The Sun Always Shines On Lactolia: Part 7
A hospital bed. Wha…? Why? Again? Nugget’s bleary yellow eyes struggled to adjust to the brightness of the cold, concrete room he was being kept in. A long row of hospital beds lined the endless, grimy wall, but his eyes were too unfocused to see them. Instead, it was the smell of weak alcohol cleaner that told him exactly where he was. Nugget tried to push himself up onto his legs, but a sharp, stabbing feeling rent his stomach. The pain was blinding. Stitches. Slowly, in blotches of memory, it all started to come back. Nugget’s eyes rolled back and he collapsed again. He was still too weak. The memories… they seemed to make him weaker:
The walls, everything—the light too—was white. The underground facility of course had no windows, but far from the cool air one might expect twelve feet below the planet’s surface, the prison cafeteria was hot from the multitude of bodies swarming it. Promptly, all guards had fled from their post when the dinner alarm was sounded. Not if they had been in the midst of a prison uprising would they have remained where they were. No, pushing, shoving, galloping past each other, swarms of cats in cheap uniforms with batons that dangled off of them, came from every nook and cranny of the compound, eager to get their eats. Impatient meowing, or, not so much meowing as a deranged sort of moaning, filled the cafeteria as the cats thwapped their tails, in line for whatever gruel would be served up this evening. Particularly greedy cats (and there were not a few) shoved their head into their neighbor’s bowl as they miserably failed at waiting for their own. Some, in a feeding frenzy, would bury their head into their own bowl, then, as if possessed, lift it up (still chewing) and proceed to bury their head into their neighbor’s bowl—then they’d violently switch back to their own bowl again, eager to shove as much food into their faces as their cheeks could possibly hold. Only an ID system kept the cafeteria workers from not feeding the same cat a couple dozen times over the course of a single evening. But Nugget, being of a weaker constitution than many of his peers, and more than that, suffering now the consequences of months of working at a physically undemanding job (the amount of sleep allowed, notwithstanding), was not among those with the energy level to push, shove, and moan. Besides that, his side was still sending out a consuming, dull pain, from the aggravation of the exhaustive exercises earlier that morning. He trudged forward in line, his mind alternating between thoughts of absolute nothingness and the gloomy Smokedweller that he had brought to the psychologist that afternoon. At the end of the session, the psychologist had, between fits of incoherent screaming rage, diagnosed her—Button—as clinically insane. She was to be removed from the political terrorists ward and transported to the highest security lockdown in the mental patients’ ward, as soon as space opened up. (Perhaps because the psychologist was so liberal with his diagnoses, the mental patients’ ward had exceeded five times its already over-optimistic, posted capacities) But what she had been saying, even if it was insane, was still, from what Nugget could tell, true. It was an insane truth. She was talking about how she joined a revolutionary organization, Altruist, which ended up being a subsidiary of Clay Jars R Us! Nugget thought, excitedly. That psychologist insisted this was a lie, but it can’t be! I was demoted to guard because I was digging into the funneling of Clay Jars R Us money to this mysterious subsidiary, Altruist, which there seemed to be no records on! Which means she’s right! Clay Jars R Us is funneling egregious amounts of funding into this revolutionary group which is really just a front, designed to spy on Emperor’s Smorgasbord. And if that’s right—the rest of what she said must be right. How she relayed that the executive at Emperor’s Smorgasbord was ordering relief supplies from this charity called New Hope, for some reason. Nugget’s stomach clenched up for some reason. He knew it wasn’t the thought of the meat-like compound, overpowered by the chalky flavor of taurine supplements, that he was in queue for, that caused the reaction. It was something about the name of that charity. New Hope. There was something hauntingly familiar about it… But what was it? What was so significant about it? Nugget’s eyes flashed in an instant. All at once, Nugget remembered Qwerty’s manila folder, the one he had found in the basement while the Glass Tunnel was being bombed. After he and Nugget had found the records that Clay Jars R Us had donated 4,000,000 to this strange subsidiary called Altruist, they had gone on a quest to find what else they could learn about Altruist. Then, when Nugget had been in the hospital, recovering from his shrapnel wounds, Qwerty had visited him to inform him that he had found one other document with Altruist’s name on it—a document finalizing some sort of purchase that funneled an amount of no less than 4,000,000, to some sort of charity.
The charity had been called New Hope.
Then, there, limply standing in the long, hot, line in wait for a bowl of grey mush, Nugget wanted nothing more than to fly out of the cafeteria and gallop down to the smokedweller’s cell. He didn’t know how much time Button would have before she was transferred, and he needed to talk to her. He needed to tell her he believed her. To find out what else she knew. Nugget’s stomach turned again, and it seemed like all of his life’s circumstances, all of his thoughts and discoveries, had culminated in this one moment. The clockwork of time and place had clicked together to chime in the twelfth hour. And what was he to do but run? Run to Button’s cell, or else suffer to be crushed between the clock’s colossal gears? But Nugget was already most of the way through the meal line. And it was so long… Perhaps fate could wait a while longer.
Laying on the hospital bed now, these events began to hazily familiarize themselves with Nugget’s memories again. But the details were still so obscure. So vague. And it seemed that more had happened, too. That what he had recovered, wasn’t everything. There was more yet. For example, he still couldn’t explain why he was in a hospital. Why his side ached from stitches. Nugget closed his eyes tight and strained to remember. But it was useless. Only after several hours had passed, and Nugget had nearly curled up within the arms of Morpheus, did some more memories reawaken within him:
He was taking his food bowl to one of the long, low, plank-like tables. Some of the nourishing powder dumped carelessly on top of the grey slop sprinkled to the ground, due to how the bowl was tilted, hanging dangerously out of his mouth. Another cat, one of those black and white ones known for their extreme willingness to eat anything, ran behind him and licked the supplement off the ground. Nugget butted in up close between the tight mass of guards vigorously devouring their fairly tasteless meals, and let go of his dish so that it dropped an inch to the low table. Everyone around him seemed totally engulfed in their own world. There was no time for talk, even if you could make out any chatter above the moans of impatience, destructive chowing noises, or the frenzied purrs between bites. And Nugget had already gotten used to this. That’s why he was surprised when he felt a paw timidly bat at his head from behind. Nugget flicked his ears and whirled around, mouth still full of food. All of the sudden, his legs began to knock together. He tried to make them stop, to hide his fear, but it seemed his legs only shook worse. The three beastly cats before him seemed to be pleased with the effect they had on Nugget, and grinned slyly at one another before beginning to speak.
“We saw what you did, this morning,” The leader of the more-or-less gang told Nugget. Even though his voice was calm, there was something terribly accusing, forbidding, threatening, about it. Nugget’s heart raced. Any number of things could have ticked off the guards, who were known for their habit of getting unreasonably angry—he knew that these three sometimes doubled as interrogators—and he couldn’t place his paw on what he had done this time. Seeing the frightened look in his large yellow eyes, now more black because of how dilated they were, one of the other gang members took the opportunity to clue Nugget in.
“During exercises?” The cat narrowed his eyes at Nugget. Nugget suddenly swallowed hard, unaware that he hadn’t until now. Somehow, even with this cryptic bit, Nugget sensed where the overaged bullies were headed. One nipped him on the tail and began dragging his slight frame away from the table. Away from the other guards.
“You know that you can’t just pretend to fake an injury to get out of exercises,” the third cat sneered, ignorant of Nugget’s protests that he hadn’t been faking anything—that he was still recovering from a shrapnel wound, that even if he was faking the injury, the warden had singled him out and forced him to do more of the exercises anyway—“we have a policy of ensuring against that kind of thing.” He growled, a hostile look flaming in his eyes, somehow maybe even more unchecked, more violent than when the group had first addressed Nugget at the tables.
“You’re afraid of a little extra pain? You need some special treatment” The leader, which had grabbed Nugget by his nubby orange tail, now released his grip and shoved the bobtail against the cafeteria wall.
“No, no—that wasn’t it at all!” Nugget cried frantically, blinded by the intense sensation of fear and forboding that blanketed his senses; which deceived him into thinking that anything he could say could actually effectively get him out of this situation. That any amount of accommodating or compliancy would give him a foothold over the situation. On the contrary, his fearfulness seemed to only incite the cats further. Nugget remembered that one had a chunk of his ear missing. He winced as he remembered more, too. As the lines quickly filled in between how he ended up here from there. But he didn’t wish to relive those memories, and instead found himself desperately trying to push away the deluge that was taking control of his mind. He was moderately successful, too, except that by the time he was done his pulse was racing again and his throat was parched. Nugget took several deep breaths to calm himself. What was he thinking about before? Maybe that would calm him.
Nugget nearly toppled out of bed, swallowing down the splitting pain that his stitches sent through his side. He needed answers—before she was gone—or before, perhaps, she decided that talking so freely had been a mistake and chose not to say anything more at all. The good news, was, the nurses were too busy picking the pockets of the sleeping patient’s uniforms to notice the loud crash from the other side of the ward, and the corresponding orange blur limp through the opposite doorway. The bad news was, Nugget didn’t have the energy or time to waste putting on his own uniform. He hoped that Button would be able to recognize—and ideally, trust him—regardless. Nugget slunk through the halls, feeling a little naked after the few days of wearing a uniform at the prison, and still trying to navigate to where Button’s cell was located. He had never tried to access it from this direction before, so his mental map of the prison felt disoriented. When he finally broke out, riding the power of a deranged run, to the familiar hallway, the pain in his side was too great to keep up his same frenzied pace. He hadn’t realized it, but some of the stitches in his side had begun to bleed again. He also didn’t realize that this delay was probably for the best. The fact was, the sight of a galloping orange cat, with no uniform and no guard’s collar, madly running through the halls was downright frightening at the worst, and pitiful at the best. Sort of reminiscent of when a cat is set down in a strange location and then hears the unmistakable sound of a can being opened. Pitiful. When Nugget arrived at Button’s cell, halfway down the long, wide hallway, he was still out of breath. A wave of relief washed over him when he saw she was still there. And that she appeared to recognize him. A strange, queried expression appeared over her previously resigned face, and she began to unfold herself from the tight ball that she had been curled into. But it was a different cat that broke the silence.
Hobbes let out an exaggerated, long, low whistle at the desperate looking, undressed, bobtail guard that had suddenly appeared in front of his cell. If Hobbes didn’t know better, he would have suspected that the guard had been running for his life and had just now, at this very point, reached safety.
“New fashion is to show some skin, hmm?” Hobbes smiled disparagingly. Nugget’s mouth gaped open in surprise. It was amazing how scathing Hobbes’ insults could be, given that the Birman didn’t even bother to open his eyes while he served them. In fact, they had only slowly opened at the very beginning, when Nugget had originally stopped, a panting mess—and even then, they had slowly closed again after a mere instant. Button looked away, embarrassed. It was only then that Nugget realized his fur had been shaved most the way down his side, that stitches now replaced his beautiful orange tufts. Nugget flushed. At least his face was still covered by a cloak of orange.
“Says the cat locked behind bars,” Nugget retorted spitefully. It was all he could think to say. At this, Hobbes lazily opened his eyelids, until just a slit of instigative blue could be seen—or, more accurately, the haughty rays which emanated from them—and flashed again his patented scornful smile.
“From my position, you’re the one behind bars,” Hobbes countered, closing his eyes again and giving an accomplished swipe of his tail. Nugget’s mouth gaped open again. The impudence of this cat! Somehow, Nugget knew that Hobbes could feel every bit of the incredulous stare boring into his luxurious, cream-colored fur, and was relishing it too. Maybe this more than anything enabled Nugget to break away from his stupor and turn back to Button.
“Do you remember me?” He asked, frantically. There was desperation in his voice.
“Why—yes,” Button said, uncertain of why the question was being posed. Or why the one posing it wasn’t in his uniform, or why he had stitches, or why he looked so paranoid.
“Good, good,” Nugget breathed, checking behind him to see if anyone had noticed his escape from the hospital yet, “I want to tell you that I believe you.” He locked eyes with Button. Button took a short breath and stood up entirely.
“You what?” Button asked, coming closer to the bars which separated them.
“I believe you,” Nugget said hastily, “Altruist—the organization you were talking about. I know about them,”— Button’s eyes widened, but Nugget didn’t stop — “I know they’re a subsidiary of Clay Jars R Us because I used to work in their records department. I found the documents where Clay Jars R Us originally funded Altruist. And what’s more, I was shown a purchase agreement between Altruist and an off-world charity adding up to the exact amount that Altruist was originally funded with. You would never guess what organization it was—,”
“New Hope,” Button breathed in amazement, “Clay Jars R Us is funneling money through a subsidiary to New Hope,” She looked down as thoughts began to swarm her mind. What could this mean? And why? And who? And- Hobbes choked and flopped off the bench he had, until now, been laying so tranquilly on. Nugget and Button both redirected their inquisitive stairs to the fallen mop, staggering now to get up onto its own four legs.
“Hobbes,” Button began slowly, narrowing her eyes together, “Does the name, ‘New Hope?’ mean anything to you?” She asked skeptically, turning around to face Hobbes directly. Hobbes stood up and cleared his throat.
“Ah, ah—well, uh, hmm,” Hobbes stuttered at first, “hope—hmm, hope is just such a grand thing,” Hobbes stumbled over his words, his eyes darting here and there, as if the corners of the cell would help him regain his articulacy. “Hope, ah, yes, hope is just so… good,” Hobbes placed particular emphasis on the word ‘good,’ his confidence returning to him enough to challenge Button’s dubious gaze. “So fantastic, really, and that phrase— ‘new hope,’— as opposed to… uh… ‘old hope,’” Hobbes stuttered again, “It just, it… really sparked something inside of me. Truly inspiring. That phrase—it should be in every office in Lactolia,” Hobbes took a deep, satisfied breath, and looked dreamily into the distance. “It’s just so… enlightening.” Hobbes sighed, and then with a swipe of his tail, “And I was just extremely interested in any organization that would pick such a… good… name… for… itself.” Hobbes said at last, bringing his dreamy gaze back down to meet Button’s incredulity.
Silence. Button looked at Hobbes. Hobbes looked at Button. Button slowly turned around and looked at Nugget. Then she turned back to Hobbes. Nugget narrowed his eyes at Hobbes. Even he didn’t buy the puny lie, and he didn’t know the conceited Birman as well as Button should have. Then Nugget narrowed his eyes at Button. Was she really taking this cat seriously? Nugget was beginning to open his mouth to object, but then Hobbes narrowed his eyes at Nugget. Nugget closed his mouth. There was something very menacing in those cold blue eyes. Hobbes put on his ‘spiritually enlighted guru’ face again and turned to Button. Button was still staring off, as if in deep thought.
“You’re last name…” Button began slowly, looking up to address Hobbes, square in the face. Hobbes’ face hardened as he began to realize his spiritually enlightened guru ploy hadn’t been successful. “I know who you are,” She said accusingly, drawing herself up to full height. Even though Hobbes didn’t blink, the fur on his back rippled down his spine like water had just been sprinkled onto him. “You’re not just any Hobbes—my word—you’re Hobbes Panjandrum,” Button gasped, whirling around to share her revelation with Nugget, as if it would mean anything to him. Hobbes gasped, an indignant expression coming over him. His lips, which looked like a sideways “3”, pressed into a firm line.
“Yes, yes, this makes sense. I was in your office—you, I thought you were the COO, but then I read that the plaque said, in almost invisible letters, that you were the COO’s assistant.” Button’s eyes filled with light as she explored this revelation of hers. “Of course! Only someone as narcissistic as you,” She shot daggers at Hobbes, “would ever get a plaque that says COO in gold, and have no coloring on the rest of the letters. Which means that you were the one that placed Emperor Smorgasbord’s order with New Hope. Which means you actually know what New Hope is a front for!”
If Hobbes had looked unpleasant before, now he was outdoing himself, with his ears folded back so that they were level with the rest of his head, his lips pressed into a straight line, and his tail thwapped violently on the ground beside him. At last, he spoke in a low, husky voice.
“Those Clay Jars R Us scum.”
“We don’t know how he escaped—we were all on duty. He was even on heavy anesthesia.” A medical assistant spoke levelly, evenly, but at a louder than conversational voice in order to be heard over the moans, flopping, and flipping of a dangerously angry orange bobtail that was looking for every opportunity to escape its high-barred bed. Several orderlies were swatting back the escape artist.
“Well, give him more, then,” Another voice, probably belonging to a doctor - or the prison’s best excuse for one - said. “We can’t have patients running madly through the prison corridors all crazy style.”
“But - it may cause memory loss.”
“Hah!” The doctor snorted, with a wink toward’s the medical assistant. “I wish we could all ‘suffer’ from a little of that from time to time.” Then he straightened his face. “Do it.”
Nugget was squirming wildly—he had been dragged back to the hospital against his will—but soon a thick, dense fog came over him.
The next evening, after recovering another operation, he was cleared for non-intensive duty.
It was dark outside, but it didn’t make any difference. The same, yellow florescent lights lit up the same, underground, beige corridor, casting the same shadows it did at any time of day. Nugget walked, blankly, expressionlessly, down the path that he had already grown accustomed to patrolling.
It was as if Nugget hadn’t even heard the words directed to him. They, in any case, caused no visible change on his furry orange face as they echoed down the hallway. In reality, however, they were filtered, hazily, into the factory of cogs and gears that were spinning inside of Nugget’s mind right now - a factory that was working overtime. Who was calling him? Strange to say, his memories had been a blur since he woke up that evening. All he could recall were some hazy episodes, dreams, most likely, that seemed to culminate more in impressions that in well-defined events. Somehow, he couldn’t fight the impression that he had made some sort of discovery. Yes, it was a strange emotion, but one that he couldn’t describe any other way. Sort of like an excited state, mixed with hope and fear together. Fear of the unknown. But he couldn’t place why he was in such a state In fact, he couldn’t place anything that had happened for the last couple of days. He remembered waking up, the surgeon telling him that he had gotten into some kind of accident, but that he was good to go as long as he stuck to purely making rounds. There was something else too—yes, the surgeon had also told Nugget that he had been a particularly tough patient to put under. If that’s the case, they must have had to have given me a lot of anesthesia, Nugget reasoned. Perhaps my mental functionings are still being obstructed because of that. A larger revelation hit Nugget then, one that did register on his face this time. It was a look of pleasant surprise. If that’s the case, maybe the impressions that I’m feeling aren’t from dreams, but from actual events that occurred before the anesthetizing. The look of surprise gradually gave way to expressionlessness, again. On the other hand, the prolonged sleep would have stimulated my subconscious into producing more dreams than usual. Something about the urgency of the impression, which seemed to persist no matter what he thought about, made Nugget tend to believe otherwise.
“Guard!” Hobbes called, hoarsely, even angrily, by this point. This was the third time that the lummox bobtail had deigned not to reply to him. It’s as if he’s pretending he can’t hear me! Hobbes’ piercing blue eyes flamed, large and indignant. He had expected his charismatically condescending gaze to draw the guard in without any words. So the thought that he had to call him in, even once, was personally insulting to the former COO’s assistant. But twice?! Three times?!! If Hobbes weren’t in such a perilous situation, he would have been the one giving the silent treatment to the impudent, young, bumptious-
“Yes, prisoner?” Fire seemed to flame within Hobbes’ veins at the calculated, false sincerity in those two words. He smacked his tail hard against the prison bench that he had claimed for himself, glaring daggers at the guard. As if just now you pretend to hear me, Hobbes’ blood boiled. Well, if that’s the way you want to play it, then congratulations—you just made an enemy. Something about the perceived implications of that thought warmed Hobbes’ insides in a very satisfactory manner, and his gaze turning from furious to sly, he at last began to speak.
“I’d like to make a proposition,” Hobbes glared haughtily into the face of his new enemy. The dull, orange face that he beheld had ceased to look impudent to him, but during the course of his previous revelation, had quickly returned to looking stupidly naive, and ignorant. To be manipulated.
“Unless you need to purchase something from the commissary, I’m not authorized to deal in any ‘propositions,’” Nugget glared stonily at the prisoner. His hardened gaze was almost like a reflex, and this realization secretly surprised him. After all, it wasn’t just the fact that the furry Birman before him sounded like a snake— like someone who thought they were on some infinitely higher order of reasoning that mere mortals such as Nugget (and the rest of Lactolia) could never understand— it was as if there was some sort of history that predisposed Nugget to be filled with revulsion when he beheld this lying, hypocritical dirtbag. Hobbes was undaunted.
“It is a proposition that would greatly benefit… her.” Hobbes motioned with his eyes towards a tightly curled calico lump on the floor. Despite the tight circle it was wrapped into, the cat’s small head was cocked at an extremely uncomfortable angle—one that seemed to betray her defensive position by totally exposing her soft, white neck. A few whiskers twitched on the sleeping cat. Something in Nugget’s mind seemed to groan, stir, and jolt as he locked onto that sleeping mass. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from it; this—this was a cataclysmal part of that vague and far-off discovery that he felt, that tingled in his bones, yet he could not place. It was as if his mind had already figured out the mystery—whatever he had forgotten—as if it had all come back to him there, and there were no more questions to be asked. Recognition illuminated his mind, yet it was the strangest of all sensations: no matter how much recognition and emotion seemed to stir within him, there was no memory. No knowledge. It was as though his mind had figured out everything and decided not to share with him.
“Who—is—she?” Nugget stuttered timidly, betraying his want of memory. Hobbes angled his head peculiarly at the strange, hollow-eyed cat, which was so fixed on Button. The pathetic thing looked so desperate. Under normal circumstances, Hobbes would have supposed that the lummox bobtail was trying to pull one over on him. But in a rare moment of impulsive clarity, Hobbes was convicted to the core that the cat he was speaking with had actually lost all memory of their encounter earlier this morning—maybe all of their encounters entirely. This is simply too magnificent.
“She—she’s nobody,” Hobbes quickly changed tune. “The important thing is that you help your papa out of the clink. Won’t you… sonny?” Hobbes looked pitifully up into Nugget’s confused yellow eyes. “We’ve put on this ruse for so long… I think the time to act is now!”
“Papa?” Nugget repeated, with a perplexed and skeptical look at the fleecy-white, brown-tipped, blue-eyed Birman before him.
“What is it, son?” The Birman asked in an infinitely kinder voice than he had spoken with just moments before.
“You expect me to believe that you’re my ‘papa’?”
“Dear son!” Hobbes gasped, “You must have taken a fall and hit your head! That’s quite enough—allow me to refresh your memory: I was wrongly accused of kidnap and thrown into the slammer, and you, out of the kindness of your heart, decided to become a guard in order to break me out. Because, after all, I was imprisoned on false accusations. But you realized there would be nowhere to hide me on Lactolia, so you procured a Spider Skipper, and you were going to send me away on it. And I said ‘No, that’s too dangerous, wherever will you find a Spider Skipper?’ but you insisted and said, ‘Don’t worry papa, I’ve already gotten the Spider Skipper because I have shady contacts. It’s going to be okay.’ Then I said, ‘Are you trying to off your old man by sending him into space on a bucket of junk?’ and you said, ‘No papa, this is gonna work, trust me,’ and I said, ‘How can I trust you, you lying disappointment, there’s no such thing as a Spider Skipper on all of Lactolia,’ and then you said, ‘but there is—one! and I’ve gotten it for you, but you must leave now, before the authorities find out that I’ve managed to get it.’ And I said, ‘very well, let me pick the time of my departure, however, because I’ve never considered such an irrational plan before.’ Then uh—that,” Hobbes pointed towards Yahtzee, who had been staring placidly at the wall until this point, but, (apparently to spite Hobbes), got up and began to chase its tail. Hobbes grimaced. “Er, uh—that,” Hobbes pointed at Button, “started making…,” Hobbes lowered his voice to one nearly inaudible. “death threats to me. I’m not safe here anymore, son,” Hobbes said, his eyes darting around. “I need you to help me!”
Nugget didn’t know how to respond to evident play that had just been performed before him. Maybe he should applaud. But then, the act wasn’t even that good. Well, maybe I should drag him into the interrogation room for impudence? Nugget thought. Or maybe I should just turn around and walk away? Ends up, Nugget didn’t have to respond.
“You dirty, rotten scoundrel!” The calico mass on the floor suddenly roared, in a hoarse whisper. She rolled over, rose to her feet and stalked towards Hobbes. Hobbes looked faint and retreated, not so casually, to the back corner of his bed.
“I should have known you weren’t actually asleep,” Hobbes growled weakly at Button. “You can’t stay asleep when your boyfriend is around, can you?”
“I can’t stay asleep when you smack the bench so hard, you wake the whole block,” Button snarled back. She suddenly switched topics. “You were totally content to see me rot in guilt weren’t you?!” She hissed, still approaching, “You told me that I was a shame to all revolutionaries because I suggested that we make our escape in the Spider Skipper you bought for Giza. You made it sound as though I were the most selfish scorn to rebels that our world has ever seen. But you are! You only wanted me wallow in self-pity down here and die, while you made your escape by yourself.”
“There’s just not enough oxygen, Button,” Hobbes confided, with a downcast look and a pained flick of his ear. He looked positively frightened as Button revealed her perfectly sharpened claws.
“You. Are going. To die.”
“See, she’s crazy! She’s crazy—I told you! Help your poor papa out, sonny, she’s going to kill me!” Hobbes cried, now shrunk into the corner as far back as he could go. Nugget flicked his own ear and looked down. Then he turned around and left.
He heard shrieking from the cell as he left it behind.
A hospital bed. Wha…? Why? Again? Nugget’s bleary yellow eyes struggled to adjust to the brightness of the cold, concrete room he was being kept in. A long row of hospital beds lined the endless, grimy wall, but his eyes were too unfocused to see them. Instead, it was the smell of weak alcohol cleaner that told him exactly where he was. Nugget tried to push himself up onto his legs, but a sharp, stabbing feeling rent his stomach.
Button’s paws pressed against the iron door, supporting her as she stood up on her two hind legs and tried to peer down the long, narrow row of identical white cells. The only thing different about each individual cell were the foul creatures that inhabited them, and really, Button thought, even they didn’t seem to vary much in size or demeanor.
Yet another addition to, "The Sun Always Shines On Lactolia."
Another addition to, "The Sun Always Shines In Lactolia."
Like usual, its so long that its painful! (But you know you can't resist reading it, anyway.)
Another addition to, "The Sun Always Shines In Lactolia."
An addition to, "The Sun Always Shines In Lactolia."
A spin off the of the much-loved "Star Cats" series.
The behind-wiggling sequel to 'The Big Dent' Part 1.
As if the threat of a comet bound for the Solera Station didn’t seem looming enough, with the entire ship induced into a nervous, whispered panic, Subcommander Ocee could only keep from biting her claws and resisting the impulse to shrink away into a tight cranny—a box, a nook in the insulation, a raccoon trap—anything would do, really, to get away from this news: Lieutenant Lucky had just confirmed that the comet everybody was worried about was only seventeen minutes from impact.