In a snowy and unsettled landscape near the outskirts of Club Penguin, a small Black Puffle sat alone in silence. His stomach growled. He hadn’t eaten for days.
When was the last time he had eaten? A week ago at best, when that penguin had feed him. He had helped her after she fed him, and he had become rather fond of her.
She had gotten lost. He had helped her survive until help came. He had gotten scared and run off. He had watched quietly from the bushes as she had been carried off by a red penguin in some sort of sneaky-looking suit. She had gone safely home. He had done his job.
Then why did he feel so darn crappy? He had been sitting beside the tree stump where they had first met for a while, reflecting on this unusual feeling.
Then, he heard footsteps. Not puffles hopping around, but footsteps. He glanced upward, keeping his face toward the ground.
A few feet away, a hot pink Penguin stood with a stunned expression on her face.
She looked more closely at him. Then, she whispered a single word, “Bandit?”
His heart skipped a beat. ‘Bandit’ was what the first penguin had called him. Could it really be? Could Mowo64 have really come back for him? Maybe she had wound up here on accident and fate had let their paths cross again…
His stomach picked that moment to growl. Really loud. Loud enough for her to hear it.
She smiled. The he noticed. The first penguin had worn nothing. This one wore a pink zipped up hoodie and had a messenger bag slung over her shoulder. She also had brown hair tied up in a side-pony-tail. She dug around in her bag a bit. When she pulled out her flipper, she was holding a small O-berry.
She lightly tossed it to him. Without thinking, he caught it in his mouth and swallowed it. He felt heat envelop his small, furry body as he caught fire. The sensation lasted only a second and the fire soon disappeared. Her smile disappeared with it.
“Oh, Bandit!” she said. “Are you sick? Is something wrong?”
Bandit simply smiled and shuffled closer to her. Her face lit up.
She stepped to the right. He followed her. She waddled around the stump. He bounced happily after her. She stopped and smiled a big toothy grin at him. He smiled the biggest smile he could without his face snapping in half. Not a mean smile, not a sneaky smile, not a devilish smile, not a ha-ha-ha-I’m-up-to-something-and-you-don’t-know-what-it-is-smile like Black Puffles were famous for. A real, genuine, heartfelt, we’re-bestest-friends-in-the-whole-wide-world-aren’t-we smile.
She knelt down and scooped him into a hug. He rubbed up against her fuzzy jacket.
When she finally put him down, she explained to him what she was doing their. She was on another on of her ‘Adventures’, except this one was a lot more serious than the last. Last time, she crashed a prototype sled she had been testing. This time, she was chasing a crab that was believed to have caused quite a lot of mayhem.
“You in?” She asked when she was done explaining the situation.
Bandit smiled fiercely and nodded his head. He was determined now. The fates had once again thrust the kind of friend he had been longing for into his hands… paws… mouth… whatever… The point was, he wasn’t about to lose her again.
After she waddled around for about an hour or so, Bandit always 3 or 4 hops behind her, she came to a large door in the side of the mountain. There was a metal puffle door in the wooden door.
He looked to Mowo64. She was fishing around in her bag again. She came out with 3 O-berries. She threw the first to him and he caught it perfectly, same with the second as soon as he had swallowed the first. When he swallowed the second, however, she tossed the third through the puffle door.
Is she insane? Bandit thought I’m not going in there!
Mowo64 winked at him. He turned and dived through the door.
It was even colder inside as it was on the outside, if that was even possible. Bandit shivered. He turned around to face the door. It was locked.
So that’s it. She thinks the crabs in here, and needs my help to get in!
Bandit got the feeling someone was watching him. He turned around and surveyed the room. It wasn’t exactly comforting that he couldn’t see half of it due to shadows.
He unlocked the door and allowed Mowo64 to enter. She pulled a small blue cell phone out of her bag as she stepped into the room.
Bandit watched her. He admired how calm she was keeping during all this.
Suddenly, a large steel cage fell on top of her! Her cell phone practically flew out of an opening in the front. He heard footsteps. Big, heavy footsteps. He didn’t know what to do. He dashed into a pile of rocks in a corner and peaked over the edge.
A POLAR BEAR!!! There was no mistaking it. A rather large polar bear stood in front of Mowo64 as she looked up at him somewhat amused. On the floor, a small red crab was inspecting Mowo64’s phone. Bandit didn’t think he had ever hated anyone more than that crab. He must have lead Mowo64 here on purpose! He had helped the polar bear trap her!
Bandit ducked back down and listened to their conversation…
“Well, well, well. What do we have here, Klutzy?” Klutzy must be the name of the crab…
“Why it looks like we’ve caught a nosy little bird snooping around our cave.” Bandit looked around the cave. In his mind, he formed a picture of the cave without the supplies, cage, workbench, bear, and crab. It was the cave he and Mowo64 had taken shelter in. He had helped her build a fire to keep her warm where her cage now sat…
“How interesting. And what’s this? It appears to have brought us a gift. How kind!” Bandit stole another peak over the rocks. The bear was holding the phone.
“Hey! Give that back!” Mowo64 attempted to reach for her phone, but the opening in the cage wasn’t quite that big. Bandit ducked back down.
“Let me out of here!”
“Oh, I don’t think so my fine-feathered friend. You must be the one who’s been foiling all my plans. I must say you are a clever bird to have tracked me down. You must be curious about what I am doing here on your cold, miserable, little island…”
“Actually, not really. I’m just here to stop you.” Bandit smiled. It was comforting to know Mowo64 was still relaxed enough to joke around with her captor.
“HAHAHA! Then allow me to formally introduce myself…” Bandit heard the bear move, then something heavy and wooden slam on the floor.
“I am Herbert P. Bear, Esquire… formally of the arctic circle… and now prisoner of the frozen snow-ridden landscape you all call home…” During each pause, there was the sound of pages flipping.
“Umm, you made a flipchart?”
“Don’t interrupt! Now, where was I? Ah, yes… I left my own cold and dismal home many months ago on an iceberg… it was a dangerous move, but I knew it was the only way to fulfill my greatest dream. Do you know what that dream was?”
“I have a feeling you’re about to tell me.”
“To find somewhere warm to live! Somewhere sunny and hot, with sandy beaches and fresh fruit growing everywhere!… I was sick and tired of freezing every day so I hopped on an iceberg and never looked back!…”
“But how did you wind up here?”
“A great deal of bad luck… I floated adrift and alone for days… then weeks, then months… the weather did get warmer… but there was no sign of land anywhere… at last, when I had almost given up hope, I spotted an island in the distance…I rowed with all my might trying to reach it…but, to my horror, I realized it was covered in snow too…”
“You had found Club Penguin!”
“I was doing my best to row away… But then my iceberg tipped!… I was cast into treacherous waters, helpless, unable to swim…” Bandit peaked over the edge. Just as Mowo64 had said, their was a flipchart facing her.
“Wait a second. You tipped your iceberg? May I ask how you did that?” Mowo64 looked ecstatic. Why did she seem more interested in the fact that he tipped the iceberg than the fact that he couldn’t swim?
“How should I know? Icebergs aren’t supposed to tip! I have no idea how it happened!” Mowo64 took on a bored expression and propped her elbow on the opening, holding her chin in her flipper.
“I thought I was done for. But before I slipped beneath the waves, I was saved by the most unlikely of heroes…Klutzy, the little crab you captured, heard my cries and came to my rescue… Being a helpful fellow, Klutzy offered to accompany me. But my iceberg floated away, and took with it my greatest dream…I was stuck, stranded in a strange land that was even colder than my own home…After exploring a short while, I came upon a strange and noisy place, filled with unusual little birds wearing silly clothes… These ‘penguins’ I discovered, where quite strange; they couldn’t fly, lived in igloos, and seemed to enjoy the cold…The way they played in the snow was so irritating. I found myself disliking them more and more each day. These little friends of yours bug me… After being at sea for so long, they were the last thing I wanted to find. But I’m going to do something about it… I’ve given up on ever finding a warm place to live, so I shall do the next best thing…”
“You’ve thought about this for some time, eh?”
“Using your own technology, and the resources you were so kind to leave lying around, I have built a mechanical woodchopper… With it, I will chop your cozy little ski lodge into a hundred pieces, and build a humongous bonfire that will keep me warm for weeks… Once the wood is gone, I’ll come back for another building. And another after that…”
“That plan is crazy! Why would you do such a thing?”
“Like I said, you penguins bug me. Losing your Ski Lodge ought to put a damper on your constant noisy parties… Then I’ll be warm, AND have peace and quiet… Whoa! How’d that get there? Um…” The bear covered something on the chart with his paws, but Bandit (being behind the flipchart) couldn’t see what it was. He assumed it was pretty funny because Mowo64’s face cracked into a smile. The bear turned the page.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with a Ski Lodge. Any parting words, my fowl friend?”
“Uh… I’m gonna go with… ‘You’ll never get away with this!'”
“Oh, yes I will! Nothing can stop me! HAHAHA! Farwell for now. Sit tight; I may even consider letting you go when I return with the wood. Let’s go Klutzy!”
Bandit ducked down from fear of being seen. He heard 4 things all at once: a gasp from Mowo64, an evil-sounding laugh from the bear, something wooden rolling across the cave floor, and the sound of splintering wood.
He heard the door open, and then slam shut. After a few moments of silence, Bandit crept out into the open. Mowo64 was looking at something across the room. She smiled when she noticed him.
“Bandit, c’mere boy.” She waved an O-berry in his direction. Then, she tossed it across the room. It landed on a lever attached to a funny-looking contraption she had been examining.
Bandit smiled. I got her in. Now I’m gonna get her out. He leaped up onto the lever and swallowed the berry. He toppled onto the ground as the lever turned beneath him.
He turned around and saw that a stream of water had come out of a pipe, down a ramp pointing towards him and into a drain.
Mowo64 tossed another berry. He caught it, landed on the dry end of the ramp and tumbled back onto the ground. He saw that the ramp had flipped over, changing the direction of the water. It now flowed into a gutter, blocked off by a block tied to a string, wrapped around a pulley, supporting a tray to sit something on.
Yet another berry was tossed onto the tray. Bandit hopped up onto the tray. Bandit went down. The block went up. The water went left. The waterwheel went around and around. The cage went up.
Mowo64 hugged Bandit tightly. “Good job, agent.”
Whatever that means…he thought. He was just glad she was safe.
She put him down and ran for the door. She threw it open and gasped. Bandit looked around her.
They were snowed in.
Bandit looked to Mowo64 for advice on what to do next. She was already looking all over the place. On the workbench, she snatched up a bottle labeled “Hot Sauce” and poured the fire-looking liquid all over an O-berry. It caught fire.
She tossed it to him. He caught it and swallowed without chewing.
His pupils shrank. His coal-colored fur turned a bright shad of red. He caught fire. Not like a cute little camp fire. More like a bonfire!
He felt a hot-blooded rush of energy shoot through his veins. He felt incredible! Bandit jumped into the air and shot off like a rocket. After bouncing around the room a bit, he dove straight through the snow blocking the entrance to the cave.
He flew into the air and turned loop-de-loops like the grand finale of a fireworks display.
He crashed into the snow over the mountains and his flame went out. He felt a flipper brush up against his fur. He looked up, expecting to see Mowo64.
It was a red Penguin wearing a shirt that read “I love my” there was a picture of a Blue Puffle beneath it.
The stranger scooped up Bandit. She said something but he couldn’t make out the words. He looked around. He had no idea where he was. Or where Mowo64 was, for that matter.
Great… he had waited what seemed like an eternity for her return. Now, she was gone. He probably wouldn’t have another shot with her. He had heard tale of puffles becoming ‘pets’ and living with the penguins in their igloos. Right now, he would have given anything to be her pet.
His mind swimming, his tongue on fire, his whole body shivering, Bandit fainted with exhaustion.
When he awoke, the morning sun was shining brightly; he must have slept all night.
He looked around. He was on something soft, squishy, and green. He appeared to be inside some sort of dome… shaped… something. It was pink, whatever it was.
He shook his head to clear his mind and vision. “Well, look who finally woke up.”
Bandit’s head jerked toward the voice. He smiled so big he thought his face would fall off. At that moment, however, he really didn’t care.
Mowo64 was sitting right next to him, smiling just as big as he was. He jumped into her arms and she hugged him tight.
“Guess what.” She said.
Bandit made a squeaking sound and looked up at her.
“You’re my puffle now!”
Bandit squeaked again and smiled.
“Isn’t it great? Now you and I will be together for the rest of forever! And look, you’ve got some friends to play with.”
Bandit looked over her flipper and to the floor where she was gesturing. There sat a 2 puffles, one red and one green.
“This is Zando and Ghost. They’re my pets too.”
Bandit gave them a scowl Black Puffles are famous for. Zando smiled bigger than was physically possible. Ghost turned a flip in the air and blew a raspberry when he landed.
Bandit smiled and cuddled next to Mowo64.
“You sure have been through a lot,” she said. “And you’ve still managed to wind up exactly where you belong. Just like a storybook!”
Yeah Bandit thought. Just like one of those fairy-tale things…
He felt Mowo64’s beak next to where his inner ear was. She whispered so the other two puffles couldn’t hear. “And let’s keep those missions a secret, ‘k? I’ll get in big trouble if word gets out we’re agents!”
He smiled. Your secret’s safe with me.
Bandit fell asleep in Mowo64’s flippers with Zando and Ghost on either side of him, the absolute happiest puffle in the world.