few wardens who had witnessed what had happened. He bared his teeth at them, a clear warning that no more of them were to interfere with his talk. The wardens backed away and went about their business.

Snap shook his head. It was no wonder these wardens didn’t like Skrawl too much. He almost never listened to anyone else’s plans. He only cared about what he thought, and if he decided a course of action wasn’t good enough, he wouldn’t take it. And then he would take it out on his wardens. Typical Skrawl. Some things just don’t change.

“You know, he did make a good point, Skrawl.” Penny said. Although Skrawl still looked furious, Penny didn’t seem bothered by it. She had taken a step closer to him, showing how unafraid she was of Skrawl. “We’d get more done if you would just listen, and cooperate with us. Your whole ëI will do this alone’ attitude is going to slow everything down, and by the time you find Draow, he would have already caused a lot of destruction, especially if he is paired up with an even more dangerous zoner! So for once in your life, can’t you just listen?!”

“Why should I?” Skrawl said, advancing on her. “Give me one good reason why I should allow you three to be a part of this investigation.”

“Oh I’ll give you a good reason...” Penny smirked.

Penny got closer to Skrawl. She gestured for him to lean forward. She cupped her hand and whispered something into his ear. After a few seconds, his eyes wide wide. He stared at Penny in shock. That soon melted away into fury. He let out a loud growl of frustration and looked like he was about to strike her. He managed to stop himself, and chose instead to turn his back on her.

Rudy and Snap stared at each other. Snap knew Rudy was thinking the same as him. Just what had Penny said to anger Skrawl so much? And how would this help convince the jellybean to change his mind?

There was silence for a time. The other workers in the jail stared, wondering what was going on. There were nervous whispers. Some wardens were scared that Skrawl was going to snap. They whispered to the girl to get away. Skrawl was looking angrier by the second. But Penny still held her ground, her arms crossed against her chest.

Finally Skrawl replied, his voice seeping through his yellow, clenched teeth. “..okay fine...” His voice was filled with bitterness. It was clear he was not happy to concede to Penny.

Yet, even he knew that Penny spoke the truth. Even Skrawl had to realize that the investigation didn’t kick off the ground as much as it should have, and all because of his obsession with ëredeeming his reputation’.

Skrawl shot the trio a harsh glare. Then his expression relaxede just a tad. “You can help...if that is your desire, if you three really can’t stay out of this, then fine. I’ll let you aid me and my boys in the investigation...”

Penny smiled and said, “There, that wasn’t so hard, now was it?”

Skrawl grumbled in response. “Whatever...”

Skrawl walked away from the group. Snap wondered what he was going to do next. He still didn’t look happy. But whatever Penny had said, it was clear Skrawl wasn’t going to mess around with it. He hadn’t known Penny to be the blackmailing type, but considering how dire the situation was, he couldn’t bring himself to be at all surprised about it. Draow and this intruder had to be stopped at all costs.

The jellybean went over to his desk. He pulled out the drawer. He flipped through the material until he found the folder he was looking for. He yanked it out. He walked over to Rudy, Penny, and Snap, gripping the folder tightly in his claws. He went up to Rudy and shoved the folder into his hands. Rudy glanced at it, a confused look on his face.

Before anyone asked, Skrawl spoke.

Pointing at the folder, Skrawl said, “That folder right there contains some very old notes left behind by none other than Mr. Cosmo, back when he was a child. None of them will help in this case, except for one, which we believe to be a password. You three aren’t the only ones who thought Mr. Cosmo might have a connection in this case, somehow.”

Rudy, Penny, and Snap looked at each other. Then they glanced at the notes. It felt kinda weird to be holding something containing notes written by their old enemy. Snap wasn’t sure if he wanted to read the things this madman had wrote. At least the notes were from before he was created. He shuddered to think of what he would have written about his treatment of him. Snap’s whole body ached at the memory.

“Now, I would do it myself, or send my Beanie Boys, but the problem is, this password most likely belonged to a computer outside this place. The ink used for the password appears to be newer, so Mr. Cosmo must have written it recently, when he paid a brief visit to ChalkZone. The exact time frame, we cannot be sure of. But what I am absolutely sure of is that this computer is located in his hideout, where we were all trapped.”

Horrible memories came flooding back to Snap. All the pain came rushing at him. Even though he was not hurt anymore, his body still reacted to what happened. He could feel the nail in his head again, the electricity coursing through his body, Draow’s claws slicing into his back...

Rudy and Penny didn’t look any better either. They both remembered what it was like being Cosmo’s prisoners. They recalled how it felt being trapped in a maze that only Cosmo knew how to navigate properly. They were like mice in a maze, and all the walls were poison. Traps were everywhere. They all had been lucky to escape with their lives.

Skrawl continued, “I want you three to go to Mr. Cosmo’s old place of residence. Since he is gone, you don’t need to worry about him anymore. From what you told me, some of his real world equipment still stands. Go through any computer you can find, and try to find something that is password protected. Find out what it says, and report back to me as soon as you can.”

“Okay, Skrawl, will do!” Rudy said, giving the jellybean a nod. “You can count on us.”

The three of them walked out of the jail. Now that they had an idea of what to do, they wanted to act on it as soon as possible. The idea of going to Cosmo’s hideout wasn’t something they were expecting. Yet it was inevitable. If this zoner was, somehow, connected to Mr. Cosmo, they couldn’t just ignore his base, which may have a lot of clues to help them discover who this mysterious intruder is.

As they walked away, Rudy and Snap’s curiosity started to get the better of them. They both really wanted to know how Penny managed to get Skrawl to change his mind. When they were far enough away, out of earshot of Skrawl, they decided to ask.

“Say, how did you convince Skrawl to let us join the investigation?” Rudy asked.

“Yeah, don’t leave us in the dark.” Snap said. “What did you do?”

Penny stared at them for a second before a sly smile spread across her face. “Oh I told him that if he didn’t let us help, I was going to tell everyone of the time that he made a cute plushie of himself. He is so determined to forget that, so desperate for no one to find out, that he’d do anything to keep it a secret.” She let out a chuckle. “Even let us help him, even though he clearly doesn’t want our assistance.”

Rudy and Snap stared at each other.

“Skrawl has what?” Rudy asked, confused.

Snap was just as shocked. “He did what? And how did you find this out?”

Penny giggled. “Well let’s just say I have my ways.” She stopped in her tracks for a moment. She turned to Rudy and Snap and said, “Now keep this in mind. I did not like the idea of forcing him to accept our help in that way. But you guys know as much as I do how dangerous Draow is, and how much the search for him had slowed down because he wouldn’t accept our help. So, since he wouldn’t listen to reason, I had to blackmail him. I’m not proud of it, but at least we can finally help and Skrawl won’t be on our backs anymore.”

“Yeah I guess you are right.” Rudy said. He narrowed his eyes as he glanced down at the folder. “Come on, let’s get started.”

sss

It wasn’t too hard getting into Mr. Cosmo’s old base. They knew of a secret way in, out of the way of most workers. So sneaking in wasn’t a problem. Plus, the studio still didn’t really use these lower levels, so everything was the way it was when they had finished erasing all of Cosmo’s work.

Rudy felt a cold chill as he walked into the old place. It wasn’t as difficult to navigate now that the stuff Cosmo and the controlled zoners built was gone. No longer was there a maze to navigate. Yet, even with all the stuff gone, he felt very uncomfortable being here. If there was a place that would make him feel at unease, any place whose appearance felt cold and sharp, it was this place.

He looked down the empty hallways. Although it was now as regular as any old joint, he could still see visions of how it looked when Mr. Cosmo was alive. He could see the twisted tunnels they had to navigate, the hexagon shaped entrances. He could hear the hideous machinery running in the background, feeling it rumble the ground. And with every step, he kept thinking the electrified water bars would pop out of nowhere, trapping him and his friends.

The memories of what happened to him and his friends was fresh on his mind. He kept wanting to look over his shoulder to make sure Draow wasn’t charging at them. At every corner, he kept looking left and right to make sure Mr. Cosmo wasn’t hiding. He could see that his friends looked just as worried and apprehensive as him. Even with Mr. Cosmo gone, his memory still haunted them. They still expected him to be right around the corner, ready to strike out when they least expected it.

Snap’s wails of pain seemed to echo down the halls. The sound of his whimpers, pleas for mercy, Rudy could hear it all. His mind flashed several times, showing him the images of what he had seen done to Snap. A few times, he thought of what might have happened to him while he wasn’t there. He could see Snap’s face contorted into pain in his mind. And he saw Mr. Cosmo standing over him, his eyes glowing an eerie red, before he struck down.

Rudy shook his head, trying to get those thoughts out of his mind. Mr. Cosmo was gone. He kept repeating this to himself. He was gone, and he can’t hurt him anymore. They weren’t going to run into him ever again. He had paid the ultimate price for all the evil he had done. Never again will he be able to harm ChalkZone or any zoner or any person. This might be his base, but they were completely safe now. He kept reminding himself of that fact.

With all of Mr. Cosmo’s equipment erased, Rudy knew there were only a few places where they would be able to find computers. He wasn’t sure how many of them still worked or even if Cosmo used them at all. But he knew that they couldn’t afford overlooking anything, no matter how unimportant it might seem or how little sense it might make.

He knew of one particular room that had a computer in it. It had looked pretty old, but last he recalled, it did still at least turn on. He didn’t do anything with it because it didn’t seem like it was a part of anything dangerous. He was glad he didn’t destroy that computer. Maybe it is the one that holds something password protected. And hopefully, that something would help them out.

Snap looked around the place nervously. “I really don’t like being here...”

Penny crossed her arms against her chest and rubbed her hands along her arms as if a cold wind just blew in. “Yeah. This place gives me the creeps.. I never thought this place would feel...spookier without Mr. Cosmo around...”

Rudy didn’t blame his friends for being so afraid. They all had suffered here, Snap most of all. They all were injured, all tormented by this madman. They all thought they would never get out. The idea of coming back here willingly...it was not a pleasant feeling.

But even they understood that they had no choice. Mr. Cosmo might have a file somewhere that would help them identify this intruder. Maybe he kept records of this creature somewhere, maybe even information on how to contain him. Mr. Cosmo would want to be able to control something like this, so surely he would have wrote something down on how to do so.

Rudy’s mind filled with fear when he realized there was another possibility they hadn’t even considered. What if Mr. Cosmo never learned how to control the beast? What if his experiment to control red chalk drawings had failed miserably, and he had to lock the zoner away because he was out of control? The thought scared Rudy. If even Cosmo had no way of controlling this intruder, no way to stop him...

“Hey Rudy, I found that computer you told me about.” Penny said, cutting Rudy out of his thoughts.

Indeed, they had arrived at the room Rudy mentioned. The door was off its hinge, tilted diagonally at the side. When the lightswitch was flipped on, there was only a single lightbulb hanging overhead. The light was kinda dim, but it was enough to see what the room looked like.

Cobwebs were everywhere, clinging to the walls and giving the appearance of a white sheet. Dust covered the desks, the computers, and the various materials scattered in the room, mostly books, pencils, and folders. The computer was very old, made apparrent by the CRT monitor. The keyboard keys looked worn and it was hard to see the letters. The mouse was on its side and they could see it was one of the really old ball ones.

Penny went over to the chair and brushed the dust off. She found the power button and she turned the computer on. It took a few minutes to fully load up, and once the computer crashed during the load up and had to check the file system to make sure everything was okay. Then the logo appeared, the computer made a ding sound to let the user know it was fully booted and they were greeted with what was clearly an outdated operating system.

But after a few minutes of searching through the folders, Penny was not able to find anything of interest. Most of what she found were just music files and to do lists that were closer to grocery shopping lists than anything to do with ChalkZone.

Finally, Penny stopped searching and turned to Rudy and Snap. “I’m not finding anything, you guys. I don’t know if this computer even has any sensitive data on it. We might as well try to see if there’s another computer here.”

Rudy was disappointed. Then again, he couldn’t be too surprised. It would have been wishful thinking to believe that the first computer they find would have anything on it.

“Okay. There is another computer I...” Rudy was cut off when Snap brushed up passed him and towards the computer. “Snap, what are you doing?”

“I thought I saw something...” Snap pushed himself against Penny as he tried to get a better look. His round hand pushed against the mouse and he moved the cursor to a folder in the corner on the desktop labeled simply as ëlists’.

“Snap, I already looked there.” Penny said. She attempted to regain control of the mouse. “Now will you...”

“Wait Penny! There is one file you didn’t look at!” Snap cried. When the folder popped up, he moved the cursor over to a file simply called ëwarning’. Cursor hovering of it, they were able to tell the file dated back to when they were first trapped in this horrible place. He looked at her and said, “See? You didn’t look at that file.”

Penny blinked, staring at the file in shock. “I..have no idea how I missed that one...”

“Open it, Penny!” Rudy said. “Maybe this file will tell us something...”

Penny double clicked the file. A video player started to open. They waited for the video to play, but instead it froze. A small window popped up, asking for a password. Rudy’s eyes widened. Was this...could this be what the password was for? Could they have managed to find what they were looking for?

Heart beginning to pound, he turned to Penny and said with great urgency, “Enter the password! Now!”

He handed her the paper that contained the password. Swiftly, Penny typed it into the box and pressed Okay. The window disappeared. Then the video player started to load back up again. It took a little while, and they guessed it was because of how old the computer was.

Then the file fully loaded up. And as it began to play, they were taken aback at who they saw on the old video.

It was Ms. Saffron.

DarkWolf91

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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 01:17:55 pm »
Sorry it took me so long to catch up, crazy week :smile
Wow! So much mystery, I'm liking it a lot so far :yes


DarkHououmon

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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 02:30:51 pm »
CHAPTER 7: HER FINAL TRANSMISSION-



Rudy couldn’t believe it. This wasn’t what he had been expecting. If this was Mr. Cosmo’s password, why would Ms. Saffron be on the video? Unless she was given the same password... Still, he had a hard time believing that it was Ms. Saffron they were looking at.

It felt...so odd to see her again after over a year and a half. And alive at that. It was just a prerecorded video, but he still couldn’t fight off the strange sensation he felt. Memories of her death came flooding back to him, and the old feeling of guilt, what he had managed to fight off with the help of his friends, came back to him. To see her again, alive and..not dead...it was hard for him to describe the feeling.

Penny and Snap looked as surprised as he was. From their expressions, he could easily determine that they had not expected Ms. Saffron to be on the video. They all thought it was going to be Mr. Cosmo, gloating about some experiment he completed. The one thing they hadn’t thought would happen was for Ms. Saffron to leave this video.

Then again, that would explain why it was called ëwarning’... He doubted Mr. Cosmo would be generous enough to entitle a file as such. He had to wonder, when did Ms. Saffron have the time to make this video? And just how was it intended for? He figured the answer would be given when he and his friends watched more of the video.

So far, the first ten seconds or so was silent. Ms. Saffron looked very worried. Her eyebrows were raised up in anxiety. She was looking left and right, as if making sure that the coast was clear. Penny made a quiet comment that she must have done the video when she was sabotaging the security, and she was worried Mr. Cosmo was going to show up any minute.

After looking left and right again, Ms. Saffron turned to the camera. She reached forward and adjusted the webcam that was apparently mounted on the computer at the time. She leaned back in her chair and interlocked her fingers. She bit her lip and took in a deep breath.

And when she started speaking, it sent an uncomfortable feeling through their stomachs. Hearing her voice again after so slong... They tried to ignore the feeling and paid attention to the video.

“This message has been recorded and left behind for three people. Rudy. Penny. Snap. I am going to assume that you won’t find this until much later on, which is understandable, given all that has happened lately. Today’s date, when I recorded this, is August 20 at 4:30 PM.”

Rudy and his friends looked at each other. Ms. Saffron had left them a video message? Why? Judging from the time, this video was recorded, like Penny said, when she was still sabotaging the security cameras. It was about half an hour before she showed up to help Penny with Snap. Was there a reason she didn’t say anything?

It was almost like Ms. Saffron on the video heard them, for she did answer their question.

“I understand you three might be wondering why I didn’t give you this message before. There is a good reason for it. I wouldn’t have had time to explain. There was so much going on, and to add this onto it all... It would have complicated things too much.” She frowned in concern. “I didn’t want to slow down things for Snap...he...he really needs help... But if there’s one thing I learned...” She gave a small smile. “..it’s that you three don’t give up. So I am going to assume that he made it.”

Ms. Saffron smile only lasted a few seconds. Something was clearly on her mind, and she knew she didn’t have much time to talk about it. Again, she looked around to make sure she was still alone. Whether she was looking for Mr. Cosmo or any of the controlled zoners, they weren’t sure.

Ms. Saffron narrowed her eyes slightly. “When I was looking through Mr. Cosmo’s files...I found something disturbing. It wouldn’t have affected you at the time I made this video, adding to my reason why I didn’t mention it. And I know...keeping secrets is not a good thing... That is why I left this video for you three to find. Anyway, in one of Mr. Cosmo’s files, he detailed about a zoner I hadn’t heard of before. Well that’s not saying much given that I didn’t get to know a lot of zoners personally...except Snap and...Draow...”

The mention of Draow’s name sent shivers through Rudy’s spine. Penny looked uneasy as well, and Snap had taken a small step back. Rudy could see he was touching his back, as if he expected Draow to attack him there.

“Apparently, when Mr. Cosmo was a child, he had been trying to create a chalk that would make the perfect zoners. You and I all know that his idea of a ëperfect zoner’ would be one that was ferocious and totally obedient. He had already tried with red chalk. But red chalk...from what he detailed, it turns against its owner quickly, as soon as it detects what it sees as weakness. Mr. Cosmo admits the red chalk was a failure, a mistake. The only thing he is pleased with it is the fact that anything created with red chalk, even as smile as a ball or line, is evil and attacks on sight. He liked that ferocity...but he didn’t like that he coudn’t completely control it. So...he thought of a solution.”

Biclops’s words came flooding back to Rudy. He looked at his friends worriedly. Could he have been right? Was there...was there truly a hybrid zoner out there?

There was only one way to find out. Though clearly afraid of what they might find, the trio watched the video, morbid curiosity rising up inside of them.

“Although Mr. Cosmo hated the normal white chalk, he wasn’t stupid. He did realize that white chalk drawings had a lot more self control. In fact, that’s the chalk’s main power. Creating things that have the ability to tell right from wrong pretty easily, and being able to stop themselves. That is why white chalk is most common, at least that’s what Mr. Cosmo theorizes. I...think you know what I am about to say next...”

Ms. Saffron looked scared. It was clear whatever she found, it wasn’t good news. She hesitated, gritting her teeth in anxiety. It seemed to take all her will power to talk more.

“Mr. Cosmo knew that if he somehow could mix the powers of the two types of chalk, the red and white... He could potentially create a zoner that did have self control but also had the ferocity associated with red chalk. This combination would, if it were successful, would have allowed Mr. Cosmo to create a...a hybrid zoner as he says. And he thought about all this when he was a kid.”

Rudy’s breathing started to quicken. So Biclops was right... They could be dealing with a hybrid zoner...

“However, according to his notes, it wasn’t entirely a success. He had created one zoner with red and white chalk, but he didn’t think his theory through very well. The zoner he had ended up creating was one with a severe split personality. It would be happy and cheerful one minute, and then destructive the next.”

Rudy winced at this. It reminded him of the robot he and Penny created. It had been erased into ChalkZone without a purpose. Due to that, it had a split personlity, much like how Ms. Saffron described. It would randomly do harm and good, with no way to predict what he was going to do.

He looked at his friends. They clearly remembered the robot. Although the robot was under control now, memories of how the robot nearly killed all of them were fresh on their minds. Rudy swore to never erase anything again until it had some kind of purpose. He didn’t want another Robot Rudy incident like that.

Ms. Saffron continued her talk, “He had erased the zoner with real world water..” She gave a shudder, clearly uncomfortable with the thought. “He didn’t try to do anything with the mixing of two chalks for years. And as I looked through his notes, it was almost like he had stopped on the idea after the failure of the first one. But...I was wrong...” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “He didn’t quit on it...he waited because he wanted to learn more, and then he got smart about it. You see, the first time, he had tried using white chalk to draw part of the drawing, and then red chalk for the other. This resulted in the two parts battling against each other for dominance, resulting in the split personality..”

Ms. Saffron paused to look again. She was looking more and more nervous as time passed. She looked back at the camera and said, “So instead, he created a new type of chalk... He only created one. And he only created two zoners with it. He had...put that experiment aside for...something else...” She gave a sympathetic expression to the camera. “I trust you three know what I’m talking about.”

Rudy, Penny, and Snap looked at each other, nodding their heads once as if they thought that Ms. Saffron would see their answer. Mr. Cosmo was preoccupied with Snap at the time. He must have felt that bringing Rudy over to his side was more important than his hybrid zoner experiment.

Rudy felt a little bit of relief that Mr. Cosmo decided not to focus so much on the hybrid zoner plan. Yet, a feeling of dread told him that they weren’t out of the woods. Something...must have happened...

“This chalk looked much like a candy cane, with white and red stripes swirling around it. He created two zoners with it. Knowing that the powers of magic chalk do transfer...to explain, if a red chalk drawing were created in the real world, when erased, it would be evil. Now it has to be genuine red chalk, not the normal real world kind.” Ms. Saffron leaned forward in her seat. “Now what I’m going to tell you next is very important, so listen very carefully.”

The trio leaned in instinctively.

“The first hybrid zoner created this way...didn’t work out for him. Make no mistake, the result was what he wanted. The zoner did have the tenacity of red chalk but the intelligence of white chalk. But Mr. Cosmo had no control over it. The hybrid zoner was very dangerous. Even Draow was apparently afraid of it. Mr. Cosmo had no choice but to kill the zoner. Not like he was heartbroken over it, since this is Mr. Cosmo we are talking about but still... He hadn’t planned on killing the zoner. He only did so because it was out of control. It didn’t get along with the controlled white chalk drawings. It didn’t get along with Draow. It was a complete and utter mess.”

Although Rudy knew the seriousness of the situation, he did feel some bit of satisfaction of Mr. Cosmo’s plans backfiring on him. He was still upset with how that guy felt he had the right to control the zoners. So it gave him a sense of relief that this experiment to create an obedient zoner failed.

“Because of the failure of the first experiment, he didn’t bother erasing the second zoner. He felt that if he did, it would interfere with his plans. Now, since it was never erased, I cannot confirm how dangerous this second zoner would have been... But this is where I get to the most important part of the video, and I hope...oh I really hope you get this before it is too late...”

Ms. Saffron’s voice took on a much more worried tone. Rudy bit his lip. He looked at his friends nervously. Had they been too late? Something told them...they were already too late...

Ms. Saffron stared at the camera with wide eyes. “I know this is tempting for you to do, Rudy...Penny...Snap... But please, whatever you do, do not erase Mr. Cosmo’s equipment! Not until you do a thorough search and look for this hybrid zoner! If you erase before you check, you will erase the hybrid zoner! And after that...I can’t tell you what would happen. If this second zoner was anything like the first one, the results would be catastrophic. You are looking at a zoner who is very similiar to Mr. Cosmo...except he has the potential of being worse...”

Someone worse than Mr. Cosmo...?

Rudy’s body started to tremble. Mr. Cosmo had been a monster. He had done terrible things to him and his friends. He had killed Ms. Saffron in cold blood. He had tortured and nearly killed Snap. The idea of someone being out there worse than him...it was frightening to think about. He couldn’t imagine someone being worse than Mr. Cosmo...

He looked at his friends. Penny stared at him with wide eyes, her mouth open in horror. Slowly, she turned her gaze back to the video. Just enough for her to see it, as if she was afraid something would pop out of she turned her head all the way. And Snap..he had brought his hands up to his face and started shaking. Rudy had a feeling he was remembering all the horrible things Mr. Cosmo had subjected him to. It must be horrible for him to hear that there was someone out there even worse than that monster.

Ms. Saffron looked at the webcam sorrowfully. “I...have a feeling this message will get to you too late. And I do not fault you. Who can say you will have a reason to look for this video? And why did I make it? To be prepared...just in case the...thing happens and you need to find information. And I am going to assume that, at the moment, the hybrid zoner is loose in ChalkZone. If you want to know how to tell if this is a hybrid zoner or not, there is one only one way to tell. Its outline, according to Mr. Cosmo’s notes, will be striped, not a solid color. Look for that, and you’ll find the hybrid zoner.”

Ms. Saffron gave a pause. It was like she knew that they needed a few seconds to let this information sink in. Only after about a minute did she continue talking.

“You must exercise great caution when dealing with this zoner. It will be highly unpredictable, like the first hybrid zoner. Watch your backs and expect the unexpected. Treat it with the same level of caution as you would with Mr. Cosmo.” Her eyes widened suddenly. “Oh I almost forgot! There is one more important thing to know about the hybrid zoner. Mr. Cosmo, before he destroyed the first one, had found the hybrid zoner eating the dry remains of a rat that had found its way into the base. A real world rat, mind you, not a chalk one. Mr. Cosmo had never known a zoner to eat real world food before, and I’m sure you guys haven’t either. It might not seem like much. It’s just a rat. But...” She stared into the camera and whispered, “...what if it decided to for a...larger target...?”

This made the three freeze, their blood turning to ice. The implication that Ms. Saffron had given was crystal clear and utterly frightening. The idea of a zoner eating real world food was startling enough. It didn’t seem possible. The systems and the way things were set up were different. It would be hard to impossible for a zoner to eat real world food, especially with the water they got to worry about...

But this zoner...

Somehow, this zoner had found a way to eat real world food without consequence. Ms. Saffron had mentioned something about dry... Maybe there was no liquid left in the rat and thus the zoner could ate it with no problem.

But what Ms. Saffron implied...the idea that the zoner could go after larger game...that frightened them to the core. That meant that...the zoner might go after...humans...

Rudy and Penny stared at each other, their bodies shaking. Ms. Saffron didn’t outright say that was what the zoner was going to do. She only hinted that it was a possibility. But it was a possibility they hoped was wrong. They didn’t want to think of the idea of a zoner hunting and eating humans. Even though they were safe in the real world, they still had to be careful.

“I do apologize for that unpleasant thought. But I couldn’t keep that from you. It was important that you knew of this potentiality. With a hybrid zoner, the more you know, the better equipped you are. I wish I could tell you how to stop the hybrid zoner, but alas, Mr. Cosmo never wrote that down. He just outright killed the zoner when it didn’t meet his demands. I have a feeling you three would not want to go that same route. You would want to subdue the zoner. But I cannot tell you how to do that. You will have to rely on your own wits and courage to do so. I have no idea how long it would take for the hybrid zoner to strike. And I don’t know if you will get this message before then. I pray that you do...if not...well I hope the best for you three.”

Then she went silent. At first, Rudy, Penny, and Snap wondered if she had said all she wanted to and just forgot to stop the recording. But seeing that there was quite a bit of time left, they found it unlikely. And they were soon proven right. There was more that the woman had wanted to tell them.

“Look, I...I don’t know if I will make it through to the end with you guys... I have my suspicions that Mr. Cosmo will try to kill me.”

This shocked the trio. Ms. Saffron had...known she was going to die? Rudy’s eyes widened at this.

“I do not know for certain. But after I found out just what kind of man he is...I wouldn’t put it past him. That is why I recorded this via video...just in case I...don’t make it...” She narrowed her eyes and turned her head away from the camera for a second. She sighed and looked back. “And I would like to take this time, just in case I never get the chance to, to say that I’m...sorry. Rudy, I shouldn’t have called you a juvenile delinquent. Mr. Cosmo told me to do that but...that doesn’t make a good excuse. I knew it was wrong and I should have listened to my conscience. I didn’t...and I am sorry for that. Penny I...hope you can forgive me..for being involved with that...monster...and helping him hurt your two friends like this. And Snap...”

The trio saw tears form in the woman’s eyes. They dripped down slowly. She sniffled once and continued.

“I am...so very sorry I didn’t tell you the truth...all of it... I didn’t want you to feel so afraid. I...I wanted you to be a little more comfortable. But in the end I...only made it worse for you. I should have told you everything from the start, and I know you must feel so betrayed. I apologize sincerely, Snap. And in case we don’t get to see each other again, let me say this. I did enjoy the time we spent together. You...seem like a really nice guy. You...don’t deserve anything Mr. Cosmo has done to you... And I am sorry I helped him do this...”

Rudy felt tears form in his eyes as, at long last, Ms. Saffron got to deliver to Snap the apology she had wanted to give. Even if it was just in the form of a video, even though it would have been so much better if she had been...alive... It still brought some sense of happiness to him that, in a way, she got to apologize at last.

Penny whispered under her breath, “Looks like she got what she wanted...” She looked down to Snap.

Snap also had tears forming in his eyes. He tried to fight them off, rubbing his face with his round hand. He didn’t say anything. He looked like he was deep in thought.

Ms. Saffron leaned back in the chair, looking like she was getting ready to leave. “I will wrap up this video. I don’t have much time left. Mr. Cosmo won’t be distracted for very long. But before I end this video, I want to say one more thing.”

The woman paused for a moment. She looked distraught at first. Then, when she faced the camera, a smile started to tick, slowly creeping onto her face.

“I...really want to thank all of you, for opening my eyes. Rudy, Penny, and Snap... You made me realize what a horrible mistake I made in working with Mr. Cosmo. You helped me see just how wrong I was about ChalkZone. I realize now, more than ever, it is not ChalkZone I had to be afraid of. It was Mr. Cosmo, and anyone like him. And I thank you three for making me realize that.”

Ms. Saffron started to move the mouse. The video was reaching towards the end. Before she clicked on it, she looked at the camera. Her eyes were glistening and the smile still on her face.

“Good luck...my friends...”

Then the video was over. And as it shut off, Rudy felt a pang in his heart, a tear dripping down from his face.

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 02:31:56 pm »
CHAPTER 8: HAZARDOUS-



Friends...

Even though Ms. Saffron hadn’t known them that long, even though everything at the time was uncertain...

She still called them her friends... She saw them as her friends...

The realization of that hit Rudy hard. And he didn’t expect it to. He wasn’t sure, at first, why it hurt him so much to hear Ms. Saffron call them her friends. And soon, he realized why. It was a harsh reminder of what they could have been. A reminder of how things might have went, if only a few things had been different. It reminded him about how brave Ms. Saffron had been in her final hours, only for her to be taken away.

Rudy knew there was nothing they could do for her. She had passed on over a year ago. They still visited her grave from time to time, give her some respect. Her death still saddened them, and hearing her voice again and seeing her alive, even though it was in a video, was bittersweet. Because, for a moment, Rudy forgot that she was dead. He had to remind himself of the truth, that the video was old, not recent, that Saffron hadn’t faked her death and was hiding out somewhere.

Ms. Saffron calling them her friends had effected Penny and Snap as well. Penny had put her hands to her mouth and he could see tears streaming down her face. Snap was no better. He could see his lip quivering, and he had a feeling Snap was reminded of what he said at Ms. Saffron’s grave, about how nice it would have been if they got to be friends. To know that Ms. Saffron already believed him to be one of her friends, it was emotionally impacting.

It was nice that Ms. Saffron had gotten to apologize to each of them. She had realized she might not get a chance to, and made a video ahead of time. She sounded so sincere in the video. He knew she was telling the truth. And although her apology came so late, it was nice that Snap finally got to hear it. Even though Snap knew she was sorry, it did mean a lot to finally hear her come out and say it, even if it was just in the form of a video.

The fact that she knew she was going to day..that was disheartening to hear. She had suspected that she would be killed, and made the video just in case she turned out to be right. And, sadly, she was correct in her assumption...

It sounded like she had accepted her fate. The way she talked about how ëin case I don’t make it’ sounded to Rudy as if she had accepted that she might die. It wasn’t a ëoh well’ kind of acceptance either. Ms. Saffron didn’t want to die. She just understood there was a chance she might, and yet, she still stuck around for however long she could. She still helped them in anyway she found possible.

And doing that, all while knowing that Mr. Cosmo was out to get her, took courage.

Rudy’s mind went to the warning Ms. Saffron had given them. He felt his heart start to race when she told them not to erase the equipment until there was a thorough check. He was upset at first that Ms. Saffron hadn’t said anything, but then he realized she was worried that she might slow them down, and there was the fact that Mr. Cosmo might have overheard her.. It was a hectic time and he understood that she didn’t have a moment to tell them. Snap’s health was in decline, there were the controlled zoners...

He wished he had thought about checking the computers before they went and erased everything. If he had done that, they might have found this computer, found the file, and saw it before any more damage could be done. He felt very guilty when he realized that he was the one who unleashed this dangerous zoner into ChalkZone. He had unwittingly released something that might be a bigger threat than Mr. Cosmo ever was.

This hybrid zoner was more terrifying than he and his friends ever thought. They were already disturbed about the idea of a zoner with white and red capabilities. They already knew that a zoner like that was dangerous. But what Ms. Saffron said...it chilled them to the core. It was far worse than they thought...

A zoner that had a taste for real world flesh? That was utterly disturbing, and the fact that the hybrid zoner might go after humans was rather unsettling. Eating real world food was dangerous for a zoner. The idea that a zoner figured out how to do this without consequence, or at least survive the process every time, it was scary to think about.

And the idea of the zoner being so ferocious that even Draow was afraid...Rudy realized they had bitten off more than they could chew. They were running into this blind and he was realizing just how horrible of an idea that had been. They needed to learn more about hybrid zoners before they were able to proceed. Maybe Barney would be able to tell them something. He knew all about the history of ChalkZone. He might know about hybrid zoners, even just a little bit.

But Barney had been busy lately... He might not have time to talk to them. And he and his friends didn’t exactly have the time to go looking through the jungle to find Barney. They still needed to get back to Skrawl and tell them of their discovery. He had to be warned. The rest of ChalkZone had to be warned.

He turned to his friends and gestured with his hand. “Come on...we should head back.”

Penny nodded her head slowly. “Yeah. Skrawl would want to know about this.” She paused for a moment, and then she looked at Rudy worriedly. “What do you think will happen...if this intruder turns out to be this...hybrid zoner Ms. Saffron warned us about...?”

Rudy flinched at the question. “I...don’t know. I never faced something like this before...”

“We can always ask Biclops.” Snap suggested. “He guards the magic chalk... He’s probabl aware of some way to counteract hybrids.”

“But Ms. Saffron indicated that hybrids weren’t thought of until Mr. Cosmo came along. And only one hybrid was created in ChalkZone...well on purpose. And the two Mr. Cosmo created on purpose were promptly erased. I don’t think Biclops would be able to gather a lot of information from that.” Penny said, her voice laced with fear and uncertainty. “It is possible that Cosmo never found any other method in stopping them... Maybe killing them was the only thing he could do.”

Rudy narrowed his eyes. “Cosmo killed them because he was a monster... I don’t think he would have bothered to try to find another method. You know how he is. If something doesn’t go his way, he destroys it.” He said with disgust. His mind burned with anger as he remembered the horrible treatment given to Snap. “There could have been a way, but that...madman may have deliberately ignored it and chose to kill the zoners...just in case he did find a way to control them. He would want something that was unstoppable. Something no one knew how to combat.”

“You do have a point, Rudy.” Penny said. “And the idea that this hybrid zoner is worse than Mr. Cosmo...”

“Please...” Snap cried, his body shaking. “Don’t give me any ideas...”

Penny stared into Snap’s widened, frightened eyes. “I’m sorry, Snap...”

Rudy looked at Snap sadly. He couldn’t blame him for being so afraid. They were all terrified of what this zoner was capable of, if even Mr. Cosmo’s cruelty couldn’t match him. He wasn’t sure what they were going to do when the time came to confront him. Would they even be remotely prepared?

Rudy turned his head, looking out the doorway. “We...should get going now.”

Snap nodded his head eagerly. “Yeah. Let’s get out of this place. I..don’t like it here...”

Rudy cast Snap a sympathetic glance as he and Penny walked out of the room. He began to follow. He paused for a moment. He looked back at the computer. He went towards it and placed a hand on the monitor, taking in a deep breath.

“Thanks, Ms. Saffron...” He whispered. Then he turned and walked away.

sss

“What?! Are you sure?!”

Skrawl looked very shocked. And Rudy wasn’t at all surprised. He had a feeling the jellybean would react with such disbelief.

They had just arrived back at the jail. Skrawl was surprised they came back so soon. Rudy wasn’t sure if he should be insulted or not. He wasn’t sure if Skrawl really did think it would take a while of searching through every computer, trying to find the one file the password went to, or if Skrawl did not have as much faith in their abilities or something.

Skrawl had been in the back with an investigator who was analyzing the scene of the crime. From what they overheard, they were trying to figure out the relative size and some features of the intruder, to see if any of the mess would give them some clues. Having an idea of what the intruder looked like was crucial in finding him and stopping him.

Before Skrawl noticed them, the trio overheard some details from the investigator. The intruder was not very large. He was definitely smaller than Draow. The investigator guessed, judging from the claw marks and the accounts from the wardens, that the intruder, at shoulder height, was about as tall as Snap. He was able to determine, from looking closely at all the slash marks, both on the walls and the machinery, that the intruder had three claws on each foot, pretty large ones, and he was four-legged, not two like everyone originally thought.

The fact that the intruder was only about as tall as Snap didn’t bring any comfort to Rudy or Penny. Size did not mean much when it came to threat levels. And the fact that this intruder was able to get Draow to take orders from him, despite being so much smaller, and the fact he was able to get Draow out so easily...it just made him all the more terrifying. If something that small could get something as big and dangerous to follow its orders...

The investigator was able to reveal something else as well. It seemed Penny had the right idea the whole time with the cameras. They were tampered with. The investigator told Skrawl about how images had been taped over the camers so carefully so that no one would notice. Only a few cameras outside the building had them, the point in which the intruder had wanted to enter from. This did explain why the alarm didn’t go off until the intruder was inside the jail.

Skrawl was understandably furious and ordered some of his technicians to go fix the cameras. He was going to look into the camera designs pretty soon and change them so that covering them up like that wouldn’t work again.

The last thing the investigator said chilled Rudy. He had been talking about the hole in the wall. He mentioned how clean the cut was. It was too clean, and the investigator had doubts that any item in ChalkZone could create such a hole. However, the investigator was able to think of one thing that could create the hole. Something that seemed so harmless, something that Rudy never thought could be used in such a way.

A piece of magic chalk.

The thought horrified him and his friends. Magic chalk could not be used by any zoner; only humans. The only way they could think of magic chalk being involved in this is that a creator had been helping the intruder this whole time. But that made no sense. There was no evidence of any new creators showing up in ChalkZone. Someone would have noticed and said something about it.

There was another way, but Rudy shuddered to think about it. The other way that magic chalk could have worked was...

...was if this zoner could use magic chalk, somehow...

“Is it even possible for such a thing to exist?”

Skrawl’s cry of disbelief snapped Rudy out of his thoughts. He gave a quick nod to the jellybean. “Yeah..that’s what Ms. Saffron said.”

“Ms. Saffron?” Skrawl was confused. “I thought she was...”

Penny nodded her head sadly. “Yeah..she is... She left behind a video for us to find. She told us about some secret experiment Mr. Cosmo had done on the side. He had apparently hidden it very well from us. Until we found that video, we had no idea he had actually done something like that recently.”

Snap waved his arms frantically. “And it’s not the first time! He created one in ChalkZone years ago, only to destroy it when it ëmalfunctioned’, as he would say, on him.”

Skrawl’s mismatched eyes were widened in shock. He looked at the three, as if he were judging them to make sure they were telling him the truth. “A red chalk zoner with the self control of white chalk zoners?” He shook his head in disbelief. “I never thought it was even possible to do that... I had no idea there was someone crazy enough to try to control red chalk.”

“Well Mr. Cosmo did create the red chalk, so of course he would want to have control over it.” Rudy said.

Skrawl nodded. “Good point, artist boy.” He paused for a moment, frowning in deep thought. He looked at the three again and said, “What else were you able to find out?”

“That this hybrid zoner has the potential of being worse than Mr. Cosmo. Ms. Saffron detailed on how the zoner even frightened Draow...which would explain, if this intruder is the hybrid, why Draow so easily decided to work with him. Mr. Cosmo had drawn two hybrid zoners and only let one come alive. And when that one failed, he destroyed it and left the second alone.” Rudy explained. With a guilty tone of voice, he continued, “I...erased the second hybrid without realizing it... When I went to erase Mr. Cosmo’s equipment, the drawing for the second hybrid zoner was there somewhere...and I erased it.”

Skrawl narrowed his eyes dangerously. He took one step towards Rudy, raising a hand like he was about to strike. “You did what?! Are you insane?!”

Rudy held out his hands in front of him. “I didn’t know! None of us knew!”

“Yeah, Skrawl. Cool yourself down!” Penny scolded him. “None of us knew about this hybrid zoner until recently. If Rudy had known about it, he wouldn’t have been so quick to erase everything. He would have checked and done something to make sure the hybrid zoner never got into ChalkZone.”

Skrawl growled lowly, but he took a step back away from Rudy. “I suppose you’re right, genius girl... I know Master Tabootie wouldn’t knowingly unleash a threat upon this world.” His expression slowly softened, but just a tad. He was still scowling, but at least now, his anger wasn’t directed at Rudy. “Anything...else?”

Snap nodded his head. “Yeah. Ms. Saffron talked about how this zoner ate the remains of a real world rat.”

This caused a gasp to escape from Skrawl’s mouth. He swiveled his head in Snap’s direction, eyes very wide. “You’re..joking...right?”

Snap shook his head. “Afraid not, Skrawly.”

Skrawl growled. “Don’t call me Skrawly!”

“Well anyway...” Snap said, completely ignoring Skrawl’s shout at him. “Ms. Saffron said that Mr. Cosmo documented the zoner eating the remains of a real world rat. There is no way he would have made something creepy like that up. So we can conclude that she is being truthful about this. And there’s the possibility that...”

“..that this zoner will try to go after humans.” Penny finished, her voice soft and shakey. “There is no record if this hybrid zoner would do such a thing. But if he is anything like the first one, then...we should be prepared.”

Skrawl nodded his head. “Agreed. You two are in bigger danger than I thought. I would take you off the case, but if this zoner is as dangerous as you say, it wouldn’t matter, really.” He paused and thought for a moment. He turned his head towards the crime scene. He then turned back to the trio. “I do not normally do this, but I authorize you two to, just in case, to bring sealed real world water with you.”

Rudy’s eyes widened in horror. “We can’t do that! It’s too risky!”

“Yes I know..” Skrawl said. His expression turned into something that Rudy and his friends rarely see from Skrawl. A look of concern. “But at least that way, you’ll be safe. The hybrid zoner can’t possibly be stupid... If he sees you with some real world water, he would know to stay back. Just..consider the idea, okay?”

Rudy sighed. “Okay, Skrawl..we’ll consider it.”

“Thank you.” The smile on Skrawl’s face took them all by surprise. But they weren’t shocked when it faded really fast and the familiar glare turned. He turned his head towards his wardens. “I will inform my men of what you have discovered.”

Rudy, Penny, and Snap left the jail soon after that. Skrawl had went over to his wardens to tell them what happened. It was getting late and Rudy and Penny had to leave soon to go home. They had told Skrawl everything they found out and they hoped it would be enough. Skrawl promised to get word out to ChalkZone newstations to let them know of the threat. And to top it off, he would send his Beanie Boys out to spread the word.

They were happy to know how serious Skrawl was taking all of this. The same determination he had when he used to scheme still shined now, and this time he was using it for good, not evil. Considering how determined this guy was in the past, they trusted that he would keep his word.

As they walked away, Rudy couldn’t help but wonder what they were going to do about the hybrid zoner. He didn’t want to resort to real world water. He didn’t want to resort to killing... He still was haunted by Mr. Cosmo’s death. Even though it wasn’t his fault, Rudy still felt somewhat guilty about it. He had never wanted that to happen to the man, even if he thought he was the most disgusting person on the planet.

The idea of having to kill the intruder...it wasn’t something he wanted to think about. He understood Skrawl’s concern. He knew that, if the time came, that might be what they’d have to do, especially if this intruder so easily avoids capture, and can so easily slip through one of the most secure jails in ChalkZone.

And the idea that he might be able to wield magic chalk... If that was true, if there was a type of magic chalk zoners could use...

Rudy gulped as he realized how big of a threat they were dealing with.

“Rudy?” He heard Penny say. He turned to her. “We should go back home. We need to do some studying for tomorrow’s test.”

Rudy’s eyes widened. The test..he had forgotten about the chemistry test. He looked down to Snap and said, “We’ll be back tomorrow.”

Snap nodded his head. “Around what time?”

Rudy looked over at Penny, trying to think of an answer. After thinking about what time they’d get off of school, and anything else they had to do... “At around 3:00 PM. Meet us at the portal at our house, okay?”

Snap said, “Okay. See you two tomorrow then!”

“Goodbye, Snap!” The two said in unison, waving farewell. They began to walk away, towards the portal back home.

Unbeknownst to them, hiding away in thick foliage that they were walking by, a pair of bright green eyes was staring at them. They belonged to Bardot. The zoner was hidden in the shadows of the bushes, keeping very quiet. He narrowed his eyes as he watched Rudy and Penny walk, and smirked as he realized they hadn’t noticed him.

He turned his head, watching them as they continued walking away. His eyes widened slightly, brightening. A smile spread across his muzzle, his fangs dripping with heated venom.

“Well...at least you got to say goodbye...”

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2013, 02:32:33 pm »
CHAPTER 9: IN THE NIGHT-




“Uhh...A?” Rudy asked.

Penny shook her head, in her hand a small card. “No, the answer was C.”

“Oh man...” Rudy grumbled. He narrowed his eyes as he stared at the floor. “I’m never going to get this right!”

Penny looked at him sympathetically. “Oh don’t be that way, Rudy. You just need some practice, that’s all.” She set the small stack of cards down. She reached for another pile, this one a little smaller. “Here, how about this? I’ll use these much easier questions instead. Think that’ll help?”

Rudy nodded his head weakly. “Yeah....sure...I suppose...”

Rudy felt embarrassed that he had forgotten about tomorrow’s test. Mr. Wilter had reminded them every day for the past week. How could it have slipped through his mind? Now he was going to get another bad grade and disappoint his parents and Mr. Wilter. He had promised his teacher and his mother and father that he would try harder to get better grades. Mr. Wilter, despite being an ally now, could not just fake the grades for him; he had to earn them.

He wouldn’t have wanted Wilter to make up the grades anyway. That would be fraud, and if Wilter were caught, he’d lose his teaching credentials and be fired, then they’d be stuck with a new teacher, and going into ChalkZone would become difficult. Plus, Rudy would rather earn the grades. Just having them given to him wouldn’t feel very good. He wanted to feel like he accomplished something.

At first, he had tried going solo and tried to raise the grades on his own. He had a difficult time. He wasn’t stupid by any means. But with all that was going on with ChalkZone, he found it hard to study on his own. So eventually, he went to Penny for help. Penny got among the highest grades in their class. Being a good friend, she agreed to help him in any way that she could.

With Penny’s help, Rudy did see some improvement in his grades. They weren’t much, but they were at least a little higher than before. Rudy did start feeling a little better about himself now that his grades were higher. He still wanted to continue improving, so at least once a week, he had Penny come over and help him with studying, whether it be just to make sure he understood everything or to prepare himself for a quiz or test the next day.

Chemistry was the one class he still had problems in. His grade was the lowest here. It had barely raised up from where it was before. Despite his difficulties, Penny still continued to willingly help him. She seemed to have a lot of patience, and she understood that chemistry was a difficult class. She herself sometimes had problems in it as well.

Rudy really wanted a passing grade for this test. He didn’t want to flunk this class like he had last year. He was determined to get at least a C. He would be satisfied with a grade that low, so long as it wasn’t a D or an F. He was grateful that Penny was so willing to help him with the test tomorrow, especially since, for him, it was short notice, all because he had forgotten about the test. With all that was going on lately, he couldn’t really feel surprised that he forgot. Neither could Penny. She admitted that she almost forgot about the test several times. Hearing this made Rudy feel a little better. He wasn’t the only one.

The flash cards did help. He still had to do some work himself. In his hands, he held a notebook and a pencil. And as Penny would ask the questions and give a list of answers, he would do the work if he had to and try to find the answer. He found that this method worked the best for him, so it was what he and Penny stuck with when studying chemistry.

Holding the notebook steady was a tad difficult with his weaker left hand. He still managed to pull it off; it just took a little longer to steady it. Turning the pages was harder, too, with his left hand. When he found it was too hard to grab the pages with his hand, he instead opted to push his fingers against the pages and turn them. But this was too problematic as well, resulting in him skipping a few pages. So he just used his right hand for that, since he still had complete control over it.

This was one of the few times where the weakness in his left hand became very noticeable. Seeing how weak his left hand got did upset Rudy, as before the incident with Cosmo, he would have no problem doing tasks like this. It was true that the damage could have been much worse and that he could still perform most tasks without problem. But sometimes, he was worried that his much weaker left hand was going to become a problem in the future. He hoped he was wrong.

When Rudy dropped his pencil and it rolled to his left side, reluctantly, he reached down with his left hand. He attempted to grab it. Unable to grip tightly due to loss of strength, the pencil kept slipping through his fingers. He grabbed it as tightly as he could, but that wasn’t enough and the pencil still dropped to the ground.

Rudy growled under his breath. He stared angrily at his left hand, his eyes looking directly at the scar caused by Mr. Cosmo. Even long after his death, even if this hybrid zoner wasn’t on the loose, Cosmo was still affecting him to this day. Cosmo still, in a way, had a grip on him, and this time, he wasn’t going to let go.

“Rudy, do you want me to help?” Penny asked. She was looking at him with sympathetic eyes. Penny understood how much this bothered him at times, and she tried to be as supportive as she could.

Rudy shook his head. “No...no I got it.” He tried his best not to sound rude. “I want to do this on my own...”

Rudy reached down for the pencil again. This time, instead of trying to grip it, he manuevered his fingers until they pushed underneath the pencil. He slowly lifted his left hand up. The pencil laid across his fingers. It took all of what was left of his finger movement to hold the pencil there. He slowly brought his left hand over and let the pencil fall onto his lap, where he immediately gripped it with his right hand.

The difference between holding the pencil in his right hand versus his left was astounding. It had always felt different, but not like this. Nowadays, it was like night and day. His left hand could barely grip the pencil, left alone be of any use to him if he needed to draw or right. But with his right, he could hold it firmly, tightly. He felt more confident with the pencil in his right hand, which was also his drawing hand. Ever since the damage in his left hand became permanent, Rudy had been more careful with his right, knowing that any injury to it would result in him becoming, for a time, defenseless in ChalkZone.

Then there was the chance that his right hand could also become permanently damaged...He shuddered at the thought. That was something he hoped would never happen. Especially with this crazed zoner on the loose. When he was up against Cosmo, most of the time he didn’t have any ability to use magic chalk. He was going to make sure that they didn’t have to suffer through that again. He was going to make sure that, this time, the magic chalk will help them right from the get go.

During the next hour, Penny helped him more with studying for the chemistry test. The new questions she chose were a little easier for him to figure out, but he was still having a hard time. He did manage to get more questions right, at least, and he felt his confidence slowly rising.

Eventually, he wanted Penny to raise the difficulty of the questions. Once he got the easier ones down and once they were more understandable to him, he wanted to try his hand at harder questions. He needed to prepare himself, and he would not be able to do that if he only answered the easiest questions. He had to challenge himself. He had to prepare the best that he could for this test. The more times he kept facing these tougher questions Penny would give him, the easier it would become to answer them.

The questions were becoming a little easier to handle now. He was getting more and more right. It was still not enough to get a higher grade than C, but it was better than nothing. He was feeling even better now, since he was becoming more and more prepared for the test. He was glad that Penny was able to come over to help him on such short notice. Without her, he would have definitely have flunked this test.

After an extra twenty minutes of studying, the two decided to stop. Their heads were starting to hurt from all that studying and they wanted to relax a little. They had put in a lot of work, so they did deserve a break.

Rudy smacked his lips together. He was feeling a little parched. He turned to Penny. “I’m going to get something to drink. Do you want to come with?”

Penny got up from the floor. She nodded her head. “Yeah. My throat’s feeling a little dry.”

The two sixteen year olds left his bedroom and headed down the stairs. They headed into the kitchen. Rudy opened up the cabinet and grabbed two glasses. He filled them both with water. He put some ice cubes in them both. He handed one to Penny.

Drinking the water did help their throats feel better. They started to walk back towards the stairs when Rudy noticed his parents sitting on the couch. He hadn’t noticed them there before. He wondered why they didn’t say anything. But then, looking at their eyes, he realized that they were too fixated on what was on TV. He smiled a little. They must be watching one of their favorite old shows or something. Or maybe his dad finally convinced his mom to watch a show about meat with him.

But his theory was proven wrong when he heard Penny gasp and grab his arm.

“R-Rudy...look...” Penny pointed at the television.

When Rudy looked, he realized it wasn’t some old show. It wasn’t a cartoon or sports. Instead, it was the news. The words ëbreaking news’ flashed across the screen, moving at a pace that was clearly trying to draw attention. On the screen was Terry, only this time, it was clear what she had to say had nothing to do with ChalkZone. And the look on her face...it was fear... What had happened?

“This is Terry Bouffant standing outside the home of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Twenty-four hours ago, their 10 year old child, Jerry, had gone missing. The only thing that was left behind was bloodstains, but no signs of a struggle or any clues as to where he was taken could be found.”

Rudy and Penny gasped in horror. A child had gone missing? They hadn’t known about that. They weren’t paying attention to the news. And watching this, they realized they should have been listening.

And nothing found other than blood stains? That was creepy. It was like the attacker knew what he was doing, and how to leave little to no evidence behind. They didn’t know Jerry, but they feared the worst for him. And they hoped that, against the odds, he would be found, alive and okay. They felt awful for the parents too. What a terrible thing for mothers and fathers to go through...

“To make matters more serious, this isn’t the first time this has happened.” Terry said, her voice filled with solemn and alarm.

Rudy flinched, not used to hearing Terry speak this way. And the warning tone in her voice... His heart started to hurt, anticipating what she was going to say next.

“I don’t like this, Rudy...” Penny whispered as she grabbed his arm. “I wonder what is going on...”

“Maybe Terry will say something.” Rudy said as he kept his eyes on the screen.

As he looked over, he could see his parents expressions had gone quickly from curiosity to outright horror. They looked at him briefly, their eyes wide in fear, before looking back at the television. Hearing that someone lost their child to something unseen, something dangerous, something mysterious, was clearly upsetting them, for they were also parents.

“There have been multiple reports of people going missing. Jerry is the fifth victim. In this past week, four other victims have also been claimed. Rosie Williams, age 14, vanished four days ago. Teddy Bosco, only 5, disappeared three days ago. And two days ago, two victims vanished. Dean Rogers, age 16, and later on the same day, Andrew Sanchez, age 40, had gone missing. All under the same circumstances, with little clues left behind besides blood.”

The last name sent cold shivers down Rudy’s spine. He felt his friend’s hand gripping him tighter. He looked over at Penny. Her body was shaking. Her eyes were wide in disbelief and fear. That last name...it had been her father...

Although Mr. Sanchez had been trying to reconnect with his daughter, he hadn’t gotten back together with his ex-wife. They had gone their separate ways, but even his wife agreed that it was best that Penny not have any bitter thoughts about her father. So he had tried his best to spend some time with Penny. Sometimes it felt a little awkward as Penny was used to interacting with just one parent. But she still enjoyed the time she spent with her dad.

He remembered her briefly mentioning that his mom hadn’t seen him, but she didn’t think it was anything too serious. After all, her dad was quite busy and, though he moved back into town, he lived on the other side and his life was tangled with his job. He wasn’t a terrible father, though, and he still tried to make a little bit of time for Penny. He even got her some very nice Christmas presents last year.

Neither he nor Penny would ever have imagined something bad happened to him. That was the last thing that was on their minds.

But now...hearing Terry’s words, they realized how horribly wrong they were. Something bad did happen, and Penny’s father hadn’t been the only victim. Rudy wondered at first why this wasn’t mentioned before, but he realized, wanting to mentally slap himself, that him and Penny not paying attention to the news is why this sounded so shocking.

His parents might have said something to him, but he had been so focused on ChalkZone, he must not have noticed. And the only reason Mr. Wilter didn’t say anything was because he wasn’t allowed to bring in real world news into the class; only teach, and it wasn’t like they had a ton of time to talk to the man. And during lunch, when the news was on, he and Penny would be focused on each other, talking about ChalkZone and their next move they should make, or even about upcoming tests, paying little to no attention to the tv screen.

Now, more than ever, Rudy wished they had been paying attention. He looked at Penny. Tears had filled her eyes. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a hug. He hated seeing her like this. Knowing that multiple people disappeared was bad enough. But the fact that her own dad was gone too... He could tell how hard she was taking this.

And just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse, Terry delivered the next message, her voice raised a little to emphasize her words.

“The mayor of Plainsville has issued a dire warning. Because all of the disappearances happened right here in Plainsville, the mayor strongly urges the residents of this town to keep their doors and windows shut and locked at all times. If anyone has any information on this attacker, contact the mayor. The mayor is doing all he can to try to stop this menace. And until the culprit is captured, he urges everyone to be very careful.”

The news that this has been happening right in town...all the disappearances were hear...it sent ice through Rudy’s veins. Without thinking, he held onto his friend tighter. He looked over at his parents, and they looked just as spooked as he did. Five disappearances in a few days...all under the same circumstances...

Rudy suddenly felt very unsafe. He felt vulnerable, like the walls were closing in all around him. His heart was racing, beating against his chest. The room had gotten so quiet that he heard the heartbeats from everyone else in the room. No one spoke. Everyone was quiet, staring at each other in complete and utter horror. And suddenly, everything seemed so much darker to Rudy.

He realized how late it was. It had gotten dark out. Knowing that a kidnapper was on the loose, he wasn’t sure if Penny would feel safe going out tonight, even if her mother was supposed to be picking her up. He looked down at her and said, “Do you...want to stay over here for tonight?”

Penny, trembling from the shock of the news, meakly nodded her head. “Y-Yeah...if that’s okay with your parents...”

Rudy turned his head to his parents. “Mom, dad, can she...?”

Mrs. Tabootie immediately answered, her voice filled with anxiety. “Yes, of course she can!”

Mr. Tabootie nodded his head in agreement. “I think it would be for the best. It is dark out.” His body shook a little, making it clear that the news had spooked him.

Rudy smiled, grateful for his parents’ understanding. “Thanks.”

sss

A few hours had passed since they got the news of what happened. Although it was well passed the time Penny usually slept, she found it hard to close her eyes. The news of her father’s disappearance froze her heart, filling her with dread. She had no idea something bad had been going on recently, and judging from Rudy’s reaction, neither did he.

She was happy that his parents decided to let her stay. It was a little harder convincing her mother. Mrs. Sanchez had gotten word of what had happened, and she immediately wanted Penny to come home. It took about ten minutes of talk before Penny finally got her mom to agree to let her stay. She promised she would come home immediately tomorrow.

Rudy had brought out sleeping bags for them to use. They were both frightened by the news and they didn’t want to sleep apart. His bed was a little too small for the two of them. Maybe as 10 year olds, it would have worked a little. But not as 16 year olds.

He rolled out the sleeping bags on the ground. He crawled into his while Penny did the same with hers. In an attempt to comfort Penny, Rudy had placed his arm over her and gently pulled her close. While Penny still felt scared by what was going on, she did feel safer with Rudy.

Penny bit her lip. She looked over at Rudy, nudging him gently. When she got his attention, she said, “Do you...think my dad is okay?”

Rudy winced slightly. This didn’t comfort Penny at all. “I..am sure he is okay... We’ll find him.” He said in the most reassuring voice he could muster.

Penny had a horrible thought. “What if this...hybrid zoner is behind this?”

Rudy said, “If he is...we’ll make him pay... We’ll stop him and save the people he had kidnapped. Don’t worry, Penny.”

Penny wanted to feel reassured by this. But though she smiled and acted like she was satisfied, she couldn’t fight back the dread welling up inside of her. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something terrible was going to befall her father, and perhaps...herself. She couldn’t ignore the fear that was taking a hold of her.

She did manage to get herself to lay down. She did finally manage to make herself close her eyes. She tried her best to relax. Knowing Rudy was right in front of her helped her calm down a little. And all the doors and windows had been locked, via the mayor’s orders. She knew that she was safe. If anyone tried to get in, they would know.

But as she started to doze off, she failed to hear the sound of a door being forced open. She didn’t hear the creak of the stairs as something went up them, slowly, deliberately. She didn’t hear open up slowly. She hear the individual creep up slowly upon her and her friend.

It wasn’t until she felt something brush up against her leg that she took notice that someone else was in the room. Thinking it was just Mr. or Mrs. Tabootie checking on her and Rudy, she picked up her glasses and looked up to greet them....

...only to find herself staring at an all too familiar enemy.

“Y-You...”

“Shhh...don’t wanna wake anyone, now do we...?”

As a large shadow covered the two teenagers, Penny moved backwards, her eyes wide in horror. She tried to let out a scream, but she was immediately silenced as the intruder lunged forward.

And where she once stood, a small puddle of blood formed.

DarkWolf91

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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 12:47:51 am »
Nooooo! How did the hybrid zoner even get into their world?
I love this story so far... I can tell it's going to get painful :blink:
I liked the last transmission from Saffron too, she was cool :yes


DarkHououmon

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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2013, 02:22:01 am »
CHAPTER 10: DISAPPEARANCE-




Mrs. Tabootie stood near the stove. On the skillet, she was cooking some eggs and bacon. The smell filled the kitchen, making her feel hungry just by the scent. She looked over and she saw her husband sitting in the chair, waiting patiently for his meal.

She turned her head towards the clock. It was 8:00 AM. Rudy and Penny both had to be in school soon. She wondered where they could be. She hadn’t heard a peep out of them all morning. Rudy was usually up right about now, at least on schooldays like today. She almost considered the thought of school being cancelled due to weather, but that was unlikely. There was no frost on the ground. Weather was a bit too warm for that. And she didn’t hear anything on the news about school closings.

Then there was the thought that maybe he was just oversleeping. He did that a few times in the past. And last night, he had been studying with Penny. All that work wore out the mind, and she’d understand if he overslept because of that. If that were the case, she could just go and wake them up after she was done with breakfast.

“Rudy must have really hit the hay last night.” Mr. Tabootie said as he waited for breakfast.

Mrs. Tabootie nodded in agreement. “I’m sure he’ll be down soon. I’m going to let him and Penny sleep a few minutes longer.”

“You better wake them up soon or they’ll be late for school.” Mr. Tabootie pointed out. “The sooner, the better.”

Mrs. Tabootie knew her husband was right. Rudy and Penny didn’t have a lot of time left to get ready. If she hurried, they’d have enough time to at least shower and get cleaned up. She turned her head towards the stairs. She still hadn’t heard anything from the bedroom. Rudy must have been more tired than she thought.

She turned to her husband. “Watch the eggs and bacon, will you? I’m going to go wake them up.”

“Sure thing, dear.” Mr. Tabootie took position by the stove. Once in a while, he’d push the scrambled eggs or a piece of bacon with the spatula.

Mrs. Tabootie went towards the stairs. But then she paused and noticed something she hadn’t before. She turned her head towards the door. It seemed fine at first, but then she noticed something out of place about it. She moved towards it slowly, her eyes locked on the door handle.

When she got close enough, she realized the door hadn’t been shut all the way. Her eyes widened at this revelation. Unless her husband went out and forgot to grab something....something was wrong. She was certain that she had shut the door all the way, and even locked it like the mayor said. She moved back into the kitchen, staring at her husband intently.

“What is it?” Mr. Tabootie frowned slightly in concern, noticing his wife’s distress.

“Did you...please tell me you went outside this morning...” Mrs. Tabootie begged, her voice very shakey. She hoped it wasn’t true...no it couldn’t be true...

Mr. Tabootie stared at her. His own eyes were widening like saucers. “N-No...”

It felt like a bomb went off inside the woman. Her body shook violently. She shook her head slowly, not wanting to believe it. She looked up the stairs. She waited there for a few seconds, hoping, praying, that Rudy was going to come down the steps any minute. When a minute passed, she started to get desperate.

“Rudy! Come down!” She called out. Her breathing started to quicken when she got no response from her son. “Penny! You there?!” Same thing, no reply. Her heart started to race.

She thought she heard her husband call to her in worry. She ignored him. Her mind was focused towards where Rudy’s room was. Why wasn’t he coming out? Wouldn’t he have heard her? Why was the door open? Horrible thoughts swam through her mind. There was only one explanation she could think of....and it was one she hoped wasn’t true.

She raced up the stairs as fast as she could. She went over to where Rudy’s room was. She didn’t bother knocking on the door. She pushed the door open, not being closed all the way to begin with, and went into the room. Her eyes widened in horror at what she saw. She looked around the room, her breathing becoming very fast. She put a hand on her chest and backed away, her body trembling.

She let out a scream.

“No!”

sss

Mr. Wilter sat down in his chair, glancing up at the clock. He looked over at his classroom. He had just done role call and both Rudy and Penny were absent. That was strange because he hadn’t gotten a call from their parents saying they were going to be gone. He guessed they were just running late. He would give them an extra few minutes, but if they didn’t show up, he’d have to start the test without them.

He pulled open the drawer and pulled out the test papers he had made copies of. He sat them on his desk. Although the classroom remained largely quiet, he could make out the groans of students not looking forward to the test. He did wish that they’d be a little more enthusiastic about this. He was preparing them for a better life outside of school. They could at least be more appreciative.

Oh well, if they don’t want to use his education, that was their faults. At least he can say he tried with them. He was glad that at least a few students appreciated his efforts, like Rudy and Penny. After he told them the truth, they trusted him even more and were more willing to talk to him. Rudy had shown some improvement in his grades, and he felt happy for the boy.

When Rudy and Penny still didn’t show up after five minutes, he began wonder if something was up. Why hadn’t their parents called the school to let them know they were going to be absent? Any other time they were sick, he would have gotten a call from their parents, where the situation was explained and he could set aside homework for Rudy and Penny to complete when they got back.

He couldn’t keep stalling like this. Though the students didn’t mind not having to do the test, he couldn’t do a whole class with him doing nothing but sit around. He got up from his seat, grabbed the pile of papers, and went down each aisle.

“You all have one hour to get this test done. When you are finished, place your paper on my desk.”

Once Mr. Wilter was done handing out the papers, the door opened up behind him. He turned around and saw that it was the principal.

“Do you need something, sir?” Mr. Wilter asked.

The principal nodded his head. “Come with me to the office. There’s someone who wants to speak to you on the phone.”

Mr. Wilter wondered if it was Rudy’s parents or Penny’s mother. He looked back at the class. He waved a hand and said, “Get started everyone! I will be back later!”

Mr. Wilter followed the principal down the halls. They headed towards the principa’s office. He went in and moved towards the desk where one of the secretaries was waiting for him. She waved her hand at him to come forward. She didn’t say anything as she handed him the phone.

He stared at the phone for a few seconds. He began to get a feeling of dread. Somehow..he could sense that something was wrong, and he hadn’t even began chatting yet.

“H-Hello..?” He asked hesitantly.

On the other line, he heard a shrill voice coming from Mrs. Tabootie. She sounded horrified and very worried. He had never heard her sound this upset before. It made him that much more worried that something was terribly wrong.

When she asked him, no...pleaded with him, that Rudy and Penny left for school early, Mr. Wilter sucked in a breath. “I’m...sorry...He hasn’t been here. He’s..not sick at home?”

Mrs. Tabootie freaked out immediately and he heard her start to cry. She mentioned something like ëit’s true’ over and over again, and ëI didn’t imagine it’. He had no idea what she was talking about, but in her state, he wasn’t sure if he was going to get more out of her.

Luckily, it seemed Mr. Tabootie read his mind. He took the phone from his wife and he explained to Mr. Wilter what they had found. When the man finished explaining, Mr. Wilter’s eyes widened in horror.

“What?!” He cried in disbelief.

Rudy and Penny were...missing...? The thought alone was enough to upset Mr. Wilter, but the fact that they had disappeared under the same circumstances as the five other people from Plainsville... He couldn’t believe it. Rudy and Penny never did anything to deserve this.

His thoughts went to Draow. He remembered how Rudy told him, a short time ago, how an intruder had freed Draow. He wondered if they could be involved in this. It made sense. Draow would want revenge on all of them for what they did to Mr. Cosmo. He wouldn’t put it past Draow to grab Rudy and Penny in the night and make off with them. Though how he managed to do that without being caught was beyond him. And it made Draow even more terrifying.

He thanked Mr. Tabootie for his help and hung up the phone. He walked back towards his classroom, his thoughts filling his head. He had to find a way to let Snap know about what happened. He had no access to the real world on his own, so he would be left in the dark on what happened, exactly, to Rudy and Penny. Somehow, he had to find a way to tell him.

He wouldn’t be able to tell him during class. The students would wonder what he was writing and why he would erase it so fast. He would need to find another time to do it. And unfortunately, there was only one other time of the day he could contact Snap.

And that was a couple hours after school.

sss

Snap paced around underneath where Rudy’s bedroom portal would be. He occassionally would stop and look up. He began to wonder what was keeping Rudy and Penny. They said they would be here, and if they were going to be late, they could have found a way to contact him. With Mr. Wilter on their side now, it wasn’t much of a stretch to ask him.

“Come on...where are they...?” He grumbled to himself. “They should have been here two hours ago!”

He had been waiting by the portal for a couple of hours, just in case they came in early. When they hadn’t arrived in that time frame, he wasn’t too concerned. It was expected. And when they still didn’t show up around 3:00 PM like Rudy said, again he wasn’t too worried. Rudy and Penny weren’t always punctual. Things get in the way that can slow them down.

But as the first hour passed, Snap did start getting a little worried. Those two had never been this late before. Well okay there was the time that they were going to play chinese chalkers and they were an hour late. But that was the only time he recalled them being very late.

Since they were late one time before like this, Snap tried to relax. Maybe something happened on their way home and they weren’t able to contact him. So he paced around some more, glancing up to see if Rudy or Penny opened up a portal yet. He guessed that they might have had to stay after school for something, or maybe their parents dragged them somewhere and Rudy didn’t have his portable chalkboard handy.

Rudy usually had his portal chalkboard with him, but he understood that the boy couldn’t always bring the chalkboard with him. So it wouldn’t surprise him if Rudy couldn’t contact him for that reason. As soon as Rudy came into ChalkZone, he knew that he would explain to Snap why they were running late. This is what happened any time where Rudy and Penny were a little late getting into ChalkZone.

But then the second hour game. By now, Snap was getting very worried. They had never been this late before. An hour, yes. But two hours, and no word from them? He had a sickening feeling welling up in his stomach. He tried to push it away. He didn’t want to jump to any conclusions. After all, they might just still be stuck somewhere, unable to contact him until later on.

Still, the feeling wouldn’t go away completely. Something was nagging at Snap, telling him something had gone wrong. He didn’t know what it could be. He stopped pacing and glanced back up. Still no sign of Rudy or Penny. He let out a sigh.

“Where are those two?” Snap asked to himself. He sat down on the ground, crossing his legs. He again glanced upwards, his expression shifting to a worried one. “I thought Rudy said he was going to be here at 3:00 PM. It’s 5:00 now I’m sure...”

Snap began to wonder if there had been a terrible accident. He flinched at the thought of this. If something like that happened, he definitely wouldn’t find out until much later, unless Mr. Wilter somehow gets him the message. He shuddered as he imagined his two friends crossing the street, only to get struck by a car. He shivered harder, picturing them being taken to the emergency room, their bodies battered and bruised.

He soon calmed himself down. No, it couldn’t be that serious. Mr. Wilter would have definitely contacted him, somehow, if that were the case. If something as serious as a car accident happened to Rudy and Penny, Mr. Wilter wouldn’t hesitate to get a message out to him.

So whatever was going on couldn’t be too serious. Snap felt his heart rate slow down to normal as he told himself this. He glanced up at the portal again. He wondered why they hadn’t showed up yet. If it wasn’t an accident of any kind, what else could have slowed them down? Parents, perhaps... He wouldn’t be surprised if Rudy and Penny’s parents wanted to do something with them. Bonding and all. It happened from time to time.

As another half hour passed, and still no sign of Rudy or Penny, Snap got up off the ground. He was getting a little hungry. Perhaps he should go grab something to eat. He quickly wrote a note for Rudy and Penny when they came, letting them know where he was going to be if they came when he was still gone.

He hadn’t eaten any lunch yet. He had planned to when Rudy and Penny came. He was saving his appetite. But since they hadn’t come yet, he would have to settle for dinner. Missing a meal wouldn’t kill anyone. He began to walk towards the direction of town. There was a great restaurant he loved going to from time to time. He had wanted to take Rudy and Penny there. Even though they can’t eat chalk food or drink chalk water, he thought they might enjoy the music they play there.

On the way towards the restaurant, he almost had a run-in with Blocky. He had been running down the streets, waving his arms to get Snap’s attention. Snap managed to stop himself from colliding with the block zoner and took a step back.

“Snap! Come with me!” Blocky called to him.

Snap stared at Blocky for a second. His tone of voice sounded urgent. He thought about what might have upset Blocky. Maybe he was being chased by that large chocolate bunny mother again, trying to forcefeed him some chocolate milk. Blocky did get sick from drinking too much chocolate milk one time, so he wouldn’t down he’d sound desperate if she had come back for him again.

Snap took a step towards Blocky. He reached out with a hand and gestured for the zoner to calm down. “Hey, easy there. What’s all the rush about?”

Blocky immediately grabbed Snap with one of his small hands and started to drag him with. “Come with me now!”

Snap’s heels pushed against the ground as he tried to stop Blocky from pulling him. He didn’t look it, but Blocky can be strong when he wants to be. And Snap found himself helpless to stop him. He had no choice but to relax and follow him willingly.

Blocky pulled on him pretty hard, yanking him forward a few times. He swiftly quickened his pace, forcing Snap to start running unless he wanted to get scraped over the concrete. He looked out ahead to see where the zoner was taking him. The area looked a little familiar, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it just yet. Blocky continued to pull in that direction, out of the city and into a lush part of ChalkZone.

When Blocky finally released him, Snap put his hands on his knees, bending over and breathing hard. He hadn’t run that fast for that long for a while. He wiped his head, feeling sweat dripping down from his face. As he was getting his breath back, he took a look around where they were.

At first, he did not recognize this area. Yet something about it seemed familiar to him. As time passed, and he thought long and hard about this place, he suddenly remembered what it was.

He remembered the time that Rudy and Penny first discovered night zone, where zoners go to sleep. They had been trying to get to the school. He had tried to show he was capable of locating the right chalkboard, but only ended up taking them to...well anywhere but the school, so Penny had to step in.

She had managed to find a chalkboard that when into the school, but it was apparently the gym. A bit of a miscalculation, but it was still the school. And if Snap recalled correctly, this had been the spot where Penny told Rudy to draw a portal. Even though it had been a bit of the wrong place, the girl’s skills at finding the right portal improved greatly and they almost never ran into an issue like that before.

He had to wonder, though. Why would Blocky drag him here? His only thought was that Rudy and Penny were going to send him a message. But why here? Why with the gym’s chalkboard? Why not back where the classroom portal would have been? If he recalled what Penny said correctly, it wasn’t that far from here. Maybe he should go there and...

“Mr. Wilter wanted to give you a message.” Blocky said, cutting Snap from his thoughts. He picked up a note and gave it to Snap. “I’m sorry I didn’t show you when I arrived. But I had to get you here, and fast.”

Snap looked at the note. It was indeed from Mr. Wilter. It just told him to meet him here at a certain time, and to prepare for an important message. Mr. Wilter must have wrote the message a while ago, maybe an hour, but because of the other teachers, he didn’t have time to write a full on message.

Snap waited anxiously for the rest of the message. Mr. Wilter might be telling him what happened to Rudy and Penny. Maybe he was going to tell them that they were just busy with something, whether it be with homework or parents, and just couldn’t come with. But there was a worried side of him that Mr. Wilter was going to bring him bad news. He tried to fight off the feeling of dread as he waited for the teacher to erase the whole message.

Nothing happened to Rudy and Penny. They were just fine. He kept telling himself that. They were all right and they just weren’t able to come on time. Everything was going to be okay. They would eventually arrive in ChalkZone and they could continue their investigation of this hybrid zoner.

But as he waited for Mr. Wilter, he began to get more and more worried for the two teenagers. He began to imagine the worst possible, horrific things happening to them. His body shivered for a second before he managed to force himself to stop. No, he couldn’t jump to conclusions. He couldn’t allow himself to think the worst when he didn’t even know what happened.

And yet, them being so late...

No, he couldn’t think like that. He shook his head, getting those thoughts out of his mind. Mr. Wilter would explain everything. He would put his mind at ease and tell them that Rudy and Penny decided to stay after school and just hadn’t been able to contact him. Yeah, that was it. That’s all that was going on.

He kept telling himself that over and over again.

Then the moment came. He saw the faint, brief glow, indicating that something was about to materialize into ChalkZone. Out came another message, like the one Blocky gave him, only this one was larger. It floated down towards him. Snap reached up, trying to grab it. After a couple of failed tries, he managed to snatch it before it got away.

Snap grabbed the two ends of the paper and stretched it out. At first, he couldn’t read it. Then he realized he was holding it on its side. He flipped it around quickly, and stared at what was written on the piece of paper.

It read:

“Snap,

Rudy and Penny have gone missing. Penny had stayed the night over at Rudy’s. Mr. and Mrs. Tabootie found them gone the next day. Others before them have vanished. No trace to be found. It might be linked to Draow. Search around ChalkZone for clues. I suspect that is where they have been taken.

Best of luck, Wilter”

Snap’s mind went numb. His body started to shake. He stared at the message, rubbing his eyes and doublechecking, hoping that it was just some sick joke. But the message never changed. He clenched his teeth as he fought back tears.

No...no this couldn’t be happening, no... He crumbled up the piece of paper and threw it into the ground. Blocky looked at him sympathetically. He went over and placed a hand on Snap’s back.

“We will find them.” Blocky said, trying his best to reassure Snap.

Snap nodded his head rigidly. “Yeah...I know...” He fell silent after that.

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 02:22:50 am »
CHAPTER 11: BLOODSTAINS ON THE WALL-



Snap stared numbly at the piece of paper he got from Wilter. Over and over again, he read the message. He kept hoping that he missed something, that he was just misinterpreting what it said. But now, there was no way to mistake this message. There was no doubt what it was saying.

Rudy and Penny were in grave danger.

He couldn’t believe it. He just couldn’t believe it. The last time he had seen them, they had been fine. There was no indication they were in immediate danger. Sure, they knew there was possible danger for them, but they thought that wouldn’t come until later. There had been no signs of Draow or this intruder. There were no signs of them making a move. They had just simply disappeared. And now, so have his friends...

And what was worse is that he had no idea where he was going to go to find them. He didn’t know where to start. Mr. Wilter says they may be in ChalkZone, but..how? Rudy was the one with the magic chalk usually and he wouldn’t leave a portal open all night long. Penny sometimes had a piece, but like Rudy, she wouldn’t do something so stupid as to keep a portal unattended for so many hours. And then there was Mr. Wilter. His use of magic chalk was even less than that of Penny’s, and he understood the importance of keeping ChalkZone a secret. Surely he wouldn’t forget to erase any portal he created.

This lead to Snap consider that, whatever happened, it was related to the real world only. Maybe some thug decided to break in and take his friends. Or maybe they left on their own accord for whatever reason and just never came back.

But if five others disappeared like them, the only real world possibility Snap could think of was a serial killer. His heart started to pound as he considered that thought. He knew that anyone, regardless of they are from the real world or ChalkZone, was capable of cruelty, and it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to believe that a serial killer went into Plainsville and started to slaughter people. The idea frightened him because, if that were the case, he’d never see Rudy or Penny again...

The possibility of whatever happening being real world only hung heavily over Snap’s mind. It was the only explanation he could think of that made sense. He couldn’t fathom how Draow or this intruder could have gotten into the real world in the first place. He didn’t know how Mr. Wilter could think such a thing. There was no way there was an open portal somewhere...unless there was another creator he was unaware of. But that was hard to believe. He would have heard something by now if there was another creator loose in ChalkZone.

Snap felt so helpless. He didn’t know what he should do, or what he could even do. He might have a better idea of what happened if he could get into the real world, but he could only do that if Rudy or Penny were with him. They could use the magic chalk. Not him. He was stuck in ChalkZone unless Mr. Wilter drew a portal for him.

But why would Mr. Wilter do that? His message clearly indicated he wanted him searching around ChalkZone. He wouldn’t suddenly drew a portal for him if that were the case. If he had intended on doing that, he’d left a message regarding that. And there was no way Snap could communicate back to him and ask him to do that. The only thing he could do was look around ChalkZone, but he didn’t know exactly where to go first.

There had to be something he could do. Something he was overlooking or missing. He thought about what happened recently, with the escape of Draow. He thought about the scene of the crime, the claw marks, the blood, the fact that two zoners were murdered by this intruder.

Then he thought about the hole in the wall. He had overheard the investigator say that the hole looked like something Rudy could have drawn with his magic chalk. This did indicate the presence of a creator, but Snap already ruled that out. Again, he could have heard something about it. This lead to the same conclusion he was sure Rudy had.

And that was that this particular magic chalk could be used by zoners...

Admittingly, Snap was almost...enchanted by the idea. He had always wondered what it was like to wield the magic chalk. He thought about what it meant to be able to create anything in midair, and have it materialize right before him. Almost anything was possible with the magic chalk. No matter how convoluted the idea, how matter how ridiculous it may sound, the magic chalk made it possible.

The only way to know for certain is if he got a closer look at this hole. He was used to seeing portals in ChalkZone. Out of all the zoners, he uses them the most. He was familiar with how the edges feel. It was hard to describe the texture. It was kinda chalky, but kinda not. A sensation that could only be created by a piece of magic chalk. If he got a close look at this hole, he would be able to tell if it had been created by magic chalk or not.

That seemed to be the best move for him. And if he could prove that the hole had been created by magic chalk, then that did reopen the possibility of Rudy and Penny being kidnapped by Draow. If that bat wolf had found a way to get to his friends, there was no doubt in Snap’s mind that the fiend would use that opportunity.

He needed to report to Skrawl anyway of what had happened. He wasn’t sure how the jellybean was going to take it. Years ago, he would have just smiled and claimed victory. But now that they were pretty much friends, he would certainly not be very happy with their disappearance. He wondered if he would have a ëI told you so’ moment, where he would rant to Snap about how he knew it was a bad idea for Rudy and Penny to be involved with the case.

But even if he did that, Skrawl wouldn’t dwell on it too long. Oh sure, he’d be angry, furious even, but he would understand dwelling on it too long wouldn’t help them at all. He wouldn’t waste so much time yelling. Heck, he might not even bother yelling at Snap, and instead he would focus on spreading out the search party to locate the intruder and Draow.

And even if Skrawl did yell at him, even if Skrawl decided to ran to him on how he should have kept the trio off the case and let him do all the work, it wasn’t like it was going to stop Snap. Skrawl knew by now that he couldn’t keep them from doing what they felt was right. Snap sometimes wondered if Skrawl really did know this and was just ignoring it, or if he was truly blatantly unaware.

His mind went back to Rudy and Penny. He had no idea what their condition currently was. He didn’t know if they were hurt, if they were battered, if they were torn up, or even if they were still alive at all. The thought frightened him. It was terrifying not knowing exactly what happened to his friends. He only knew that something terrible happened and now they were both gone. Even if he knew for certain Draow took them, that was no indication on just what exactly happened with Rudy and Penny.

He knew Draow wanted revenge, but he didn’t know exactly what he had planned to do with them. Draow could have outright killed his friends. A terrible thought, but, as much as he hated to admit it, that was a possibility. If the bat wolf hated them that much, it would make sense he’d kill them off as quickly as possible.

But then, he had been Mr. Cosmo’s right hand ëman’ pretty much, and they had some similarities in personality, as he found out the hard way when he had been yanked from the hospital.

When they were up in the air, after Tsere had tried to get him back, Mr. Cosmo had decided that he got tired of the chase and had Draow drop him, a blatant attempt to murder him. In that moment, Snap realized that he had been wrong about Draow. He thought he was just a terrifying ëbeast of burden’ more or less, a pet that followed Mr. Cosmo’s orders loyally because he had been trained that way. Nothing before gave him a clear indication that he was more than what he appeared.

And then he had spoken. As soon as words came out of his muzzle, Snap knew that Draow had been more like Cosmo than he ever imagined. Because Draow, like Cosmo, had decieved them. He had played them all for fools, tricking them that he was dumber than he really was. He revealed, in the very first line he ever spoke, that he was capable of scheming and cruel planning just as much as Mr. Cosmo.

Because Draow enjoyed inflicting pain on others as much as Mr. Cosmo, Snap realized that it was more likely that Draow would torment Rudy and Penny rather than kill them outright. This wasn’t too much better. He shuddered at the thought of his friends being tortured. It hit home for him; he had been tortured himself. He wouldn’t want anyone to go through that. But at the same time, if Draow planned on keeping them alive for a while, that did give him some time to save them.

As much as he was still shaken up by what happened, even though he was still filled with sorrow knowing that his friends were in danger and he had no idea where they were, he knew he couldn’t just stand around. He had to take action.

That’s what Blocky had done. He was going through ChalkZone, informing as many citizens as he could, about Rudy and Penny’s disappearance. He had gone in the opposite direction of the jail, so he knew he did not get to Skrawl yet. But he knew, by now, he had told a lot of zoners already of what had happened. Snap hoped that some of them would be willing to help him find his friends. He may need all the help that he could get.

Snap looked in the direction where Skrawl’s jail was. He sucked in a deep breath. He knew what he had to do next.

“I promise you, Bucko...Buckette...” Snap whispered. His fists shook as sadness and anger started to overtake him. Sadness of what happened....anger at whoever was the culprit. “I will find you...”

With that, he made his way over to Skrawl’s jail.

sss

“What?!”

Skrawl’s voice rumbled through the prison. Most of the wardens nearby immediately fled away from him, all knowing how Skrawl can be if he recieves bad news such as this. The few wardens that dared to stay behind pressed their backs at the wall, staring at Skrawl, expecting him to strike out in rage.

Snap stood in place, staring up at the jellybean, who looked down at him furiously. This didn’t faze him. With what he went through when he found out Rudy and Penny were gone...this was nothing. Besides, it wasn’t like Skrawl was mad at him in particular. He was mad that the search party had failed to nab Draow and this intruder before something bad had happened.

“Are you sure?!” Skrawl demanded. He had lowered his head, putting it close to Snap’s.

To the wardens, this was a clearly threatening move. Skrawl was cleary very angry, and when he wants to be intimidating, he knows a few ways of how to do so. And this was one of them. But to Snap, it didn’t bother him that much. His mind was still clouded from the news, filled with so much sorrow and worry. He barely reacted to Skrawl’s move.

Snap stared at Skrawl and said in a soft voice, “Yes. Mr. Wilter told me of what happened... And he believes Draow played a role in their disappearance.”

Skrawl growled. “And you say that other humans have vanished too? Not just them?”

Snap nodded his head. “That is what Mr. Wilter said. He didn’t say how many...” Snap made a quick gesture with his hands to emphasize. “...but the fact is...Rudy and Penny aren’t the only victims. And I know that they wouldn’t leave a portal open... That leaves just one possibility...”

His face going blank, Skrawl let this sink in. He stared at Snap, understanding clearly showing through his blank expression. Snap knew that the jellybean understood exactly what he was implying. A thought that was unheard of, and, given the circumstances now, terrifying.

“He can use magic chalk...” Skrawl said, his voice barely audible. Shock had taken over his mind in that moment. “Somehow...he has found a way to use magic chalk...” He spoke slowly, as if trying to let it all sink in for him.

The idea of a zoner using magic chalk...

On the one hand, it was fascinating. The ability to create anything in midair... Snap had wondered what that felt like. He had wondered what it was like for Rudy to use the magic chalk and create things. Yet he knew that the magic chalk could easily be misused. The ability to create anything can easily go both ways... And in this case, it was going far in the opposite direction than Rudy would have used it for.

Rudy only used the magic chalk for good. He wanted to help people, and that is what he did. He never used the chalk to deliberately harm anyone. Sure, there was the black chalk, from what he was told, but Rudy was never in control of himself; the black chalk used him. So he didn’t count that. Even against Mr. Cosmo, he had apparently not used lethal force or been overly violent with the man, no matter how much he deserved it. And even in the end, Cosmo caused his own death, not Rudy.

But now here was another possible creator, but a zoner this time, and he was clearly using the magic chalk to do harm. He was using it to gain access to the real world, so he could kidnap unsuspecting humans for some diabolical reason. He must have set up a portal somewhere. He didn’t know where it could be. He would have seen it...unless it was an invisible portal like Mr. Cosmo had...

He was interrupted from his thoughts when he heard Skrawl scream loudly into the air, his hands clutched into fists. Snap took a step backwards, his eyes widening slightly. He hadn’t expected him to scream like that. Neither did the remaining wardens, who immediately fled the area to join the others that went away earlier.

Skrawl glared down at Snap. He looked at first like he was going to strike him out of anger, but instead, he turned around and walked away. He folded his arms behind his back and stood in the middle of the room. He looked like he was trying to think of something, perhaps the next course of action. Perhaps he was thinking about what they should do, now that the idea of a zoner being able to use magic chalk was a real possibility.

Skrawl looked over at the hole in the wall, the one that was still there. It was only kept there because it was evidence. He had set up some sensor bars around the spot as a way to ëcover’ it up, so that no more intruders could get in or prisoners could get out using that hole. He sucked on his lip, his expression thoughtful. He looked down at Snap.

“You’re able to recognize creator handiwork, aren’t you?” Skrawl asked.

Snap nodded his head. “We’re all technically ëcreator handiwork’, but I take it you mean I can tell if damage was done by a zoner or by a creator.”

Skrawl narrowed his eyes and growled, “Yes...yes that’s exactly what I mean.” He pointed his finger towards the hole. “Take a look at it, and tell me. You’ve hung around chalk boy the most, so I’m sure you, out of all zoners, could tell if this was done by magic chalk or not.”

As Snap approached the hole, Skrawl turned the beams off. Snap continued to walk closer to the hole, and then, finally, he was able to place his hand on it gently. He felt the edges, getting an idea on the shape, any grooves, any imperfections. He stared at the hole, studying how it was shaped, if there was anything left on it, anything that would help with identifying what made this hole.

After a few seconds, Snap stared back at Skrawl. His eyes widened big. Shock and fear showed clearly on his face. He gave a rigid nod.

“Yeah...it’s magic chalk alright...” He whispered, prompting a gasp of surprise from the jellybean.

sss

Snap was running as fast he could. His feet pounded on the ground. His breath quickened. His throat started to get a little dry. His mind was racing as fast as his feet, trying to digest what he had just been told. He couldn’t believe it. He had to see this for himself.

After he had told Skrawl about the hole definitely being of magic chalk origin, Rapsheeba had come rushing in. She looked like she was in distress, her eyes wide in panic. Something was troubling her. When Snap and Skrawl tried to ask her what was wrong, Rapsheeba just said to come with her and grabbed Snap. She had dragged him out of the jail and had him run with her.

Snap hadn’t expected Rapsheeba to show up like that. He had thought she was busy with her next concert. He wondered what had caught her eye that scared her so much that she would practically drag him out with her.

But as they got close to where she wanted to take him, something seemed out of place... Something that he felt was the reason for her being so scared.

He couldn’t tell what it was at first. He saw something, but at the angle he was at, he couldn’t really understand just what he was looking at. It wasn’t until he got closer that it started to look more familiar to him. That familiar feeling began to get eerie as he started to understand just what this was. And was they got within inches of it, his heart started to race.

It was a portal... And clearly not one drawn by Rudy or Penny. The edges had a different coloration to them. The portals Rudy and Penny draw had either no outline, or it was black, at least from ChalkZone’s side. If it had an outline in the real world, it would be white. The only time he remembered the outline being a different color was when Reggie had the red chalk, so the outline was, obviously, red.

This portal had a blue outline.

Blue chalk? He hadn’t heard of it before. He’d seen it used once in Biclops’s flashback he showed him shortly after Rudy first discovered ChalkZone, but it didn’t seem like it had any special powers of its own. Then again, they had seen the black chalk being used and they thought it wasn’t a big concern...

Snap stared at the blue edged portal. It was his ticket into the real world. If he used this portal to get to the other side, he could find out more of what happened to his friends. He was a little scared. He had no idea where the portal led to. He didn’t have Penny with him to guide him. He didn’t have Rudy to help him. He was completely on his own. He hoped that his few visits into the real world were enough to help him find Rudy’s home.

As he started to go through the portal, Rapsheeba grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “What are you doing? You don’t know where this portal leads to!”

“I know, queenie.” Snap looked at her. He understood why she was so worried. The last time a mysterious portal appeared, Mr. Cosmo had been kidnapping zoners.... He looked back at the portal. “But Rudy and Penny are in trouble... I have to see what happened to them.”

Rapsheeba’s eyes widened. “They’re in trouble?”

Snap nodded his head slowly. “Yeah. Mr. Wilter said they..disappeared. And other humans vanished as well.” He closed his eyes, trying to fight back the tears that started form. “I...I need to go Bucko’s house and see for myself...maybe find some clue as to what happened...”

Snap started to go through the portal. He noticed Rapsheeba coming towards him. He stopped himself and held up a hand to Rapsheeba.

“No, Queen Rapsheeba. Stay here. I know the real world more than you. If something happened to you...I wouldn’t forgive myself...” Snap said, his eyes narrowed in determination. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Rapsheeba looked reluctant to let Snap go on his own. But she understood where he was coming from and she gave a nod. “Okay. Best of luck, Snap. I’ll wait for you here.”

Snap nodded his head. “See you around, queenie.”

With that, Snap went through the portal.

sss

Snap walked down the street. He didn’t have much of a hard time. It hadn’t rained recently, which was good, so the ground was dry. He didn’t see any sources of real world water anywhere, so he knew he was safe just walking down the street. He did stay off the grass, though. He could see some dew on them. Unless he wanted some tiny painful holes in his feet, he avoided the grass like no tomorrow.

The portal had opened up into an abandoned building deep in town. It made sense, Snap realized. The hybrid zoner would have wanted to open up a portal in some place where no one would ever go. A building that was falling apart and thus was a safety hazard for anyone that dared live in it seemed like a great idea. There were no plans to tear this building down, or at least, no indication it was going to be torn down. With little to no humans coming in this area, it was no wonder no one would have noticed a strange opening on a dusty old chalkboard.

When Snap had exited the building, he was overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds. He felt confused and lost. It wasn’t because he wasn’t used to a city. He had been in plenty of those in ChalkZone. But real world cities were different, and completely unfamiliar to him. The cars rushing by him, people honking and yelling at each other, the lights flashing, everything seemed so different to him because it was real world, not ChalkZone.

He had to ask directions to find Rudy’s place. He only remembered the street name, which he had a glimpse of after Boorat through him out of the window. Luckily, the first person he asked, a woman pushing her baby in a stroller, was able to give him directions to said street. Snap thanked her and took off as fast as he could.

He had ran most of the way there, determined to get to Rudy’s house as soon as he could. But as he came onto the street, he was getting really tired. His heart pounded against his chest and he was very thirsty. He wiped the sweat from his forehead. He realized he had to slow down, so he began to walk the rest of the way. Despite his urges to keep running, he knew he would end up collapsing on the ground unconscious if he continued to run.

And today was not a good idea to do that. He had a feeling that he would see Terry somewhere near Rudy’s place. She had been promoted to bigger news since she stopped trying to reveal ChalkZone. He had his doubts that she gave up completely; she was just biding her time. He knew that if he collapsed nearby and she saw him, she would take him again and try again to reveal ChalkZone. He couldn’t allow that to happen.

Soon, Rudy’s house was in view. He walked a little faster. When he got much closer, he froze and hid in the bushes. Just as he thought, Terry was there. She was with her cameraman and was talking with Rudy’s parents, asking them questions on what had happened during Rudy and Penny’s disappearance. Mr. and Mrs. Tabootie were joined by Penny’s mother. All three looked very distraught and upset.

Snap stared at them sympathetically. He knew how hard it must be for them, to know that their children were missing but not being able to figure out where they were. Snap wanted to rush out and tell them where he thinks they might be. He wanted to inform them of what was going on in ChalkZone. He wanted to do something to help them.

...yet he knew that would have been a horrible idea. He didn’t know how Rudy’s parents or Penny’s mom would react to ChalkZone. He didn’t know if they would think ChalkZone was a horrible place and try to do something about it. He had no idea if they would go as far as bring in the government to investigate. And from there, it would all just go downhill...

And Terry would just make things worse. If he rushed out and said something about ChalkZone, she would do whatever she could to get him to reveal more information. She would turn the camera on him and box him in a corner, trying to make him speak. She would be even more determined to learn more if she knew that the disappearances lately could have been ChalkZone related.

Snap snuck around them. Terry was so focused on talking to the distressed parents to really notice him. He moved around to the side. He turned his head up, looking around for Rudy’s window. It took him a second to realize Rudy’s window was in the front of the house. He’d have to find another way in.

He saw that one of the windows in the back was open. Snap started to climb up. It wasn’t easy to get up there, but his two dimensional powers did come in handy. He flattened himself against the house’s surface and started to snake his way up towards the window. He still had to be very careful; it took all his strength to keep himself clung against the surface, and his whole body was aching as he yanked himself up. Moving along the blanks didn’t feel good, and he felt himself get scraped a little.

Snap went through the window. He realized it was the bathroom window. He looked around, trying to keep an eye out for real world water. He saw a small puddle on the ground. Trembling, he moved around it slowly, never taking his eyes off of it. When he noticed he almost touched the wet counter, he froze in fear.

He still never fully got over what Mr. Cosmo did to him with real world water. He tried to pretend he was okay. If Rudy or Penny said something, he would hide it. He didn’t want them to worry, and there was really almost never a case where he’d have to get close to real world water.

He had never feared real world water before until that incident. The sight of the water on the ground and on the counter he almost touched sent shockwaves through his body. It brought back the horrible memories of the water cutting into his head, where the mind control device was violently pushed into. It made him remember how Mr. Cosmo almost had him murdered with water, and how he had burned and tormented him with vinegar, which was much worse than water.

Snap managed to calm himself enough to get out of the bathroom. He gave a quick shudder, and he walked down the hall. He made sure to be very quiet. The last thing he wanted to do was alert Rudy’s parents, and then have them believe he was the kidnapper. He wasn’t sure how well he could defend himself. Ironically, Terry might defend him as she knows that he is Rudy’s best friend. Or she might just use that as an excuse to gave him come with her.

Snap got close to Rudy’s door. It was partially open. His heart started to clench as he got closer. Dread filled his chest, his body shaking. Each step, he felt worse and worse. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to see what was behind the door. Yet he had to. He had to know what happened to his friends.

When he got to the door, he put his gloved hand on it. He hesitated for a moment. He sucked in a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare himself for what he might see. He pushed the door open gently, not wanting it to bang and alert the people outside. And as the door fully opened, Snap looked around, his eyes widening in absolute horror.

There were claw marks on the ground, deep into the wood. Rudy’s bed had suffered some damage. There were a few thick nicks in it, like something banged up against it. Some items had been dropped on the ground. He could see what looked to be sleeping bags, but they were ripped to shreds, pieces all over the ground.

But that wasn’t what made him freeze in terror. No, it was the blood... Oh man the blood... It was everywhere. The walls, the floor, even a bit on the ceiling. It looked like a scene straight out of a horror movie or game. Most of the blood was on the sleeping bags, where he knew his friends were. The blood was darkest here, almost blood. The blood on the walls and ceiling were brighter red by comparison.

It...it looked like an absolute massacre... It was like someone came in and butchered his friends... He looked at the blood with wide eyes, his body trembling, his mind racing. His breathing became ragged. He didn’t want to believe they could be dead...

What terrified him even more was the fact that...he didn’t even know if they were alive... There were no remains of them to be found. Not even a single strand of hair or a torn piece of clothing. The only thing was blood. Rudy and Penny’s blood... He couldn’t fathom what could have happened to cause this much blood splatter.

His lower lip quivered and he tried to fight back tears. Things just got a lot more serious than before. It was one thing to know that his friends vanished. But now...they were out there somewhere...trapped...

...and badly injured...

“Rudy...Penny...” Snap whispered, trying to hold back a sob. “W-Where are you...?”

He dropped onto his knees, staring at the blood splatters before him. Unable to hold back any longer, he started to cry.

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2013, 02:23:37 am »
CHAPTER 12: WELCOME, RUDY AND PENNY-




For Rudy, there was nothing but darkness. Pain and darkness...

He couldn’t see anything. He couldn’t hear anything.

All he knew was the shadows and the agony that enveloped him....

Then, slowly, a light came into view. It was dull at first, shining off in the distance, of sorts, before it slowly expanded. Slowly, the light grew brighter and brighter, forcing Rudy to clench his eyes shut and look away. He let out a soft moan in response to the bright light.

He opened up his eyes. At first, everything was nothing but a blurr. Faded colors mixed together in a confusing swirl. Any shades he could see was so blurry he couldn’t tell what they were at first. His vision was also pretty darkened, unable to detect that much light.

He was aware of a dull, rattling pain in his body. It was concentrated on his right side, the same one Cosmo had stabbed him in over a year ago. He let out another groan as he attempted to get up. But when he did so, a shockwave of pain swept through his body, causing him to yelp and fall back down. This was followed swiftly by a pounding headache. He shook his head in an attempt to ride it out.

He couldn’t remember what had happened. He didn’t know where he was. Maybe he was still at home? Or maybe he had fallen asleep in class and was taken to the principal’s office. His mind was muggy and clouded and he couldn’t make heads or tails of anything. He looked around, trying to get an idea of what his surroundings were.

Soon, his vision started to clear up. He started to see clearer shapes. The colors became more distinguishable, rather than being swirled together like it was dropped in a blender. The light became less intense for his eyes, and he soon realized that the light in the room was actually not that bright at all. His darkened vision wasn’t the result of his eyesight being messed up. The room he was in was actually pretty dark, with only a little bit of light to illuminate it.

When he was able to see more clearly, and he got a look at his surroundings, his heart immediately started to race. It didn’t take him long to realize something was not right.

This wasn’t his room. In fact, he didn’t know what this place was. The walls were sort of curvy and rocky. He noted the chalky texture, which told him almost right away that he was in ChalkZone. But how? He didn’t remember coming here. His mind was starting to clear up and he recalled the last thing he remembered was going to sleep and Penny had been with him.

Penny... He looked around frantically for his friend. Was she here with him? If not, where was she? He wished he remembered more of what happened. If he did, he would have a better idea of Penny’s whereabouts.

He attempted to move. Maybe if he turned around, he could get an overall better view of this place. But then he realized that he couldn’t move. His arms and legs were immobilized. Startled, he looked down at himself and saw that he was sitting in a chair. His arms and legs had leather straps on them, holding them in place. He tried to pull himself free. He attempted to yank his arm or leg out, something to help him get free. But the straps were too tight for him. No matter how hard he pulled, he only ended up hurting himself more. He eventually gave up.

The pain in his side intensified. He began to shift uncomfortably in the chair, trying to block out the pain. He clenched his teeth so hard from the pain; he almost felt them shatter. If only he could get out of this chair... He forced one of his tear-filled eyes open and glanced towards his side, curious about just what was causing the pain.

There was blood on his side. And it was dripping a little, going over the side of the chair and onto the floor. He could see where it was starting to dissolve a little bit of chalk.

His eyes snapped open wide at the sight of his blood. Suddenly, memories came flooding back to him. It was like a lightning bolt struck him in the head.

He remembered that he had almost gone to sleep until he heard a loud thud next to him. He thought that Penny was doing something. So he opened up his eyes and turned over to ask her to be quiet. But instead, he was greeted with a horrific sight...

Rudy had no idea how it happened, but Draow had somehow appeared in their room. He stared down at them with those horrible, teal eyes. He didn’t know how Draow got into the real world. He hadn’t left any portals open. But Rudy hardly thought of that as he immediately jumped up and tried to protect his friend.

Draow had snagged Penny by her arm and held her up. There was a deep cut along her head, fresh blood dripping down. Her eyes were closed, a clear indication that she had been knocked out. Draow bit down hard on her arm, forcing more blood out from her body. He stared down at Rudy and gave an evil smile, silently taunting him to try to help his friend. And that’s exactly what Rudy did.

Or so he tried.

Rudy jumped towards Draow, fully prepared to use his own body as a weapon. It wasn’t like he had much other choice. He didn’t have the magic chalk to help him this time. But if he managed to subdue Draow, then maybe...

Draow kicked Rudy to the side, causing him to crash against his bed. The force was really strong and it almost knocked him out. He tried again and this time Draow grabbed him roughly by the arm and threw him against his desk, causing stuff to spill all over the place. Draow dropped Penny and raced towards Rudy, mouth agape.

Rudy recalled the jaws clamping down on his side, cutting into his flesh. He tried to let out a scream, but Draow had covered his mouth with his wing to keep him quiet. Then Draow threw Rudy into the ground. By this time, Penny did wake up. She attempted to get up, and when she saw Rudy on the ground, his side torn open, she gasped in horror. She looked up as Draow closed in on her. He raised his foot and struck down with his talons.

The blow had hit him and Penny and they both crashed into the ground. Rudy tried to keep himself awake. His vision had started to blur. He looked up and watched as Draow approached him. The last thing he saw, when he finally lost consciousness, was something red covering the ground, walls, and ceiling. To his horror, he realized it was his blood...and Penny’s blood...

Then he had lost consciousness, and only now did he awaken. The pain from his other injuries started to surface. He had a few claw marks on his body where he was struck, as well as a few bruises. His clothes are slightly ripped as well. The headache he was feeling, that was from when Draow through him against his bed, or rather, the ladder leading up to his bed. The pain reminded him of what it felt like when Robot Rudy smashed him against the wall of the Chalk Mine entrance. That was an experience he had hoped he never would have to deal with again.

Questions flooded his aching mind. How had Draow gotten into the real world? How did he manage to get through his house without waking up his parents? How had he dragged him and Penny into ChalkZone without being seen? Just where were they? Why had they been brought here?

He took another look around him. Now that his vision was cleared and he had adjusted to the dimness of the room, he got an idea of what the place looked like. It was definitely a cave of sorts, or a house made to look like a cave. There were no windows anywhere. The light came from some small torches. Only a few. It gave the room a sort of spooky orange glow to it.

Off to his side, he could see that there was a small pile of materials. Random stuff like nails and hammers. The pile looked like it had been bigger. Signs of scraping and scratches, along with some pieces being bent a little or shattered, supported this. The pile had to have been bigger. But where did all the material go? And why was this stuff here to begin with? What would Draow need with it? He didn’t seem like the kind of guy..er...zoner..how would need stuff like this. He could just use his own strength to do the dirty work.

Unless Draow wasn’t alone...

Rudy remembered about the hybrid zoner. The hybrid zoner was the one who freed Draow, or so they thought. He still hadn’t seen this intruder, so he couldn’t tell if the intruder was the hybrid zoner that he had accidentally erased into ChalkZone.

He looked around some more, trying to find any signs of this mystery zoner. But so far, it seemed as though he was all alone. He must have been placed where shortly after his capture, strapped up against a chair while his captors awaited for him to open up his eyes.

When he looked out in front of him, he saw what appeared to be another chair. He narrowed his eyes. It was a bit hard for him to make out what it was. The object was placed in a darker part of the room. The torches along the walls barely shined any light on it. He continued to stare at the object, studying it, trying to make heads or tails of it. Something about it seemed familiar...

Then he realized, in horror, what it was. It was Penny...

The girl was strapped down just like him. She looked a little more bloodied than he was. He could see the deep cut on her forehead, which still dripped some fresh blood. He saw the scrapes and bruises and small cuts that now adorned her body. Her head was slumped to the side, showing that he hadn’t woken up just yet.

Like him, her arms and legs were strapped down against the chair. The straps looked pretty tight, and he thought that they were almost cutting off circulation. He took notice of a leather strap across her stomach. He looked down at himself and noticed he had one as well. Their captors certainly didn’t want them going anywhere.

Rudy stared at Penny’s unconscious face. There was a pained look in her closed eyes. Her hair was splayed over her face, looking unkempt due to the rough treatment she got from Draow. He saw a bit of blood clumps on her hair, no doubt from something that bat wolf did to her. As Rudy’s eyes trailed along her injuries, seeing the multiple small cuts, he felt anger rise up inside, as well as sorrow.

He wanted to get Penny out of here. He wanted to fight their kidnappers and make them sorry for what they did. He wanted to have Draow arrested, along with the creep that let him out, and have them brought to justice. He wanted so much to do that...

But the straps on his limbs and the realization that he had no magic chalk with him put a kink in those plans. If he couldn’t even get out of here...how was he ever going to save Penny? He wouldn’t even be able to protect himself. If he could just figure out a way to free himself, he would stand a better chance. The binds, however, were too tight. Like with Penny, his straps were tight enough to almost start interfering with blood circulation. And they cut into his skin a little, leaving a deep indention.

And Snap... His friend had no idea what had happened to them. He knew that if Snap knew where they were, he would come and find them. But would it be enough? Draow was much larger and quite strong. And this intruder was venomous...

It wasn’t that he had little confidence in Snap. No, far from it. He knew Snap was quite competent. But he almost lost him to Mr. Cosmo over a year ago. That was a horrible feeling... He didn’t want to experience it again. He didn’t want to see his best friend beaten and killed by these two...monsters. He hoped that, if Snap were able to come save them, he would bring back up.

“Urrgh...”

Rudy looked out in front of him and saw that Penny had started to wake up. She lifted up her head slowly. She shook her head a few times. Her eyes opened up slowly. She blinked a few times and looked around the room. When she locked eyes onto him, she paused, staring at Rudy with a puzzled expression.

“R-Rudy...what’s going on....?” Penny asked in a weak voice.

She tried to move. She attempted to lift up her arms, and then her legs, to no avail. Her sleepy, confused look quickly replaced to one of panic. Her eyes flew open and she stared down at her bound limbs. Her struggles increased. She tried to jerk herself free. She only managed to rock the chair from side to side. And she could only barely manage that.

When she stopped struggling, her breathing quickened. Rudy could see her chest rise and fall at great speed. She looked around the room, taking notice of the same features Rudy did. And, judging from her expression, she, too, realized that this isn’t place they’ve been to, and it certainly wasn’t the last place they were in before they both slipped out of consciousness.

Penny, now fully aware thanks to the scare, stared at Rudy with a frightened expression. “R-Rudy...where are we..?” Her voice was shaky and low.

Rudy bit his lip. He wanted to say something to comfort her. He wanted to tell her where they were and that he had a plan to get them out. But that would be lying, for he didn’t know himself. He was as much in the dark as she was.

He lowered his head. He said, “I...I really don’t know...”

Then a dark chuckle rattled through the room. It rumbled through his heart, shaking him to the core. He saw Penny shiver in fear, having the same reaction as him. That cold laughter... It sounded terrifyingly familiar. They know who it was that just laughed. They looked around, desperately trying to find the source of the voice.

They heard something walking towards them. Something large and heavy. The footfalls hit the ground with a thud each time the individual took a step. They heard the scraping of claws against stone ground. They could hear a low, gutteral growl intermixing with the laughter. They could see a shadow forming on the wall, darkening the already dark room. Even the torches seemed to flicker at the presence of this individual.

When the individual stepped into the light, Rudy and Penny immediately knew how it was. It was Draow... Upon seeing him, they cringed back in horror. Strapped down, there was nothing they could do to defend themselves should the beast decide to attack them. They watched fearfully as Draow moved in closer to them, an evil smile plastered on his long jaws.

Draow started to pace around the two teenagers. He first circled around Rudy. He went around him a few times, eyeing him up and down like he was dinner. He put his face close to Rudy’s, an obvious attempt to scare him. Then he moved towards Penny and started to circle her like a vulture. Unlike with Rudy, Draow went a little further with Penny. He brushed his tail against her tauntingly. Rudy watched, in horror, as Draow lowered a claw and gently pushed it against her cheek, doing nothing more than lightly scrape her. This was obviously done to distress her as they both know how sharp those claws are.

Draow walked away a little and then turned around to face the two teenagers. He placed himself off to the side, his body partially light by the torches. The dark shadows over his body and face made him look more terrifying than ever before. The glowing teal eyes certainly didn’t help.

“It is nice that you two are finally awake.” Draow said, grinning viciously at them. “I was getting tired of waiting.”

Althoug he was afraid, Rudy tried his best to hide it. He threw a hateful glare at Draow. “Where are we?” He demanded.

Draow tilted his head, his ears swiveling briefly. “I don’t think you are in any position to ask questions, Tabootie...” Draow took a step towards Rudy, lowering his head. His ears flatted against his skull. “But I am sure you already know why I brought you here...”

Rudy nodded his head slowly. He knew Draow was out for revenge. There was no doubt about it. The fiery look in the bat wolf’s eyes told all. His heart was racing, and he was breathing more quickly. But he fought the urge to struggle. He was afraid that if he did so, Draow would hurt him, or Penny.

Before Rudy and Penny could say anything in response to Draow, they heard another step of footsteps. Compared to Draow’s, it was like night and day. Where Draow’s footsteps were heavy and strong, these were light and fleeting. The pitterpatter of feet came towards them quickly. They could hear the brief clanging of claws against the ground, and then they both saw a brief flash of yellow and red.

Their eyes widened in horror. They knew who this had to be. The intruder that freed Draow...

The smaller zoner zipped around them. They could barely make out the shape. They could tell it was a four footer, just like the investigator thought. But they could make out very little else. This zoner had incredible speed. It was no wonder the jail wardens were unable to stop him.

Then the zoner stopped zipping around. Slowly, he stepped into the light, standing between Rudy and Penny. When he came full into the light, the two could finally make out exactly what he looked like. He wasn’t what either of them had expected.

At a glance, he looked relatively harmless. He looked a bit like a furry reptile. A jagged crest adorned his head and appeared to be flexible. He had bright green eyes which almost seemed to glow. His body was covered in yellow fur with a crimson underside. His tail looked like a cross between a wolf tail and a dinosaur tail. He had pointed ears that were currently perked, much like a happy dog. He looked really cute, like he wouldn’t harm a fly...

...that is until they saw his claws and fangs. His claws were large and thick, with pointed tips. It was clear that these claws were meant to shred through something harder than just mere flesh. And from the damage they saw at the jail, they could believe it. His claws alone were intimidating, especially with the way he tapped them against the hard ground.

But his fangs certainly didn’t help put them at ease. They stuck out of his mouth, long and thin, and were slightly curved. They rested neatly against his jaw. They could see some liquid drip from them and onto the ground. Steam rose high from it. They realized that it was his venom. Boiling venom that, if he dared to bite them, would burn them on the inside.

And around his neck, he wore a simple necklace. Attached to it was a small object. They couldn’t tell what it was at first. But when Rudy and Penny looked harder, they realized what it was.

A human tooth...

Rudy pressed his head back, staring at the yellow zoner in horror. His mind reeled, thoughts running through his head at lightning speed. The disappearances they heard on the television...they must have been linked to this zoner... He...he was responsible...

And now he had him and Penny at his mercy...

The zoner smirked at Rudy, as if he had somehow heard his thoughts, like he knew that he had made the connection. He moved towards Rudy until he was just a foot in front of him. He rose onto his back legs and placed his paws onto Rudy’s hands, being gentle with his claws so he wouldn’t cut him. He put his face close to Rudy’s and grinned. His lips pulled up so Rudy could see more of his fangs as well as his other razor sharp teeth.

Rudy tried to look away. But he found himself glued to the zoner’s eyes. Something about them made it hard for him to turn away. His heart beat quickly. He breathed faster. His eyes were filled with terror. He tried to push himself away, tried to get away from the venomous zoner. But he couldn’t go anywhere. He knew that, and so did the zoner.

The zoner stared into Rudy’s terrified eyes. He licked his jaws slowly, deliberately. His tail swished from side to side before wrapping around Rudy’s leg in an almost affectionate manner. Rudy wanted to scream and push him away. He had barely met the zoner and already he was creeping him out.

He moved his head to try to see Penny. She was looking at him with a horrified expression. It was clear she wanted to do something to help him, but with her strapped down, there was nothing she could do.

With the zoner so close, Rudy could see his outline. He started to tremble as he realized that the outline was striped, just like what Ms. Saffron said to watch out for. Part of the outline matched what color the zoner was. Dark yellow and dark red in their respective areas. But then, along with that, bright red stripes adorned the outline, with no rhyme or reason based on the zoner’s color. They were just there.

Rudy knew, without a doubt, that the intruder was indeed the hybrid zoner that freed Draow. The same hybrid zoner that Mr. Cosmo started to create, but never erased. The same zoner that had the potential of being worse than Cosmo.

And he and Penny had been trapped by him. They were completely at his mercy, and he knew they were going to get little of that while here. His heart was racing quickly, feeling more terrified than he ever did before. This...this couldn’t be happening... They had to get out of here somehow. They just had to. But how? There was no magic chalk, there was no way to tell Snap where they were, and they were both tied down, defenseless against anything this guy threw at them.

They were completely, utterly trapped and left vulnerable...

The hybrid zoner finally spoke after an uncomfortable silence. “Rudy Tabootie... I’m so glad that you and your friend, Penny Sanchez, are awake. I was getting bored of waiting for you...” The zoner moved on top of Rudy. He laid himself across Rudy’s shoulders, pressing his front claws against his chest, causing Rudy to wince a little. The zoner pressed the side of his head against Rudy’s and said, “Why, I almost thought about waking you up myself, but now..I don’t have to worry about that...” The zoner jumped away from Rudy, landing in the same spot he was in just moments earlier.

“Who...who...who are you...?” Rudy stammered.

The hybrid zoner swiveled his ears slightly and cocked his head to the side. “My name is Bardot.”

“What..do you want from us?” Penny asked with a shaky voice.

Bardot turned his head, giving the girl a sideways glance. “A lot, actually...” He eyed both Rudy and Penny up and down, studying them. He said, “I hope you are comfortable. Because you will be here for a while. Don’t like it here? Too bad. Get used to it.”

Rudy tried to be brave. He narrowed his eyes. “Let us go, Bardot.”

Bardot moved quickly and in seconds he was in Rudy’s face again. Rudy, taken aback, let out a quick cry of surprise and moved back. “I wonder how you will make me do anything...when you have no magic chalk, boy.” Bardot hissed in his face, that eerie smile staring back at him, mocking him. “And even if you did, without the use of your arms, the chalk is useless to you.”

Rudy knew Bardot was right. He couldn’t do anything without the magic chalk. And tied up like this, he couldn’t even use the chalk. He was completely defenseless. If Bardot decided to attack him, there was no way he could avoid the blows or fight back. He glared hatefully at Bardot, but kept quiet.

He looked over at Penny. His heart stung as he saw how frightened she was. Just as scared as him. They were somewhere they didn’t recognize. An unknown part of ChalkZone. They were tied up, without magic chalk, and now they were in the company of a crazed hybrid zoner and a vengeful winged wolf. They were in serious trouble.

A cold chuckle escaped Bardot’s throat. “I wonder how long you two will last...”

As he said this, Draow’s eyes gleamed with anticipation. He pawed the ground eagerly, the claws scraping against the ground.

Rudy sucked in a sharp breath, feeling his heart almost freeze to the point of stopping. He suddenly felt very cold. His body shook. He stared over at Penny in horror. She returned his expression. Fear of what will happen to them filled his mind. It was clear that, unless a miracle happened, they were both going to die here, and, judging from how Bardot spoke that line, it wasn’t going to be a quick death either.

Rudy’s eyes darted around the room. He tried in vain to find a way to escape. There had to be something here. Anything at all that could help him and Penny. But there was nothing. There was nothing here that would be of use to him, not while he was tied down. Not even a radio he could use to contact Snap...

“Where’s my dad?” Penny asked.

Rudy watched as Bardot walked over to his friend. He began to circle her like he had before. He finally stopped behind her. He got onto his head lines and placed his paws on her shoulders. He put the side of his face against hers, like how he had done with him. It was creepy how gentle he was being, especially considering just how vicious he really was.

“Oh my dear..” Bardot said in a sweet sounding voice. “Daddy is a little...broken apart to talk to you right now.”

Rudy and Penny’s eyes widened in horror at this.

“But don’t worry...” Bardot put his mouth close to Penny’s ear. He whispered into it, “You will soon be joining him...”

Penny’s face went pale. Tears started to drip from her eyes. She shook her head in denial. “N-No..it can’t be..no...papa...no...” She started to shudder. She closed her eyes tightly, clenching her teeth. She let out a scream. “No!”

Rudy looked at her sympathetically. Penny started to break down, crying. The sight of this broke his heart. He wanted to do something to help her feel better. But...what he could say about this...?

He shot a hateful glare at Bardot, whose cold laughter sliced through the air, chilling his heart. “You will pay for this...”

Bardot just smiled at him. “Perhaps I will, kid. Perhaps I will. But first...let us have some fun...”

Rudy flinched at that. He didn’t like the way he said the word ëfun’. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know what Bardot was implying. But he was certain that, sooner or later, he was going to find out, whether he liked it or not.

DarkWolf91

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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2013, 07:10:15 pm »
Eep, this guy is terrifying! Curious as to what his larger scheme is.
And poor Penny, that's just awful :(


DarkHououmon

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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2013, 08:07:51 pm »
CHAPTER 13: WHAT TO DO-



Snap’s mind felt like it turned into a block of ice. As he walked down the street, slowly back to where the old building was so he could return home, he found it hard to think of anything. Nothing...except what he had just seen in Rudy’s bedroom.

That blood...so much blood... Was it even possible his friends were even alive after that? They must have had some serious injuries to lose that much blood. And their attacker...from the damage he had seen, he must have tossed them around a little. He wouldn’t be surprised if his friends were suffering from some internal bleeding as well. The blood...he couldn’t get it out of his mind.

He didn’t want to give up hope on them. He wanted to believe that his friends were okay. That they were alive somehow and waiting for help. Yes, that might be the best thing to believe. Draow wouldn’t want them dead so fast. If he was anything like Cosmo, and he knew that he was, he would want to torment them first. And as much as he hated the idea of his friends being tortured and put through so much misery, it did still give him a chance to find them and rescue them.

As he cleared his mind a little, he thought about what the next course of action should be. He had no doubt in his mind that they were taken to ChalkZone. Heading back there was priority. Plus he couldn’t stay in the real world for very long. Even the act of standing in the real world was dangerous for him for too long during certain days. Not just rainy days, but humid days. The moisture in the air eats away at his body, and it itched, and if he stayed too long, it would start being pretty painful.

Normally, he wouldn’t even dared go into the real world without Rudy or Penny with him. He was helpless to get back on his own should they lose access to the portal. And he felt safe with his friends; they would know what was dangerous to him and help him avoid it at all coss. Being taken by Cosmo for a few days had made him even more apprehensive about going into the real world alone.

He had overridden this fear when he knew his friends were in danger. He needed to know what had happened, see it for himself. It was the only way for him to decide what he should do next. And though he felt nervous being in the real world, he was glad he went. As much as it terrified him to see all that blood, he felt better having an idea of what happened to his friends.

He hadn’t left the house right away. He had cried for several minutes, just letting it all out. The emotion built up inside of him, and he couldn’t hold it back. The fear of what happened, the fear that his friends might be gone, it was more than he could handle, and he just broke down.

He managed to make himself get up when he heard the sound of the door opening. He could hear soft crying, and voices. Rudy’s parents had went back into the house. Just them. Penny’s mom must have left and Terry was likely gone too, maybe to go back to her newswagon or whatever it was called to edit the footage for broadcast.

Although Mr. and Mrs. Tabootie stayed downstairs, trying to comfort each other, Snap had to leave. He couldn’t take the chance of them finding him. He didn’t want to risk them mistaking him for their son’s attacker. He would never hurt Rudy, but they wouldn’t know that. They weren’t aware of the strong friendship he had with their son, as well as Penny. For all they knew, he was an intruder, and once they saw he was made of chalk dust, he shuddered to think of how they might react.

Snap left the house the same way he came in. That meant going by the dreaded water again. This time, he did manage to control his fear a little. He kept telling himself that it wasn’t going to hurt him, that it wasn’t going to jump up and race towards him. He slipped around the small puddles of water and went out through the window, all the while being as quiet as he could.

And now, after some time of walking, trying to remember which way to turn, Snap could see the building up ahead. It was on the other side of the street, and, judging from the light, he would have to wait to cross. He watched the cars zip by. He coughed a little as he accidentally inhaled a bit of car smog. He had to stop and wonder how these humans managed to live like this.

Then, something caught his attention. The smell in the air, it had changed. He didn’t notice until now. Before, he didn’t really smell much of anything except some smog, and some food off in the distance. Food that he couldn’t eat unless he wanted to kill himself or, at the very least, make him sick. He had no idea how long the smell was there, and nothing about it seemed familiar.

It was...an almost chemical dampy kind of smell. Nothing like the vinegar. He shuddered at the memory. This was less intense, and yet it still smelled thick and heavy. Snap looked around, trying to find the source of the smell. He forgot all about watching the traffic ahead, and he spent some time walking around, trying to figure out the smell.

Then, slowly, he turned his head up. He wondered...could the smell be coming up from the sky? Now that he thought about it, the sky was looking unusually dark....

His eyes widened. He let out a gasp of fear. No...no not now...

His mind began to race, and as he heard the sound of thunder in the distance, it took all his strength not to scream aloud, which would have drawn unwanted attention to himself. He heard the sound of drops hitting against the ground. Tiny drops, and they hadn’t yet reached him. But that would all change in a matter of seconds...

Without thinking, Snap bolted across the street. Several cars screeched to a halt. He heard humans spewing insults at him, waving their fists in anger. The loud honking of cars filled his eardrums, almost overshadowing the thunderclap that sounded.

Snap ran as fast as he could. He watched the ground start to get a little wet. Droplets fell all around him. His heart began to race. If he didn’t get inside that building soon... He pushed himself to go faster, his throat getting dryer by the second. He could see the building to his side. He just needed a few more seconds.... Just a couple more seconds, please...

Snap slammed himself against the door. He didn’t bother opening it. He used his two dimensional powers to squeeze under the door. As soon as he got inside, he heard another thunderclap and the rain falling down much heavier than before. He walked over to a window and he let out a scream when he took notice of what was going on out there.

It was like a mansoon had struck. The rain came down thick, filling almost every part of the air with water. The wind picked up, washing the water across the ground. Already, there was a thin sheet of water on the ground, being rippled and rolled around by the wind. Another crack of thunder rattled through Snap’s body, making his heart beat faster and faster as realization sunk in.

If he had just been a few seconds late, he would have...he would have been...

Tears formed in his eyes once more, this time from fear and shock. He couldn’t believe how close he had gotten to dying... And his friends would not have known what happened to him. They might die never knowing what had happened to him, not knowing that he had gone into the real world to find them.

Snap shuddered at the realization of how close he was to death. A few seconds, and he would have died. He placed a hand on his chest, feeling his heart thump against his ribcage. He took in deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. He took one last look through the window, swallowed hard, and forced himself to walk up the rickety steps towards the portal that would take him home. He would feel much better when he went back home, in a dimension that couldn’t kill him as easily as a knife cutting through melted butter.

When he went back through the blue portal, and his feet touched the familiar ground that was ChalkZone, he felt a wave of relief hit him. All the fears that he had regarding his own safety had vanished. He felt secure here. He knew, here, the rain wouldn’t be able to get to him. He was away from the real world water. He wasn’t in danger anymore.

...but he knew his friends still were. He needed a way to track down Draow. But how? There was no blood trail leading outside. There would have to be some other way to find him. Strands of hair maybe. He decided he should go home, to his place, to locate his detective outfit Rudy drew for him when Penny first came. The magnifying glass might help him here.

He didn’t get two steps away before he found himself being smothered by Rapsheeba. She had pulled him into a hug and she had a look of great relief on her face. He had almost forgotten she was there, his mind clouded by the memories of what he had witnessed in the real world, the sight he beheld when he went into Rudy’s bedroom.

“My man Snap! You’re okay!” Rapsheeba cried out.

Snap gagged. “Please let me go...” She was squeezing him too hard.

When Rapsheeba realized what she was doing, she let go of him. “Oh I’m so sorry... Are you okay?”

Snap rubbed his head and brushed himself off. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

After a few moments of silence, Rapsheeba sucked her lip nervously. “So uh...” She hesitated, looking at Snap worriedly. She forced out the question she was afraid to ask. “Did you find out anything?”

At this, Snap furrowed his eyebrows and he stared at her. He gave a rigid nod. “Y-Yeah, I did...” He tried his best not to cry.

Rapsheeba noticed how red his cheeks were. She knew that he had been crying. She put a hand over her mouth and took a step back. She stared at Snap with a combination of horror and sympathy. Snap didn’t need to say anything for Rapsheeba to understand the gravity of the situation.

Feeling a tear roll down his cheek, Snap looked at Rapsheeba and said, “It...it was horrible. There was..blood everywhere...So much blood...”

Rapsheeba gasped in horror. She took a step back, staring at Snap. She looked like she wanted to say something, but no words would come out.

Snap’s body shuddered once. He fought back the tears that continued to form. Yet he couldn’t stop a few more tears from trinkling down his face.

“D-Draow attacked them... I know it was him....” Snap said in a shaky voice. Rapsheeba’s eyes widened at this. “He must have taken them into ChalkZone.. I don’t know where they are but I swear...I swear...” His fists shook in determination. “I will find them...”

Rapsheeba placed a hand on his shoulder. She looked at him sympathetically. In an attempt to encourage him, she said, “I’m sure you will...”

“Thanks, queenie...” Snap said softly, offering a weak smile.

She smiled back, but her attention turned back to the portal. “What are we going to do about this?”

Snap stared at the portal. He hadn’t thought about that. He could try to get rid of the portal and...no that wouldn’t work. Zoners could not erase portals. It was too risky for them. Even the act of touching an eraser was dangerous. He couldn’t take the chance of hurting or killing himself.

The next best thing to do was to hide the portal somehow. But...just how was he going to do that? He could try slinging something over it, but that would make it even more noticeable to anyone walking by. While most zoners would not want to go through the portal anyway, he knew that some scrupulous zoners might want to go through and cause a bit of trouble themselves. And even if no zoners like that came across here, the act of going into the real world not only posed a threat to the individual, but risked exposing ChalkZone.

He couldn’t very well draw a cover for the portal. He wasn’t a creator like Rudy or Penny. So he would have to make do with what he had. Maybe he could find something tall that could drap over the portal and cover it up or something. He looked around, trying to find something to help him with this.

Snap turned to Rapsheeba. “Do you see anything we can use to cover up the portal?”

Rapsheeba looked confused. She glanced around quickly before saying, “I don’t think so. Why?”

Snap walked around the immediate area, searching around desperately for something he could use. There had to be something here. There just had to be. “We need to cover up the portal with something. Preferably something dark but inconspicuous. We don’t want any zoners or humans finding this portal. I would erase it, but we zoners can’t do such a risky thing without hurting ourselves in the process.”

“Sorry, Snap.” Rapsheeba said. “I just don’t know if we can do that. I don’t see any concievable way we could...”

“Well we have to try!” Snap said, his voice firm. “ChalkZone would be in danger if we don’t...”

“Our friends are in danger, Snap.” Rapsheeba reminded him. “We can’t be wasting time on this. From what you said, we need to go find them, and fast.”

Snap paused and thought about this. He knew Queen Rapsheeba was right. The more time they spent on this, the less time he had to help his friends. They were somewhere, badly hurt, maybe barely alive, and they needed help fast. And if he kept wasting time on this portal...

...he might never see them again...

Snap knew he had a tough decision to make. He could try to cover up the portal, or he could start to look for his friends. And both had their own form of consequence. Leaving the portal out in the open increases the chances of a zoner or human stumbling across it and crossing through. And there was a probability that the zoner or human who finds it would have less than ideal intentions. But if he kept working on hiding the portal, that was less time he had to find his friends. If he kept at this, he would lose his two best friends, and he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself for that.

He growled in frustration, clutching his head. It was so hard to choose. He didn’t want to lose his friends. But he also didn’t want to put ChalkZone, his home, in grave danger. He weighed the two options in his mind. He felt a sick feeling rising in his stomach annd chest, making him feel like he wanted to throw up. Oh, why did he have to be forced between a rock and a hard place...?

Rapsheeba tapped him on the shoulder. He turned to face her. She gave him the best smile that she could, trying her best to reassure him.

“Hey, don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of the portal. I’ll...think of something.” She said. “You go figure out where Rudy and Penny are.”

Snap’s eyes widened a little. He hadn’t thought about asking Rapsheeba to help with the portal. He was grateful that she offered to take care of it. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a hug. “Thank you, queenie...” He said in a soft voice, smiling gratefully.

Rapsheeba returned the hug, rubbing his back. “No problem.”

Letting go of her, Snap smiled at Rapsheeba for a few seconds, then he turned his head towards where his sleeping quarters were. He narrowed his eyes in determination. He was going to find Rudy and Penny, and he will do whatever it takes to save them. They tried so hard to save him when he was held captive by Cosmo, and when he felt like he was on his last leg.

Now it was time that he returned the favor.

sss

Five disappearances...no, make that seven disappearances. All within a short amount of time. All with no evidence left behind except blood, and some minor destruction, most likely from all the struggling. And they all happened in Plainsville...

To most people, these events were alarming, confusing, and horrifying. No one knew what was going on. Nobody had a clue where the bodies where, if the victims were even still alive. There was nothing left at the crime scenes that offered any clues as to what was going on. The families in mourning are desperate to find out what happened to their loved ones. They would hope and pray that someone, somewhere, has any kind of clue as to the whereabouts of the victims.

That is, except one person. There was one person in town currently who wasn’t as confused as the others. Terry Bouffant was her name. She sat in her television van, parked in an empty parking lot, looking over the evidence she had gathered.

She had an idea of what was going on. She had learned how to recognize the signs after all her encounters with Rudy and his friends. She looked at the pictures of the crime scenes and narrowed her eyes at them. There was one thing that would explain the disappearances. However, her theory could never be broadcasted, not unless she wanted to lose her job. It had taken her a long time to get a higher position. Not as high as she used to be, but it was a step up for her.

She knew that ChalkZone had to be connected. It would explain why there were no bodies found. She had been to ChalkZone before, and from what she’d seen, it was a large place. Maybe not as big as earth, though she couldn’t tell. But it was still quite big. There were many places for people to disappear to in that place.

The only thing she wasn’t sure of was the circumstances of the disappearances. They all seemed random at first. And she wasn’t even sure if the attacker was a zoner or someone who had access to ChalkZone. The seemingly random attacks became more focused when Andrew Sanchez, whom she believed was Penny’s father, disappeared. It might have been a coincidence, but her gut feeling told her that he had been targeted on purpose.

And then Rudy and Penny both vanish. And the room they were taken from had a lot more blood... She shuddered a little at the memory. The sight of all that blood made her feel uneasy. She might not like the kids that much, but even she wouldn’t wish that kind of fate on them. She did feel a little sorry for the parents. But she kept most of her focus on trying to figure out just what happened.

She had seen Snap White running into a building. She had been trying to drive home when someone rushed into traffic. She almost hit a car in front of her as she slammed hard on her brakes. She was pissed off and looked out the window to see who the jerk was. Her eyes widened when she saw it was Snap, apparently trying to escape the rain, as seconds later the rain fell.

She wondered why he was in the real world and not back in ChalkZone. And why would he run into that building of all places? Why not Rudy’s house? After doing some quick thinking, she deduced that there must be an open portal in that particular building. He could have ran into another building right next to it, or even passed it, but instead, he chose that one building. Old, worn, nobody having used it in a long time.

Terry narrowed her eyes. Yes, there had to be an open portal there. If she could go in there and locate the portal, she could finally get irrefutable evidence of the chalk world’s existence. And, as much as she never really wanted true harm to come to Rudy and Penny, nothing like what had happened to them, one good thing that came out of it was that, unlike her first attempt to expose ChalkZone...

...this time, there would be no one to stop her.

DarkHououmon

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Play The Game
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2013, 08:08:40 pm »
CHAPTER 14: PLAY A GAME WITH ME, SNAP-



Snap had rushed towards his home as fast as he could. He did run into a couple of zoners, whom he quickly apologized to. But he didn’t stop moving. Every second, every minute that went by...that was more time for his friends to be tortured, hurt, killed... He didn’t have time to waste. He had to get back to his sleeping quarters, and he had to do it now.

He wanted to go there to get his detective stuff. And he also wanted to spend sometime thinking about what he should do. A quiet place was what he needed, and though he could have just stayed out in the field, he felt like he could think better if he was alone. He needed a bit of time to think about what he was going to do next, where to go first. There were many places in ChalkZone he could start looking. Once he got his detective gear, he would go back to the blue portal and see if anything around there could tell him something.

Draow was a large zoner. And a little heavy too. He would have left footprints behind, even just slight ones. Using the magnifying glass, he would be able to find these footprints and get an idea of which direction his friends were taken in. He had thought about finding a zoner with a great sense of smell to help him track Draow down. Surely some artist made a drawing like that. ChalkZone had all kinds of citizens with different abilities. Kids liked drawing dogs, so if he found a dog zoner, he’d have a better chance of finding his friends.

He did not plan on staying at his sleeping quarters for too long. Though he still had more planning he had to do, like what he is going to do when he faced the hybrid zoner, he had little time to waste. He planned on spending no more than ten, twenty minutes at his place before he would get a move on.

He thought about his friends. His mind flashed briefly with scenes of their blood everywhere. It made him shudder. Everytime he thought about it, it made him do that. He could only imagine the kind of attacks Draow gave them to create so much blood splatter. With all that blood, he knew they were very badly injured, possibly bleeding to death. And he had no doubt in his mind that Draow would go even further with them.

Draow clearly had the cruelty intent that Mr. Cosmo had. He was that evil man’s creation. He shared traits from him. He was a lot like him. Maybe not so much a good planner, but that didn’t make him any less dangerous. Despite not being as good at scheming, he was good at decieving. Being able to trick everyone for years that he couldn’t talk...that took skill. It made Snap wonder why Draow decided to break his vow of silence. Maybe he just got tired of not saying anything.

Snap still wasn’t certain about the hybrid zoner and what part they played. The idea of him being more dangerous than Cosmo did frighten him. Cosmo was terrifying, a monster. He still had nightmares of him. He couldn’t fathom how anyone could be worse than him. It made him afraid to encounter this hybrid zoner. He wasn’t sure if he really wanted to know just how far this intruder would go.

Not knowing what the hybrid zoner’s plans are was going to make this investigation more difficult than he thought. Draow was clearly listening to this guy. And he had no doubts in his mind that the hybrid zoner had ordered Draow to capture his friends. Whatever plan this guy had involved his friends, but just what he wanted to do with them, he wasn’t sure.

A thought was revenge. But Snap had his doubts about that. The problem with that theory is that it would require the hybrid to actually care about Mr. Cosmo. Draow certainly did, viewing him as his master and equal. He had followed Mr. Cosmo willingly, not because he was being forced to. But...the first hybrid zoner Cosmo made recently didn’t care about what he had to say. What were the odds the second one would care? If the second recent hybrid zoner was anything like the first recent one, then revenge couldn’t be a very likely possibility.

And it made sense. The red chalk drawings weren’t known to be loyal, and would turn on their creators on a dime if they saw fit. Both Rudy and Reggie had suffered from this when they used the red chalk. Even though Mr. Cosmo created the hybrid to override this, the red chalk half of these hybrids would still not want to take orders, and it may be enough to override the white chalk halves. Red chalk was strong, and Snap knew that the red half would be the most dominant part.

Snap found it pretty ironic. The purpose of the red chalk was so that Mr. Cosmo could create violent, obedient zoners that would do whatever he said. It was an attempt to take over ChalkZone, to control it. But instead of helping him, it did the exact opposite. The red chalk revolted, forcing Mr. Cosmo to seek alternative methods. It was a failure. Snap sometimes wondered if Mr. Cosmo had some fear of the red chalk that he created and that was why he was so desperate to control it.

The man was obsessed with control. He loved being in power. He loved being able to call all the shots. Everything for him, for a time, had been all under control, planned out. And even when something different happened, he adjusted accordingly.

When Rudy told him what happened when Cosmo finally realized everything was falling apart, Snap wasn’t surprised. Someone who enjoyed that much control would surely snap like that when they realized things weren’t going their way anymore. Despite all his planning, all his preparation, Mr. Cosmo had still lost and he hadn’t taken it well. According to Rudy, the man had suddenly abandoned his calm, creepy persona and just went beserk. It was something that Rudy and the others thought they would never experience from this guy.

There was a terrifying thought Snap had as he made his way towards his sleeping quarters. Red chalk drawings seemed to attack with no purpose. They just..went about destroying things. In fact, the sentient, horrific chalk seemed the only crave destruction. That was its goal; to spread chaos thoughout ChalkZone. Nothing more than that. No scheme, no plan, no nothing. Just...wanting to cause as much pain as possible.

What if this hybrid zoner is like that? What if, despite having the intelligence of white chalk, the hybrid zoner really has no big plans? What if he isn’t doing this because of grand scheme? What if he is only doing this...for fun...?

If that is the case, if the hybrid zoner really is only doing this just for the heck of it...if he is causing his friends so much pain simply because he ëfeels like it’.... Then Snap can easily see just where he would be worse than Mr. Cosmo. Though that man was pure evil, his actions often had a motive behind it. But if this hybrid zoner is only interested in causing pain just because he wants to...that would be so much worse...

Snap soon reached his place and went inside. He looked around his place, trying to find where he put that detective outfit and magnifying glass that Rudy drew for him years ago. He remembered he put it in a box in his closet, so maybe it would be there. He went into his bedroom and checked his closet, but he didn’t see it. He narrowed his eyes. Where could he have put it?

He tried looking under the dresser. He didn’t watch where he was going and he banged his had. He winced and rubbed his head. Something fell on his head. He looked down and saw it was the plushie of himself Skrawl had given him. He picked it up, smiled briefly at it, and then put it back up on top of the dresser.

When he did so, he had noticed something else underneath the dresser. He knelt back down and saw a small box. He pulled it out, careful not to bang it against the dresser. He placed it on his bed and opened it up.

It was his detective outfit and magnifying glass. He didn’t recall putting it under his dresser. But with all that has happened, he may have just forgotten. He took the two items out and brushed the dust off of them. Even after he did that, they still looked kinda dirty. It didn’t surprise him, considering he hadn’t used them in years. And there was a funny smell to the detective outfit, but he could manage. It was just a smell after all.

In a weird sort of way, it was almost like Skrawl was helping him. If he hadn’t been hit in the head with the Snap plushie and had to go pick it up, he may never have noticed the box underneath his dresser. Of all the places, that would have been the last place he’d check. So, in a way, Skrawl did make things a lot easier for him.

Now that he had his outfit, it was time he tried to figure out exactly what he was going to do next.

Finding a dog zoner would be a priority. Tracking would be the best way to friend his friends. He didn’t have anything with their scent on, but he may be able to find some strands of hair at the portal where he was certain they were dragged through. He hoped that would be enough for the dog zoner to get the scent and take him to his friends.

But then, what if it wasn’t enough? A few strands of hair might not have enough scent for the dog zoner to follow. It was better than nothing, sure, but there was still a chance that the scent was long gone by now. Draow may have found a way to cover the scent, or make it weaker somehow. If that were the case, Snap needed to think of a plan B, and fast.

Someone with a stronger sense of smell might also work. Some zoners did have really strong sense of smell, stronger than usual, and could pick up any scent. But finding these zoners was hard. Most of them are too far away; he couldn’t risk going to them. There was one zoner relatively close that did have such a power, but he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to ask him for help.

Boorat.

The giant rat that had tried to expose ChalkZone. He had been taken to the same prison that Draow had been locked up in. He hadn’t seen him during their visits there, but that was because he was in another level. He had been sent there after his arrest. When he had gotten free, he had tried again to expose ChalkZone and had harrassed Rudy and his friends. Biclops had quickly put an end to it and Boorat was caught and jailed.

Snap knew that Boorat had a terrific sense of smell, probably the best that he knew of. Boorat was very likely able to track down where his friends are, where Draow and this mystery zoner went. He could help capture the two criminals and bring them back, and in exchange, he would get something. But he didn’t know if Boorat would even take that offer. It wasn’t like he liked him and his friends very well, and his whole purpose of being created was to fetch the magic chalk. Once freed, he would go straight back to that.

It didn’t help that Snap had frozen the guy into a ëliving statue’ after their first encounter. It was clear, from their second encounter, that Boorat held contempt for him. There was no way the giant rat would ever agree to help him and his friends.

So Boorat was out of the picture. Snap tried to think of another zoner with that kind of smelling power, but no one came up. Everyone he could think of was just...too far away. He couldn’t take the risk and find them. By the time he could find them and bring them back here, his friends might already be.... No, he had to hurry.

Snap decided to get a drink of water. His throat was still dry from all the running he had done. He closed the box and walked into the kitchen. He grabbed a glass and turned the sink on, filling the glass with the water that sprang from the faucet. He took a few sips as he headed into his living room. He sat down on his recliner and leaned back.

Normally, he would relax in here. He enjoyed a little relaxation once in a while and this was a good place for him to do it. After all that running, his body did want some rest.

But he couldn’t rest for long. Not while his friends were in danger. He would rest only for a short time, to regain some of his energy back. He needed to focus on figuring out where his friends could be. He needed to get started with his own investigation. He knew that Skrawl might not be happy with him doing detective work on his own, but he didn’t really care what Skrawl thought at the moment.

It was one thing when they were simply trying to find Draow and his hybrid zoner. But the moment that they had kidnapped his friends, it had become personal... No one gets away with hurting his friends. He was going to do whatever it took to find his friends and make the culprits pay for what they did. He was not going to allow them to get away with this. When someone messes with his friends, they mess with him.

Snap held up the glass in the air. He stared at his reflection, rippling as the water moved to and fro in the glass. He continued to stare at his reflection as thoughts swam through his mind.

“Rudy and Penny...” He said in a soft voice. “I will find you. I will make those creepazoids pay for what they did to you. I will make them sorry. I promise.”

He could just imagine what the criminals’ response was going to be. He could imagine it so vividly, he could practically hear it.

“Oh, do you really think so?”

Yes, something like that. That is what he imagined that they would say. And he would have a few choice words for them. And then he would give them exactly what they deserve. Normally, he was not a violent person, but he would gladly make an exception for these two. They deserved a few good punches.

Snap continued to stare at his reflection, watching it wobble. He then noticed something strange. Something that wasn’t there a moment ago. Something was moving. It didn’t look familiar. It almost looked like a dog of some kind. He could tell it was furry, but the overall shape, he couldn’t tell exactly. The ripple of the reflection was distorting the image. He thought, at first, that a dog zoner got lost in his house. He wouldn’t have minded that, since he could still use the help of a dog zoner, even if the chances of finding his friends with one weren’t very high.

But as the shape started to get larger, he began to notice features that he didn’t think there on most dog zoners. The muzzle looked more reptilitian. They didn’t have a black or pink colored nose like dog zoners typically had. And the shape of the nose was, again, something he would expect from a reptile zoner. He also never recalled any dog zoner having a spikey crest like this one had. And the paws, which he caught a brief glimpse of, didn’t look like dog paws. Three large claws that looked pretty sharp.

Then Snap took notice of the coloration. He narrowed his eyes, trying to get a better look. Red and yellow...where he had seen that before? There was something familiar about that color. Then, realization hit him like a freight train. Red and yellow...were the same colors as the intruder...

Before Snap had time to turn around, there was a flash of color. A swift motion that caused wind to rush past him. His glass was knocked out of his hand. He heard it breaking on the ground, the water spilling all over the place. But he paid little attention to that as his senses were overwhelmed with the sensation of something..no someone, pinning him down against his chair. The force was so great, the chair fell backwards. Snap yelped in pain as his head hit against the ground.

When Snap opened his eyes, the first thing he was aware of was that the intruder was so close, he could see the chalky details of their outline. He also noticed, really fast, that the outline was striped. He realized, in horror, this really was the hybrid zoner that Ms. Saffron had warned them about.

He stared up at the hybrid zoner, who was sneering down at him, a grin on his face. The way he was looking at him..it reminded him so much of Mr. Cosmo... His heart racing, Snap tried to get away from him. But he quickly realized he was immobilized. In the few seconds the hybrid zoner had to knock into him, he had wrapped his furry tail around his legs, securing them, he used his hind legs to hold down his thighs and stomach, and he used his front legs to hold his arms at his sides.

Snap tried to get free. He pulled his legs and arms, trying in vain to get them free. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t free them. This zoner was not too much larger than him, but he certainly possessed a lot more strength. Snap continued to struggle, all the while the zoner just smiled evilly at him.

“No...no...” Snap whimpered. “This can’t be happening...”

His mind was brought back to when Mr. Cosmo had strapped him to a table. His legs and arms pinned down so he couldn’t get away. The water droplet that fell on his head... This was the same way he had felt back then, so helpless, so desperate to get away, but being unable to do a thing about it.

Snap stared up at the intruder in horror. His eyes widened as he saw the fangs drip with heated venom. He saw it drip down and land right next to him. Steam rose up. He let out a scream and cringed back. His body started to shake in fear. He watched anxiously, waiting for the intruder to do something.

But the intruder did nothing but smile down at him. It was clear he was enjoying his torment. He bared his teeth, showing off more of his long fangs. Snap stared, trembling, into the intruder’s bright green eyes. He could have sworn he saw Cosmo staring back at him through those eyes. And that just made him even more afraid.

In this moment, Snap realized the voice he heard earlier...it hadn’t been from his head. He didn’t imagine it. It was from this zoner. It had been him who said that, which means the intruder heard what he said about making him and Draow pay. He gulped, shaking in fright. He wondered if this zoner was angry about what he said and was going to retaliate against him. He didn’t know why the hybrid zoner wasn’t doing anything yet, unless he wanted to watch him squirm for a little longer.

“At last...” The zoner said, speaking in a voice that sounded too sweet for the way this guy was acting. He raised up his head a little. “We meet face to face... I would have waited, but I really just had to introduce myself before we...continued.”

Snap struggled a little more. He stared up at the zoner. “What...what have you done with my friends?” He demanded.

The zoner tilted his head to the side. “They’re...alive.” The evil smile became broader. “Now as for fine..that’s a different story.”

Snap narrowed his eyes. “If you hurt them, I swear I’ll...”

The zoner laughed darkly. He looked amused by Snap’s attempt at bravery. He repositioned his paws. Before Snap could do anything, he soon found his arms now positioned above his head, held down by one of the intruder’s paws. Now with a free paw, the zoner used a single claw to gently trace a line down his face and under his chin. He was very gentle, careful not to scratch him.

“You really are something. So brave. So noble. Now I understand why it was so hard to..break you completely.” The zoner said, giving another dark chuckle. He traced his claw down the middle of Snap’s chest before he suddenly pressed harder, drawing a little bit of blood. He smirked as Snap gave a quick yelp. The intruder looked at the blood on his claws and licked it off slowly. “But you are still mortal. Just how far can you go? How much can you take before you fall down?”

Despite his fear, Snap growled at the intruder. “I’ll last long enough to save my friends and send you and Draow to jail.”

“Perhaps you may succeed...” The intruder said, scratching his own chin thoughtfully. “I am not one to lie. I agree that maybe...you can stop me. But only time will tell, don’t you think?” He sneered, smiling down at Snap. “And before I forget, since I know you will want to call me by name in the future... My name is Bardot.”

“Well then Bardot,” Snap said, glaring hatefully at the zoner that conspired in the kidnapping of his friends. “You better watch out. I will save my friends, and you are going to pay. You are going to be brought to justice, and after they are through, you will regret everything you have done.”

Bardot laughed at this. “Oh, so full of spirit. I like that. I shall look forward to our battle...if you are able to make it.” Snap snarled at him. “For you see, if you wish to find your friends, you must play a game with me.”

“I’m not playing any game with the likes of you!” Snap spat.

Bardot said, “Oh but you’d want to play this game. It’s called ëCan You Find Your Friends Before They Die?’. It’s really all the rage. I’m surprised you don’t want to play.”

Snap’s eyes widened in horror. He felt his heart clench. Did Bardot just threaten his friends’ lives? Was he really that cruel that he was using them as mere toys in some forsaken ëgame’? And he was going to force him to play this sinister thing? Was that all this was to Bardot? A game?

He had only seen this guy for a few minutes, only spoke to him for a short time, and already he realized this guy really did have the potential of being worse than Mr. Cosmo. That man never regarded his plans as entirely a game; everything had a purpose. But with Bardot, it seemed he really was only doing this for fun. Perhaps he was wrong, but that was how it was shaping up. Bardot was giving him no reason to believe otherwise.

That would explain his casual attitude to his threat. If Bardot sees this all as a game, just something to do for fun, then any threat he is given would be percieved as just a consequence of ëplaying the game wrong’. He growled at this. He couldn’t think of a punishment that Bardot would take seriously, which would mean that bringing him to justice wouldn’t change much. He would simply shrug it off and, if he escaped, he’d continue doing terrible things.

Still, Snap was not going to let him get away with this. Even if he had to do it himself, he would make sure he gets the justice he deserved. He would find a way to make him sorry, to make him feel actual regret for what he did to his friends.

“You aren’t going to get away with this.” Snap said in the bravest, most determined voice he could muster. “You have no idea who you’re messing with. Do you know who I am?” Snap was taken aback when Bardot put his face very close to his.

“I know very well who you are...Snap White.”

At this, Snap’s eyes widened. He wasn’t surprised that the zoner knew his first name. He might have heard it around town, somewhere in ChalkZone. But the fact that he somehow knew his last name, the one Penny gave him... It was nerve wracking. There was no way he could have known that.

Bardot smirked at him. “You are the zoner that beat the odds against the Dark Creator.” Snap wondered who he meant at first, but then he realized that he must have been referring to Mr. Cosmo. He tried to push himself back when Bardot’s face got even closer, to the point where he could feel his nose against his face. “But can you save your dear friends...from me?”

At this, Bardot’s eyes seemed to brighten and twinkle a little. It usually would look pretty on anything else, but seeing this in Bardot’s eyes was horrifying. Snap felt the courage he had mustered up fade away as Bardot talked to him in such a casual but very menacing way. Having him so close, with those fangs, wasn’t helping either.

“Time is running out, Snap. You better hurry.” Bardot whispered in his ear before pulling his head back.

For a moment, there was silence. Snap could only hear the sound of breathing. No one said a word. Bardot stared down at him, those gleaming eyes and sharp teeth practically staring into his sould. Suddenly, without warning, Bardot struck forward.

Snap let out a scream as Bardot slammed his face against something solid. He closed his eyes and looked away. He trembled and clenched his teeth. He opened up his eyes and looked to his right side. Bardot had bitten down on his couch, his fangs sunk in deep. He was utterly horrified by this. Those fangs...so close... He stared to whimper in fear.

Hyperventilating, Snap watched as Bardot released his couch and threw his head back in a maniacal laughter. The red chalk portion of him was really shining through here. When he stopped laughing, he grinned down at Snap, some venom clinging to the tip of his fangs. Snap stared at him, unable to stop his body from shaking.

Fear overwhelmed Snap. He was feeling as helpless as he did with Mr. Cosmo. His chest rose and fell rapidly as he sucked in each breath quickly. He could hear his heart pounding against his ribcage, so hard that he almost thought it was going to burst through. His teeth started to chatter as his body shook even harder. He let out a whine as Bardot lowered his head again. He turned his head to the side, staring up at Bardot with one fear-filled eye.

Bardot placed his mouth next to Snap’s head. He whispered, “I have placed the items to begin the game in your bedroom. Look for them. You will find two cards. One explaining the rules. The other, with information on where to go for the first game. You will be playing multiple games, and, if you pass, you will locate your friends and you will have a chance to save them. I can promise you that.”

Snap didn’t respond. He just continued to stare at the hybrid zoner, too afraid to speak a word.

“I also gave you a radio so we may...communicate.” Bardot added. “But don’t bother tracing it. I made sure that it cannot be used to find me. That would be cheating.” He waggled his finger like a scolding parent. He jumped off of Snap, landing a couple feet away. “I am eager to get started. Don’t diddle dally, Snap White. And I wish you...” His voice darkened, sounding even more menacing than before. “..the best of luck...”

With that, he ran off, becoming a flash of color before vanishing from sight, leaving behind a frightened and shaken up Snap.

Snap laid there for a few seconds, breathing in and out quickly, trying to digest what had just happened. He got up to his feet. Each step he took was shaky, and he almost fell over a few times. He made his way towards his door and swung it open. He looked left and right.

There was no sign of the hybrid zoner. And nobody walking around was reacting differently. It didn’t seem like anyone had seen this guy. It was like he wasn’t even here.

Snap took in a few shaky breaths, his mind racing. He looked down at his chest. He gingerly placed his right hand there. He winced as he felt it sting. He pulled his hand away and saw a little bit of blood. He looked back out into the streets. Realization began to sink in.

Bardot was right. He needed to hurry.

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2013, 08:09:30 pm »
CHAPTER 15: TWISTED AND ABHORRENT-




Despite what Bardot had told them about ëhaving fun’, he had yet to do anything to Rudy or Penny. He decided he needed to go do something, and had left Draow in charge of watching them. Bardot told Draow not to do anything to them while he was gone. Bardot didn’t say where he was going; just that he needed to ëget something set up’, yet never said just what that was.

Not that Rudy cared. He was glad that monster was gone, even if it was just for a short while. He couldn’t stand looking at him. He enjoyed the time Bardot was away. He couldn’t stop the rage from building up everytime he saw his face. What he had done, it was unforgiveable. He hadn’t known him that long, and already he felt like punching him in the face.

Before Bardot left, he felt it necessary to inform them on what he had done, specifically, to Penny’s father. And when he had finished the story, Penny...she was even more broken down than before. He wanted to comfort her, but..what could have said to something like that? Nothing he thought of to say seemed good enough to help her. What could he say to someone who...just lost their father...?

Bardot..he would pay for what he did. Somehow...someway..he was going to pay. He was going to regret everything he did against them. He was going to suffer. He was going to see to that.

Bardot confessed to killing all of his previous victims. He hadn’t bothered telling what he did with the first four victims. It seemed he had wanted to torment them, so he described, in detail, what he did to Penny’s father. He said he had specifically targeted him because he was Penny’s father. Rudy had a feeling that he had wanted to strike where it hurts the most. The heart. If shattering a poor girl’s soul was what he had intended, then he certainly succeeded in doing that.

Rudy was utterly horrified and disgusted when the hybrid zoner explained what he had done to Mr. Sanchez. He talked about how he had tortured him. He had strapped the man down on a table in some other part of this forsaken place, and started to bite him with his fangs, injecting his burning venom to char the poor man on the inside. And after that, he tore the man’s jaw from its hinge when the man had apparently insulted him. Then, slowly, he ripped the man’s limbs off, one by one, and let him slowly bleed to death.

The hybrid zoner described how hard it was to butcher the man after that, cutting his body into pieces for easier transport. He said how he was leaving them out in the heat somewhere so they’ll dry. He said he won’t be able to eat them until all the liquid was completely dried up.

And he said all this with a smile on his face. His tone was casual, like he was just talking about the weather. He had kept his eyes locked on Penny’s most of the time. He seemed happy with her reaction, the way that she quickly fell apart when he described her father’s fate. And as Penny cried harder, Bardot’s voice seemed to rise in volume. It was like he wanted to make sure Penny heard every word as he told the story of what happened to her father.

And just when he thought Bardot couldn’t say anything else cruel, he had gone over to Penny and showed off his necklace to her. He said that the tooth he wore came from her father. He mockingly told her to pay her respects and watched her cry for about a minute before he moved away from her. He was sick...he was vile...

Rudy was glad that, afterwards, Bardot left, giving them sometime alone without having to stare at his mug. Surprisingly, they were released from their restraints, though Bardot informed them that, soon, they would be put back in the chairs. It wasn’t like they could go anywhere, anyway. They had no magic chalk...

Rudy felt so helpless without the magic chalk. He felt like there was absolutely nothing he could do. He was free, no longer tied down to the chair. But this was ony temporary, and might have been done not to make him feel better, but to make him feel more trapped, because he would have the freedom of movement, but nowhere to go. If he had magic chalk, he would be able to save Penny and himself, but his captors were careful to make sure he had no magic chalk with him. Same thing with Penny. They were both chalkless.

There was only one place out of here, and that was where Draow was. The large wolf bat was asleep, but he was laying in the doorway, his face turned towards them. They wouldn’t be able to sneak around him without waking him up. Neither of them could jump that far, and Draow would surely hear or smell them if they got too close. They were completely trapped in here, in the company of two vicious zoners who were eager to torture them.

Rudy, as gently as he could, held Penny in his arms. She had ran to him as fast as she could after they were both released from the chairs. This was after Bardot told his little ëstory’ to them. Penny was so distraught, so heartbroken over what happened, she just wrapped her arms around Rudy and hugged Rudy. Her body shaking, she refused to let go.

He rubbed her back gently, trying to think of someway to comfort her. He felt his shoulder get moist as Penny cried into it. Her body shook with emotion, sobs wracking through, as she continued to cry. It hurt Rudy to see Penny this way. He wished he could comfort her, but he couldn’t think of anything to say to this. She had just lost her father. It was...going to take a long time to recover from it.

He was horrified and shocked at how casually Bardot said all those things. It was like he didn’t think it was a big deal, like he was just talking about the scores on the next football game or something. He either didn’t know how big of a deal of what he did was, or he did know, but he chose to forget. He had absolutely no remorse for what he did. And his reaction to Penny’s crying...the way he looked happier, the he way he laughed... Rudy really wanted to give him a good punch.

Rudy held Penny close to him, tightly but gently. He looked down at her, tears dripping from his eyes as he watched his girlfriend cry her heart out. He wished he could take the pain away. He wished he could make things better for her. But there was nothing at all he could do. He just held onto her, trying to sooth her by whispering to her, trying to give her some hope that they would be rescued and Bardot and Draow would be brought to justice.

Rudy reached down and cupped Penny’s chin, tilting it so that she was looking at him. His heart felt like it was going to shatter into pieces when he saw how reddened and moist her eyes looked from all her crying. Her cheeks were red too, stained with the tears that drained from her eyes. She gave a loud sniffle and he could see fresh tears falling down, reflecting barely in the light of the torches.

“I promise...we’ll get out of here soon...” Rudy said in a comforting voice. “And your father’s death won’t be in vain...”

A few whimpers escaped Penny’s throat. She stared at him, her eyes widened in fear. Rudy could feel her fingernails dig into his skin as she clung to him like no tomorrow. “What..what if we don’t...?”

Rudy moved his hand up and gently stroked her hair. “Never say ënever’. That is what I learned when we tangled with Mr. Cosmo. Things looked bleak then. I know it seems hopeless now, but...trust me, Penny. Somehow...we’ll get out of this.”

Penny’s lower lip quivered. She pressed the side of her head against Rudy’s chest. She cried harder. Rudy could feel her tears dampen his shirt. “I..I hope you’re right Rudy...”

“We will.” Rudy said, trying to sound as hopeful as possible. He could sense a bit of doubt in Penny’s voice. He wanted to try someway to lift her spirits up a little. He ran his hand gently along the back of her head. “I promise we will.”

Penny didn’t sound like she was too reassured, as she just continued crying after that. She didn’t bother replying. If she had tried, her words would have been incomprehensible due to the sobs that took over her now. Rudy couldn’t stand seeing her like this. It just made him hate Bardot more. He was the reason she was such an emotional mess right now. To kill her father and then flaunt about it... Rudy hugged Penny a little tighter, trying to help her feel more secure.

He stared off at Draow, who was still asleep. He narrowed his eyes at him. That bastard was also a reason why they were in this mess to start with. He had been the one to drag them here, where no one may find them. He was blocking their way out, and if he dared get close, he would get bitten by those jaws.

Draow had hurt Penny, too. While Bardot went for her emotions, Draow went physical. He had cut her up, bruised her, threw her into the ground. He had attacked him as well. Rudy still felt pain from the wound on his side. It was still bleeding a little, even after this much time had passed. But Draow had hurt Penny more than him. She had a few more bleeding wounds and she looked worse off. This along with the thing about Penny’s dad...it made Rudy wonder if these two creeps were purposely targeting Penny more, make her suffer more...

He didn’t understand why at first, at least with Draow, since he thought, out of everyone, Draow would blame him the most for his master’s death. Penny didn’t have as big of a hand in his demise. Then he realized that the reason Draow might be messing with Penny more was to get to him. Draow knows how much he cares about Penny, how much he loves her, so part of his revenge is forcing him to watch her suffer. He growled at this realization. The bastard...

His mind turned to Snap. His expression softened a little as he thought about his friend, what he might be going through right now. No doubt Snap was worried sick about them. He and Penny had been gone for many hours now. They were abducted in the middle of the night, when his parents were sound asleep. When he checked the time after he had been untied from the chair on his cellphone, which was about the only thing he could do with it, it was about 6:30, 7:00. And now another hour has passed. They had been gone for 19, 20 hours...

Almost a full twenty-four hours without seeing his family, his friends... Twenty-four hours being trapped in ChalkZone with Penny, having been abducted by two monsters who wanted nothing more than to torture and torment them. Snap is probably calling a search party as he spoke now, trying to find him.

Rudy was worried. What if Snap doesn’t realize just where they are? He might think they are in the real world. He might come out and try to find them... Oh no...What if something happens to him? If Snap goes out in the real world to find them, if he takes that risk, what if he gets...rained on? What if he runs into danger somewhere? If something happened to him, he might never find out what it was. He could...he could die not knowing what became of his friend.

He hoped that, somehow, Snap would realize they were in ChalkZone and come looking for them. He was still fearful for his friend. He didn’t know how well he could stand up to Draow and Bardot. But Snap wasn’t the kind of guy to give up. He had often put himself in the line of fire for him and Penny. He knew Snap would do whatever it took to save them. Snap would find them...eventually.

He just hoped that, by the time he does find them, it wouldn’t be too late.

He heard claws scraping the ground. Tensing, he looked over at Draow. The bat wolf had woken up. He yawned, showing off his razor sharp teeth. He got up from the ground. Rudy thought, at first, Draow was going to come after them and do something else horrible. But instead, he was merely stepping aside for the other zoner. Bardot came walking in.

Rudy glared at him, his eyes burning with hatred. He held Penny protectively, trying to shield her from his sights. Bardot merely smiled at him. Rudy soon took notice of something the hybrid zoner was carrying in his mouth. When he got closer, Rudy stifled a scream when he saw what it was.

A human arm...

Bardot laid the arm in clear sight of the two teenagers. Despite Rudy trying to convince her not to look, Penny turned her head anyway. As soon as she locked eyes on the arm, she screamed and pushed herself further against Rudy, her body shaking harder.

It was clear that this was Mr. Sanchez’s arm. Rudy could see the signature ring that he wore in his middle finger. The arm looked very stiff and solid, having no sign of life in it whatsoever. It looked a little darker than usual, as if Bardot had...had cooked it... The smell of the dead arm hung thickingly in the air, making Rudy feel nauseous. It took all his strength and will power not to throw up in disgust.

Then came the most gruesome part. Bardot had started to eat the arm right in front of them. Penny hid her face, not wanting to see it. Rudy closed his eyes and looked away. But neither of them could block out the sounds of teeth slicing flesh, cracking against bone. They couldn’t ignore the swallowing, gulping sounds. They both shuddered, clearly disturbed and frightened by this.

The sound of Bardot eating Penny’s dad’s arm had two effects on Rudy. First, it sickened him. He couldn’t believe that Bardot would go as far as eat Penny’s deceased father right in front of her, especially shortly after telling her what he had done to him. It was truly vile, heartless, disgusting. He couldn’t stop the rage welling up inside of him. The only thing stopping him from doing anything was Draow’s presence, and the fact that this zoner was really fast. Likely, he wouldn’t even be able to catch him.

The other effect it had... Rudy realized that he was getting hungry. He had a feeling Penny wanted food as well. They hadn’t eaten anything all day. He didn’t think Bardot or Draow were going to allow him to eat, though. Why would they? They were heartless monsters. Rudy had a feeling that he and Penny would have to go through days without eating or drinking anything.

When it was all over, when the crunching and tearing sounds stopped, Rudy dared to open his eyes. He could see bones scattered on the ground. With one that Bardot broke off himself, he was picking his teeth. Bardot stared at the tip for a second and then tossed it away like it was garbage. Rudy growled at this, wanting so much to lunge at the monster.

Bardot slowly approached them. Rudy narrowed his eyes and held onto Penny. He gave a look that told Bardot not to get too close. This did not faze the yellow and red zoner. He paced around them once, making sure Penny got a glimpse of him. Smiling at her terrified reaction as well as Rudy’s protectiveness, Bardot moved around in front, turning around to face Rudy. His tail swished from side to side. His ears were perked straight up. An evil smile spread across his muzzle, his lips curling up a little to show a little bit of his teeth.

After a few moments of silence, when Bardot spoke, Rudy could have sworn that he must have been reading their minds.

“I take it you two are hungry. Aren’t you?” Bardot tilted his head a little to the side. “I know it’s been a while since your last meal. Almost twenty-four hours, right?”

“You’re not going to allow us to eat, are you?” Rudy said, his voice low. “Or drink either.”

Bardot chuckled at this. “You are a smart boy. You are correct... I cannot allow you two to eat or drink anything, not that you can here, in ChalkZone. No nourishment.” He sneered. “But even if you could consume chalk water and chalk food, it’s not like I am going to give you any of that. You see...I have my reasons.”

Rudy expected Bardot to get close to them, but he was a little surprised when he stayed where he was. Bardot hadn’t attempted to get to them, hadn’t attempt to hurt them. Not that it made the situation any better. After what he did to Penny’s dad, he knew he wasn’t safe around him. At any moment, he could strike.

“You see, human meat tastes better when it’s dry. Usually, I kill my victims, cut them up, and let them dry in the sun. But..for you two...I decided it would be best if I let you dehydrate to death rather than killing you outright. Less blood to drain out, less...real world liquid to clean up. So I won’t be killing you two. At least...not directly...”

“You’re...you’re horrible...” Penny managed to say.

“Perhaps, my dear...” Bardot said, sounding casual. He gave Penny a sideways glance. “Still, if I want to eat you, I have to let you dehydrate first. I cannot have real world liquid. But once you are all dry and chewy... Then I have nothing to worry about. You become...edible to me.”

Bardot began to pace around them again. He kept his distance, as if he knew Rudy would try to slug him if he got too close. He walked around him almost like a vulture circling prey. Rudy kept his eye on him the best he could. He tensed up whenever Bardot was behind him. He never knew if Bardot was going to go for a blow to the back or what.

Then Bardot stopped. He looked over at Draow. He used a paw to gesture for the beast to come over. Rudy’s eyes widened as Draow got closer to them. Everytime he took a step, the ground seemed to shake a little. He winced as he heard the claws tap on the ground, knowing just how sharp they were. Now Draow stood next to Bardot. Two pairs of gleaming eyes stared the two sixteen year olds down, causing Rudy to shudder.

“But don’t think for a second that this will be a...pleasant stay.” Bardot said, his voice going from sweet sounding to creepy in a matter of seconds. As he spoke, Draow lowered his head and got a little closer. “For you see...I needed someone like Draow to help me catch some prey. But to win his servitude, I offered something in exchange...” Bardot got closer, putting his face close to Rudy’s. “And that something...is you...”

Bardot pulled his head back before Rudy could strike him. He jumped a foot away, arching his back as he landed, tail high in the air. Draow let out a low growl, chalk drool dripping from his mouth. His eyes were fixated soley on Rudy.

“So for the next few days...you will be our...play things.” Bardot said. His voice grew darker as he said each word, and by the end, his words were intermixed with growls that sent chills down the teens’ spines. “Just because we aren’t going to kill you right away...doesn’t mean we can’t have a little..fun with you...”

At this, Bardot suddenly lunged forward. He grabbed Penny in his claws and yanked her away from Rudy. She let out a scream, calling to Rudy for help. Almost right away, Bardot threw her into the ground, pinning her down.

Rudy rushed forward, reaching his right hand out towards her. He realized, too late, what a big mistake that was...

Before he could react, he was suddenly aware of pressure on his right hand. He looked over and his eyes widened in horror when he saw Draow’s teal eyes staring at him. He snarled as he clamped his jaws on his hand and started to pull him back, keeping him away from Penny. Realizing what was about to happen, Rudy started to struggle, desperately trying to pull his hand out.

“No, please..don’t do it!” Penny begged, her eyes wide with fear. She tried to get herself free, but Bardot held her down. Unable to watch as Draow increased the pressure, Penny looked away.

Placing his left front paw across Penny’s head, Bardot gripped tightly and yanked her head up, pulling her eyelids open, and forced her to watch what was happening. He put his face next to hers and said, “Let’s watch this, shall we?”

Tears streamed down Penny’s face as she reluctantly watched. “Rudy...no... Draow, please! Let him go!”

Rudy felt himself being lifted into the air. His feet no longer touching the ground, he began to kick. Pain shot up his arm, mostly concentrated on his hand. He banged his weaker left hand against the side of Draow’s head. Despite being less mobile, he tried to use his left hand to pull the wolf bat’s jaws open, but to no avail. He stared, wide eyed, at Draow.

He felt his heart pounding. A cold feeling swept through his body. His breathing quickened. And it wasn’t just from the pain. He knew what Draow was about to do. Panicking, he tried to get free, thrashing violently in the air.

“Don’t do this!” Rudy pleaded. “Please no...”

He was unable to say anything more. His eyes widened, his pupils turning into dots, as a horrific pain started to take him over, followed by a crunching sound. Blood flowed from his right hand, down his arm. The warm liquid clung to his skin, contrasting with the cold tears of pain that dripped from his green eyes. Then Draow released him.

“Rudy!” Penny cried in horror.

Rudy laid on the ground, crying and yelling in pain. He clutched his right hand to himself. His body trembled from the pain and shock. He stared down at his right hand. He couldn’t believe it. It..it wasn’t possible. No...not this...

But he knew it was true. As he stared at his right hand, as he felt the chilling horror overtake him, he knew it was true.

Draow had crushed his right hand...