"Tony? Oh Tony, are you asleep or not? I cannot tell with you hiding under those sunglasses!" Liz poked Tony in the shoulder.
"Hey! What was that for?" Tony poked Liz back.
"Padam's truck is right ahead of us, Tony. Are we going to go now or wait?" Liz sat and looked at Tony. She poked him again because he was hiding under the sunglasses.
"Jeez, stop poking. I'm trying to think, Liz." Tony took off his sunglasses. "We do not want to go when there are people around. We do not have the invisibility shields up, and it would be weird if a Winnebago just goes missing in the middle of North New Barkston. Just stay three cars behind him for now and see where he goes." Tony put the sunglasses back on and leaned back in the recliner. Liz got up and went back to the passenger seat next to Clawdee.
"We are just playing a waiting game today, Clawdee. Nothing to worry about yet," Liz sighed as she buckled up.
"But Liz, we know where he is going; he goes there, every day at the same time, no matter what! Why cannot we just go now?" Clawdee looked at Liz.
"Because it's the middle of the day, Clawdee, and we are in the middle of New Barkston. We cannot just go blasting him. The citizens would freak!"
"Well, don't you or Tony have a memory remover device thingie?"
"It's in the shop. Some do-hicky on it broke off. I told Tony not to use it so much." Liz started going through the glove box. She took out the manual to the RV. "I never really looked at this thing. I wonder what all we have in this baby." Liz started looking through it. "Hey, an ice blaster! Wow, wish I had one of those for those pesky citizens; it sure looks mean. And a flame thrower! I guess that was for un-icing people, huh? Like that's ever going to get used," Liz snorted while she put the manual down as Padam made a move towards the forest. But, he went right past BarkChem and his evil flesh-eating Guards.
"Liz! What is he doing? I thought he was going to BarkChem like he does everyday?" Clawdee said worriedly.
"I don't know, Clawdee, but pull over for a minute, and I'll go talk to Tony." Liz unbuckled her seat belt and went to the back. "Tony! Padam went right past BarkChem and went deeper into the woods. It looked like he was following a very old dirt trail." Liz poked Tony. "Did you fall asleep again?!" Tony jerked awake.
"No, I was just merely resting my eyes, my dear Liz. Now, what did you say?" Tony sat up, and Clawdee walked in.
"Padam is now off the radar. Good thing Hazzard decided to work with us and is wearing the tracking device. Tony, do you want me to still follow or just keep an eye on the tracking radar? We can pinpoint where he is and then go check it out after he leaves." Clawdee sat, exhausted. Tony handed her a bottle of water. "Thanks, so what do you want me to do?"
"Let's turn around, go back to headquarters, check in with the animals, see how their training is going, and then come back when we are sure Padam is not around. Our pet's should be in the training arena, and yours should be in the control room at headquarters figuring out those codes that Hazzard found in Padam's shack. Do you want me to drive back, Clawdee? You look horrible." Tony eyed Clawdee.
"Gee, thanks, Tony." Clawdee rolled her eyes. "But, that would be great if you could, Tony. Padam is just too fast, and we had to keep stopping to help citizens up. Where did he learn how to drive? At Tad's Diving School?" Clawdee took a sip of water and lay down on the couch yawning. She fell asleep almost immediately.
"Come on, Tony, we need to talk while she is asleep." Liz headed towards the cockpit. Tony took the keys gently from Clawdee's hand and followed Liz. He flopped into the driver's seat and took off his sunglasses and placed them on the dash.
"What's up, Liz?"
"Do you think we should have gotten her involved? She is too young to have to deal with this." Liz looked back at Clawdee with a worried expression on her face. "Hun, she's tougher than we are, and she is 19; that's not really young. She is an adult, Liz. Besides, we do not have a choice. It's the only way to keep her and her pets safe." Tony reached over and gave Liz a hug.
"I just hate that she has to go through this, Tony. Is there any other way to keep them all safe?" Liz reached into the glove box and got a tissue out and blew her nose with tears in her eyes.
"Not really. But all of them have been a huge help to the cause, Liz. If it were not for Annia and Hazzard having a huge crush on one another, then we never would have gotten him on our side. And Clawdee is working on getting the last stones so we can finally get rid of Padam once and for all. Don't worry, Liz, it's going to be all right. She just needs a small…. Did you hear that?" Tony got up and headed to the back; Liz followed. The Winnebago door was wide open, and Clawdee was gone. They ran to the door and saw two BarkChem guards carrying Clawdee away. Liz slapped Tony on the arm.
"Safe, huh?" Liz and Tony couldn't risk chasing them for fear of them hurting Clawdee. They had to get back to headquarters and find out what was really going on.
"You do know what we have to do now, right Tony?" Liz looked at Tony as they were driving back to headquarters.
"I know, Liz. We have to save her. I'm trying to come up with a plan right now."
"Not only that, Tony, but we have to tell her family something! I mean, NotexToxSelf
is here all the time. She is going to notice something if her sister isn't here, Tony, and we cannot get her involved. She is much too young, so do not even think about it." Liz pulled out another tissue and tossed the used one in the can.
Meanwhile in the BarkChem basement…..
"Um, excuse me, Mr. Guard dude? These ropes are just a tad tight. Would you mind loosening them just a bit?" Clawdee wiggled her arms behind her back on the basement floor.
"What? You think I'm stupid? As soon as I loosen them you're going to escape! I just got this job, and I am not going to lose it over some stupid little girl," replied the masked guard as he walked away.
"If I wanted to escape, I would have done so already; you guys are not the brightest crayons in the box. Now, can you please loosen them or at least tie my hands in front of me?" The guard walked over to Clawdee.
"Try anything funny, and I zap you with my Ice Blaster." He moved his coat aside to show Clawdee the Ice Blaster. 'Liz would love one of those,' thought Clawdee. The guard untied Clawdee, and she rubbed her sore wrists. She then placed her hands in front of her so the guard could tie her back up.
"Thanks, Mr. Guard, sir, my wrists were killing me." With her wrists tied back up, Clawdee scooted until she was up against a wall so she could lean her back on it.
"You're a very polite prisoner, Clawdee. What are you planning?" The guard walked slowly towards Clawdee.
"Dude, do not worry, you will find out soon." Clawdee winked at him and leaned her head against the cold stone wall, closing her eyes. The guard's eyes opened wide underneath his mask as he stared at his polite, yet scheming, prisoner. He walked up to the guard on duty.
"Keep an eye on that one. She's planning something."
Back at headquarters with Liz and Tony…..
"What do you mean they kidnapped Clawdee?!" Peter demanded, stomping his paw. "How could you let this happen, you were only five feet away from her!" Peter started pacing, muttering under his breath. Annia, Marco and Gwennie were in the background surrounded by tissues.
"Peter, you all knew that getting involved with this mess would include taking some risks. We are doing everything we can right now to try and get her back…" Tony stopped as he heard a pounding on the door. "Who is pounding on our door? No one knows where we are. Security Camera one on." Tony turned to a huge screen in the wall where AquaKing was standing on the doorstep, pounding on the front door.
"Let me in right now, Tony and Liz! I saw those guards take Clawdee, and you just standing there doing nothing! Let me in this instant!!" Aqua started pounding on the door again.
"Oh, let him in, Tony. He and Clawdee are good friends; he has a right to know what is going on," Liz said, looking at Tony.
"All right, Liz. But just remember, you dragged him into this, not me." Tony went over to the door and pressed some buttons on a panel next to the door. Aqua barged through, passed Tony, into the middle of the room.
"Well? What are you two planning to do about this!?" Aqua demanded, pacing angrily. Peter walked up to him.
"We're waiting for the same thing, so sit down and wait your turn, Aqua!" Peter yelled.
"Now both of you stop this minute!" yelled Liz. "We are trying to think, and you are not helping! Sit!" Both Aqua and Peter sat. Liz looked at Tony, shrugging.
"We cannot barge in there, otherwise they might hurt her. We have to sit and think. Peter, have you and the others decoded those papers yet?" Tony looked at Peter while he and Liz took a seat at the table in the middle of the room. "Not all of it. We got some, but it does not make any sense. Give us another day, and we'll have it… I hope." Peter grabbed a handful of papers in his mouth and gave them to Liz. She looked them over.
"You're right; they make no sense at all. Maybe we will have a talk with Hazzard later and see what he can make of them," Liz sighed.
"I have a plan!" Aqua yelled suddenly.
"What is it?!" Tony, Liz, and Peter asked at the same time.
"I'll get myself kidnapped by the BarkChem guards. They will most likely stick me in with Clawdee, and then we can free one another! It's quite simple really, once you think about it." Aqua sat up straighter. "Come on, let's go now!" Aqua stood up and headed for the door. Tony grabbed his arm, stopping him.
"That sounds like a half-baked plan, Aqua, and we both know that. We need to sit down and think this out a bit more." Tony let go of Aqua's arm and walked over to the screen.
"Fine, you guys figure this out. I'm going to go to BarkChem and save Clawdee." Saying that, Aqua left the headquarters, leaving Tony and Liz speechless.
Back at BarkChem……
"Oh, guard dude?" Clawdee called from her position on the floor. The guard came in.
"What in the world do you want now?!! I got you a Gekkie Shake, a Slice of Pizza, and a bunny puzzle; what else could you possibly want?!" the guard shouted, red in the face. Clawdee stared at the guard with innocence in her face. "I need to tinkle."
Tony ran after AquaKing. Liz and Peter followed. Tony grabbed Aqua's arm and spun him around to face him. "Aqua, I know you're mad, but you cannot go and get yourself kidnapped. It's not helping Clawdee one bit. What if they don't put you in the same room? What if they just decide to eat you instead? How do you think that would make Clawdee feel? Knowing she got her best friend eaten?!" Tony shouted at Aqua.
"Um, guys? Maybe we should continue this inside where the whole city doesn't hear us?" Liz suggested, getting in-between the two guys.
"You're right, hun. Come on, Aqua. You, too." Tony put his arm around Aqua's shoulder and guided him into the headquarters. He stopped at the door and turned around, seeing a bit of movement out of the corner of his eye. He dismissed it and headed inside.
"Do you need anything else?!" the guard asked Clawdee, roughly pushing her back into the basement. She almost tripped and fell, but caught herself on the wall.
"Not at the moment," she smiled, "but come back in about 10 minutes. I'm going to get bored, and I will need someone to talk to. Or you can bring me a book or maybe a game…" The guard shut the door on her. The guard walks five feet away from the door when another guard rushed up to him.
"I just saw that AquaKing kid talking to SweetFire and TheMetal. They were talking about coming here and having us kidnap Aqua and stick him in with Clawdee. But they decided against it, I think. They went back inside that irregular house before I could hear more. And this is getting risky, man. TheMetal almost saw me," the guard finished up, taking a huge breath.
"That gives me an idea… you stay here and watch the twerp and do not get her anything else; she does not need it. I'm going to the boss to give him my idea…." The guard walked off with an evil smile on his face. Clawdee sat in the dark, damp basement, tears in her eyes, for she had just heard all that and feared the worst for Aqua.
"All right, for right now, you are just going to go over to NotexToxSelf's house and tell her that we asked Clawdee to stay over at City Hall to help with some problems, and then you will go straight home. And, do not, I repeat, do not go past BarkChem. It may not be safe, and we are going to need you soon." Tony, Liz, and Aqua sat around the table; all the pets were asleep in their beds.
"I'll be fine, Tony. I do not want anything to go wrong. And after we rescue Clawdee, I'm helping you guys take BarkChem and Padam down." Aqua slammed his fist down on the table, lifted it up, and shook it. "Forgot the table was made out of metal. Well, now that we got that out of the way, it's dark and very late, and I still need to talk to NotexToxSelf. I shall be here bright and early in the morning though." Aqua waved to Liz and Tony and patted Peter's head on his way out. Liz closed the door behind him. As he took the long way to Bob's house in Dolphin City, Aqua heard a crunch of gravel behind him. He turned, suddenly aware of his surroundings, but became blinded when a cloth bag was thrown over his head by a faceless attacker. He then felt a sharp pain in his head and everything went black.
Back in BarkChem….
Clawdee was awakened by a commotion in the hall right outside the basement door. She did not know how long she had been asleep and didn't know if it was day or night. The door opened wide, and she saw three guards wrestling with another person. They finally threw the prisoner into the basement, then closed and locked the door faster than she had ever seen before. The prisoner threw himself against the door, pounding it and yelling at the guards. Clawdee hid in the corner, trying to make as little noise as possible, for she did not know how dangerous this prisoner was. He finally stopped, turned around, and slumped down, back to the door and hand over his head.
"Oh, Clawdee, what have I done?" the prisoner asked himself.
"I don't know. What did you do?" Clawdee asked. The prisoner jumped; it was so dark in the basement he hadn't seen anyone else.
Clawdee! Is that you? I can't see a thing. Where are you? It's Aqua."
"I'm here in the corner. What are you doing here, Aqua?" Clawdee stood up and headed towards his voice. "Don't move. I'm coming to you, and it's dark in here. I do not want to bump into you or lose you in here." Aqua stood still while he listened to Clawdee making her way over to him. Two minutes later she bumped into him. Clawdee laughed. "Guess I bumped into you anyway, huh? Can you please untie these ropes, Aqua? They are killing my wrists." Clawdee held her wrists up to where she believed his head to be. He grabbed her wrists and lowered them so he could work on the knot. "How did you end up in here, Aqua?"
"I don't really know. I saw you get kidnapped, and I saw Liz and Tony do nothing about it. So I followed them to some shack on the beach, and I started pounding on the doors. Tony let me in, and I let him have it. They finally told me what was going on. I wanted to get myself kidnapped so I could save you, but Tony…"
"Wait! So it's true? You did try to come and rescue me? This must be the plan that one guard had…"
"Wait, what are you talking about, Clawdee?" Aqua finally got the knot untied, and they both found their way to the wall and sat down.
"Earlier today… I think… The guard who was watching me was approached by another guard. He said he heard you talking to Tony about coming to rescue me, but Tony talked you out of it. Then the first guard said he had a plan and was going to tell the Boss, which I'm presuming is Padam. Then I fell asleep, and then you all woke me up with the commotion outside the door, and now we are here." Clawdee threw her hands up in the air.
"But how would kidnapping me help them?"
"I don't know, Aqua, I really don't. But it's been a super long day, and I'm exhausted. We both need to get some sleep." With that Clawdee leaned her head on Aqua's shoulder and went to sleep. Aqua, finally, laid his head on hers and went to sleep also.
Headquarters - Next Day - Morning….
"He was supposed to be here an hour ago, Liz. Where could he be? You don't think he would have been foolish enough to go with his own plan, do you?" Tony paced the room, talking to Liz, worried. Liz was sitting at the table, poring over some papers with a mug of coffee next to her.
"He might have slept in, Tony. It is 7am, after all. Maybe his 'bright and early' is later than ours." Liz flipped the page and took a sip of coffee. Peter ran in from outside where he had to, um… take care of business.
"Liz! Tony! Horrible news! I just ran into Hazzard, and he said the BarkChem guards kidnapped Aqua last night on his way to NotexToxSelf's house! The only good news, though, is that they stuck him in with Clawdee. Not a very wise move on their part, though. I don't think they have all their marbles, if you know what I mean." Peter pointed towards his head. Liz spat the coffee she had in her mouth onto the papers.
What? The guards have Aqua now? Tony, what are we going to do?" Liz started wiping the papers off with her shirt. Tony fell into the chair next to Liz, shocked.
"It's all my fault, Liz. I should not have let him leave without talking it all out first… I knew I saw something or someone out of the corner of my eye when we got back inside yesterday… I should have followed my gut, and I should not have let him leave." Tony put his head in his hands. Liz patted his back.
"Tony, it's not your fault! You had no idea that this was going to happen. Do not blame yourself." Liz gave Tony a hug. "Buck up. Peter, call Tony's and my pets. Tell them to get over here, ready to fight. Ok?"
"Yes, ma'am!" Peter walked off. Liz gave Tony a cup of coffee and went over to the screen.
"I need the blue prints to BarkChem, and turn on Clawdee's tracking device." Liz pushed some buttons on the console. Tony walked over to look at the screen.
"It looks like they are being kept in the basement. That's what Clawdee's device is showing."
"Well then, Tony, you seem to be the brains lately… what are we going to do now?" Liz looked over to Tony.
"Aqua, wake up." Clawdee shook Aqua awake. "I think it's morning, and I think the guards are up to something."
"What? Huh? Oh… I'm up, I'm up. What's going on?" Aqua stretched and yawned.
"There are a bunch of guards outside the door, and they are pacing a lot."
"So, what does that mean?"
"I think I heard one of them say something about an attack, but I am not sure…" Clawdee and Aqua both got up and crept towards the door. They put their ears to the door, leaning against it.
"We need to move them as quickly as possible before they get here. According to our radar, they are five minutes away, Sir," one of the guards said. Before they even realized it, the basement door swung open, and both Clawdee and Aqua fell face first at the feet of the guards.
"Didn't I tell you these two would be trouble? No one ever listens to me," the first guard, who had captured Clawdee, said to the rest. "Pick them up, and let's go. The Boss wants to see them both." The guards dragged Clawdee and Aqua up by their armpits, two guards for each of them, with three following close behind.
The guards led them through a dimly lit hallway and up a flight of stairs. The door opened and hardly any light came through the windows; everything here was dimly lit also. But it looked to Clawdee like they were in a factory area. There were other people in masks, but they were not guards. They were running around with vials and goggles on, over their masks.
"Keep your heads straight and stop looking around," one of the guards said and pushed Clawdee forward. They walked across the factory floor the rest of the way with their heads down. They finally got to the other side where a huge door decorated with big strong Power Pets waited for them. Two guards moved around Clawdee and Aqua to open the doors. They were pushed through the doors into another hallway lit on all sides by candles. On the wall were pictures of pets in battle, bruised and battered. Clawdee and Aqua looked at them, horrified at both the pictures and what lay beyond the hallway. They reached a dead end.
A guard came up from behind them and went to a painting of a Sheep Dog and a Labrador in a fight. He pressed the lab's nose, and a panel popped out from under the painting. He punched in a couple of numbers, and a door opened right next to the painting. Clawdee and Aqua lifted their heads. They saw a big boardroom and a huge oval table in the middle of the room surrounded by chairs. The one at the head of the table was occupied, but was turned around so they couldn't see who was in it.
"Here they are, Boss, and watch out for the girl; she has a smart mouth on her." The guards let them go and left the room.
"Aww, he's just upset because he didn't get any pizza yesterday," Clawdee said, looking at the chair. A snicker came from the chair.
"Oh, Clawdee, Clawdee, Clawdee… you really have to control your fat mouth," the voice said. The chair slowly turned around until it was facing Clawdee and Aqua.
"Oh my god, it's you?!" Clawdee yelled.
"Yes, it is I… wait… You could not tell it was I? But you've been following me for weeks; you did not even guess?" Padam shook his head. Clawdee looked at him, trying to stifle a giggle.
"Oh my god, you should have seen your face! That was sooo funny! Wasn't that funny, Aqua?" Clawdee bent over, holding on to Aqua's shoulder, trying not to fall over from laughter.
"Um, Clawdee, stop before you make him mad." Aqua helped Clawdee up.
"Jeez, Aqua, you need to lighten up. Stop stressing. What's the worst that Padam can do to us? Give us garbage?" Clawdee started laughing again.
"You never shut up, do you, Clawdee? Always with the talking and the joking. Well, we shall just see who is laughing when I get through with you. Have you ever fought a crocodile, Miss Star?" Padam asked, standing up and walking towards them. "No, me and Peter don't fight, except that once, but not anymore."
"I was not talking about your pets, Miss Star. I was talking about you, personally." Padam reached them and moved between Clawdee and Aqua, staring down at Clawdee. Clawdee stared back, fear in her eyes. "Guards, please take Clawdee down to the croc pit," Padam said through a crack in the door. Aqua stepped in front of Clawdee.
"You can't take her! I will not let you!" He glared at the guards.
"Deal with this… little mess. I have to go take care of TheMetal and SweetFire. Bloody bounty hunters have been on my tail for the past five years. I do not care what you do with him, just get rid of him." Padam left the room, sweeping past them all. Aqua was still in front of Clawdee, but Clawdee no longer had fear in her eyes. She had the look of determination. She pulled Aqua back more towards the table and chairs.
"You remember that daytime talk show we watch all the time, Aqua?" she whispered into his ear.
"How can I not? You make me sit there and watch it with you!"
"I only make you watch it because you are too stressed. Listen, you remember the one the other day where they picked up the chairs and threw them at one another?"
"Where are you going with this, Clawdee?"
"We're going to do the same thing."
"We're going to throw chairs at each other?"
"No, silly, at the guards." Clawdee pointed to the guards who were busy fighting about whom would get to see Clawdee eaten and who would have to take care of Aqua.
"Gee, Clawdee, what did you do to those guys? They all kind of want to see you die."
"Well, my mom always said I was so annoying that if I ever got kidnapped I should be myself and that the kidnappers would pay my mom to take me back… Hey, stop laughing, it's not funny." Clawdee slapped Aqua's arm, catching the attention of the guards.
"How about we just throw both of them into the croc pit? The guy first, I'm sure the boss would love that," the guard snickered and made a grab for Aqua. Aqua quickly jumped back and grabbed one of the chairs and swung. Clawdee ducked under the table and scrambled to the other side where a panel was. She started pressing buttons. Aqua was still swinging his chair at any guards who got close.
"Clawdee! What are you doing! You're supposed to run!" Aqua shouted at Clawdee. While being distracted, one of the guards took the chair away from him and was about to attack when suddenly a trap door opened right underneath him. The guard fell down the hole, and the trap door closed itself back up.
"Ha!" Clawdee cried triumphantly. "I knew Padam had to have one of those around here. See, Aqua, I know what I'm doing." She stuck her tongue out at him, while ducking from an attack from a guard. The guard hit the panel, and the floor underneath Clawdee and Aqua opened and they fell through, the door closing above their heads.
Meanwhile, back with Liz and Tony….
"Tony, they are moving her. From the blueprints, it looks like they took her to the boardroom. I hope Aqua is with her." Liz sat in the passenger seat, chewing her fingernails.
"Liz, you do not need to worry about Clawdee. You've seen her in training. She kicks both our butts. If she and Aqua haven't escaped already, I'll… um… I'll go without my sunglasses for one month!"
"You making a bet, shade boy?"
"Yup, I'll even shake on it" Tony stuck out his right hand. Liz shook it. They pulled up in front of BarkChem.
"All right," Tony called to the back. "Everyone ready back there?"
"Yes!" came the collective reply from ten pets.
"Then let's move out!" Tony shouted while pressing buttons on the Winnebago. Several secret hatches opened revealing armor and mean-looking weapons.
"Tony? Liz? Are we going to be using those?" Peter said, pointing at the weapons.
"Don't worry, Peter. They are only stun ducks and net balls. We don't want to hurt them… badly."
"Um….Stun ducks? What are those"
"Oh, you just press this button here on his back, touch your enemy with his beak, and he will temporally stun the thing it hits" Tony said, grinning. Everybody grabbed a weapon and headed outside.
Back with Aqua and Clawdee…..
Aqua and Clawdee were heading down the slide, not knowing where they would turn up, or even if they would be together, wherever they landed. Aqua was scared and stressed, while Clawdee enjoyed the ride. Sure, she was scared, but you have to live in the moment and worry about the future when it becomes the present, and Clawdee was having a butt-load of fun.
"Aqua!" Clawdee pounded on the slide. "Can you hear me?"
"I can hear you, Clawdee, and please don't pound on the sides. It echoes in here!" Aqua shouted back.
"Oh, sorry! Hey, look! Do you see light a little bit further on?"
"Yeah, Clawdee, I do. Hold on, I think we might be exiting!" Aqua and Clawdee both squeezed their eyes shut. In seconds, they swooshed out of the slide, landing in a shallow river of slime. They sat dazed for a minute, then THWACK, Aqua got an earful of slime. "Eww, Clawdee, that feels so nasty!" Aqua quickly cleaned out his ears, which were making squishy sounds every time he stuck his finger in his ear. "Forget it! I'll never get it all out, and that sound is driving me crazy!"
Liz and Tony….
"Well, look at that, Tony. Was that Clawdee and Aqua that just got dumped in the slime?" Liz looked at Tony with a grin on her face and her hand out.
"Oh, come on, Liz. You didn't mean that, did you?" Tony looked at Liz with shock.
"Yup, come on, shade boy, cough 'em up." Tony groaned, took off his glasses, and handed them to Liz. She put them in her pocket, and started walking towards Clawdee and Aqua. She stopped suddenly.
"Did Clawdee just throw slime in Aqua's ear?"
"That's what it looks like. I don't get that girl. She just escaped from Padam, and she's tossing slime around like she's playing in a mud puddle." Tony shook his head and continued walking, Liz and the pets following.
"Don't worry, Tony, Clawdee does this all the time. She dug a hole next to the house for when she felt like playing in the mud. She says it's squishy and good for the skin," Peter said, walking next to Tony.
"Tony! Look! A guard is walking up to Clawdee and Aqua, and they cannot seem him. They are too busy throwing slime at one another."
"Well, we're too far to do anything right now, so let's hurry and get over there!" Everyone took off running.
Clawdee and Aqua…
"Clawdee, you are so going to pay for that." Aqua scooped up a pile of slime and flung it at Clawdee. It landed square in her face. Clawdee opened her mouth, and some slime dropped in.
"You know, this stuff isn't half bad. No wonder Peter loves this stuff." Clawdee started licking the slime off her fingers.
"Clawdee, that's gross! And you don't know what it will do to you. It's made for the animals, not us. Stop eating it right now." Aqua picked up more slime and lobbed it at her. Clawdee saw it coming and ducked. It hit one of Padam's guards square in the chest.
"Aqua! That wasn't very nice. This was my best suit!" the guard exclaimed loudly. "Sis? NotexToxSelf, is that you?" Clawdee stepped out of the river and up to the guard. She pulled off her mask. "It is you! What are you doing here dressed like that, NotexToxSelf?"
"I work here! They give you great benefits here. All the slime you can eat and armor, if you do well. But I saw you two in the boardroom and thought you might want to know the guards are grouping up and are coming after you in like, five minutes. So you might want to scram." Pierre looked around.
"Hey, look, there's Tony and Liz. Go with them, and you will be safe. I have to get back inside before they notice I'm gone. Don't want to get fired from this job." NotexToxSelf grabbed her mask, put it back on, and ran to the factory.
"Well, that was weird." Clawdee watched her sister run.
"Hey, Clawdee, maybe you should get a job here. You're always complaining about not having enough slime and armor."
"Ha ha, very funny, Aqua. I can just imagine Padam giving me a job." Clawdee rolled her eyes and started walking towards Liz and Tony.
"Took you guys long enough to get here," Clawdee shouted at them.
"Well, we had to round everyone up and load them up with weapons, Clawdee. If we knew you were getting yourself out, we would have stayed back at headquarters and watched the football game," Tony said, handing each of them a towel.
"Uh, we do have one small problem, though. The guard was my sister, and she said all the guards are ganging up and are heading out here in about, oh, 3-4 minutes," Clawdee said, wiping slime off her jeans.
"All right, you and Aqua go back to the van. And I want you two to stay there. I mean it, we do not need you getting kidnapped again, Clawdee," Liz said, handing Aqua the keys.
"But I don't want to go stay in that stinky old van! No offense, but I want to be out here -"
"Clawdee! You are going to stay in the van, and you are not going to leave it. We would feel horrible if something else bad happened to you. I know you can take care of yourself, you have proved that, but it's time to just chill and let us handle this. It's our job. Now, please go get in the van with Aqua and watch TV or something. Lock all the doors and stay away from the windows." Liz hugged Clawdee and Aqua and pointed at the van. Clawdee gave Liz a look that could kill and stomped towards the van. Aqua gave Liz an apologetic look and followed Clawdee.
"You know she's going to be sulky for like, weeks now, right?" Peter said, staring up at Liz.
"I'd rather her be mad at me than dead, Peter, and I know you feel the same," Liz sighed. "Let's get going, guys and gals."
Clawdee and Aqua….
Clawdee pushed open the door of the Winnebago with force. "What does she think, making me stay here? I can help just as well as they can!" Clawdee started opening and closing drawers, seemingly looking for something.
"Clawdee… Clawdee, stop it and come here," Aqua said, walking into the van.
"No! I'm trying to find equipment, and then I'm out of here. One of those guards is my sister, and I do not want to see her hurt. And Padam was going to feed me to the crocodiles! I don't let things like that go without a fight." Clawdee pulled open another drawer and pulled out a box, opened it, and found a frying pan.
"Clawdee, wait, why is there a frying pan in a box?"
"I don't know, but it's heavy, and I can't find anything else. Here, hold it for a minute for me." Clawdee handed the pan over to Aqua. As soon as he touched it there was a sizzling sound in the air, and smoke arose from between Aqua's hand and the pan. Aqua dropped the pan and ran to the bathroom to soak his hand in cold water.
"Are you ok, Aqua? What happened?" Clawdee grabbed the pan gently and walked to the bathroom.
"That thing burned my hand! How in the world can you hold it?" Aqua yelled, opening the door with his hand wrapped in a towel. "That thing is ebil. Just keep it away from me, please!"
"Ok, I'm sorry, Aqua. I didn't know it would do that. Maybe that was why it's in that box. Well! Looks like I got my weapon. See you later, Aqua!" Clawdee headed towards the door, frying pan in hand.
"Wait a minute there, Clawdee. You think I'm going to let you go out there by yourself? Hang on and let me get my stuff." Aqua dragged a duffel bag from under the bathroom sink and took out a stun duck and some more net launchers.
"You're coming with me? Mr. Obey All Rules? Cool, it's about time you threw that book out the window. Later tonight, or whenever this is all over, it's party time." Clawdee grabbed Aqua's hand and practically ran out of the van, clicking the locks on the way out.
They finally reached BarkChem, but no one is outside. Except for many guards twitching in nets on the ground.
"Well, looks like the fight has started, Clawdee. Let's get in there and check out the damage."
"From the looks of out here, they are kicking some major butt!" Clawdee said, her voice filled with joy. A guard off in the distance was trying to get up and mumbling.
"Stupid sheepdog, bit me right in the… Ahhh!" And he fell down, Clawdee standing over him, Aqua's stun duck in hand. Then she kicked him in the leg, and it twitched.
"I like this thing, Aqua. I need one of my own. Pfft, call my dog stupid." Clawdee handed Aqua back his stun duck and went to the doors.
"Remind me never to talk badly about your pets!" Aqua shouted after Clawdee. They reached the doors, and Clawdee put her ear up to them.
"Aqua, I don't hear anything in there." There was worry in her voice.
"Well then, let's go in and see what's going on." Aqua pushed open the doors. They walked into the room, the scene very much like outside. They walked in and started walking around, looking for Liz, Tony, and the pets.
"Clawdee, where is everyone? Well, I mean "good" everyone?" Aqua said, peeking behind machines.
"Padam took them, you little twerps, and you will never ever see them again!" a guard said from the ground.
"Hey! Your voice sounds familiar, do I know you?" Aqua said, walking over to the guard.
"Ya, you know her. That's Jubyboy01," another voice said.
Annia! Is that you?" Clawdee yelled. Annia sighed.
"Ya, it's me. I got sucked in by the armor and the slime. I'm so ashamed, Clawdee. If you let me out of here, I'll take you to Padam and everyone else, and I'll never come back to this stupid place!" Annia cried. Aqua walked over to where Annia was tied up on the floor. He untied the ropes and let her out. Annia carefully stood up with the help of Aqua and rubbed her wrists. "Ok, Padam caught everyone you guys are with. And he took them down to where they kept you, in the basement. But in about five minutes, he's going to take them to the croc pit…. Clawdee? Is that a frying pan in your hands?"
"Yea, it's pretty cool. Here, touch it!" Clawdee stuck out the frying pan. Aqua pulled her hand back.
"Don't. We don't need her getting burned either."
"Burned? That thing burns people? Then how can you touch it, Clawdee?"
"I don't know, Annia, but it's pretty cool, and it's heavy, so I figure I could hit people over the head with it and knock 'em out."
"Ok, well, I want to get out of here. Do you know your way to the basement? And the Croc pit?"
"Yea, we do. You can go home now, Annia."
"Thanks, Aqua, and good luck, you two!" Annia took off all the guard clothes and mask and ran out of BarkChem. Clawdee and Aqua picked their way to the basement, stepping over guards, with Clawdee stunning a couple from time to time. They finally reached the basement. Aqua put his ear to the door.
"Clawdee, I don't think anyone is in there!"
"Well then, off to the croc pit we go!" They headed to the croc pit, more stepping over guards and more stunning going on along the way. They reached Padam's office.
"The croc pit has to be in here somewhere. You know Padam would like to watch or something weird like that."
"Shhh!" Aqua put his hand over Clawdee's mouth.
"I think they're in there. I can hear talking."
"Well, Aqua, crack the door a bit, and let's find out what's going on!" Aqua quickly and quietly opened the door just a smidgen. What they saw was both weird and scary. Padam was dressed in a Hawaiian T-shirt and Bermuda shorts and his big ugly boots, dancing in circles around Liz, Tony, and the pets, who were tied up in chairs in the room. And he was singing… actually, it sounded more like chanting.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha, you can't catch me! You've spent over 15 years trying to catch me! And now look at you big, bad bounty hunters! Getting ready to be eaten by crocs. This is just great! Where's my video camera?"
"He looks… giddy. This is so weird, Aqua. Move over and let me in. We can catch him by surprise while he's searching for his camera." Clawdee pushed the door open little by little. Padam's back was still towards them. Clawdee walked up behind him, held the pan as a baseball bat, and swung.
CRACK! Padam turned into an egg. A huge, white egg, with a Hawaiian shirt on. The room was silent.
"Well," Liz said, "guess we're having omelets for the next couple of days." This was taken with a collected "EWWWW!"
"He smells funky," Peter said, sniffing the air.
"He was a very bad, nasty egg, Peter," Tony said. "Will someone please untie us all? I wanna get away from the stench!" While Aqua and Clawdee was untying everyone, a group rushed in. Annia and NotexToxSelf were in the front, followed by Bagelness, Kryptoknight, Harassment, RedMist, and NyteProxie. They all stopped dead in their tracks.
"What is that smell!?" NotexToxSelf yelled, holding her nose. Some of them ran out of the room, making gagging noises.
"It's Padam." Clawdee pointed towards the egg.
"Clawdee, what did you do?" NotexToxSelf asked.
"Why do you automatically assume it was me?!" Clawdee said, waving her arms in the air.
"Because I've lived with you for 13 years. I know you, Clawdee."
"So what if it was me! In fact, it wasn't me, so there!" Clawdee stuck her tongue out at NotexToxSelf. "It was this stupid frying pan! I didn't know it would do that. I just thought it would knock him out for awhile!"
"But, why is he an egg?" Annia asked, walking up to Padam/Egg and poking him. Tiny puffs of green gas erupted from it, making the smell even worse. Everyone grabbed a pet and ran out of the room, closing the door and gasping for breath. They untied the rest of the animals and headed out, Clawdee still stunning people on the way out.
"Tony, call Vinnie and tell him we, um, have Padam," Liz said, handing a weird-looking cell phone to Tony.
"NO WAY! I do not want to get on the bad side of Vinnie! Did you hear what he did to Rob when he brought the wrong guy in?"
"Yes, but at least we got the right guy! He's just a big, stinky egg." Liz dialed the phone and handed it to Tony. He handed it back to her. Clawdee finally grabbed the phone out of Tony's hand when a voice came over the phone.
"Hello? Hello, is anyone there! Tony, Liz, is that you?" a male voice shouted from the phone.
"Hello, Mr. Vinnie, my name is Clawdee Star, and I've been working with Liz and Tony for a while. We have Padam, but there is a slight problem. He's kind of an egg. A really big, stinky egg." Clawdee held the phone away from her ear as boisterous laughter erupted from the phone.
"Clawdee, you still there? Give the phone to Tony for me." Clawdee handed the phone to Tony while Liz smirked at him. They talked for a minute, then Tony said Clawdee's name, listened a second, and handed the phone back to Clawdee. "You used the frying pan on him? And it didn't burn you?!"
"No, sir. It burned my friend, Aqua, but not me. I thought it was very strange."
"It is a bit strange. You see, that is a magic Frying Pan, but no one around here has ever been able to touch it because it belong to one person and one person only. And I believe, Miss Star, that person is you."
"Um, what am I supposed to do with it?"
"You can join with Tony and Liz and fight crime, or just leave it in your cupboard, whatever you want to do with it."
"Fighting crime sounds like a lot of fun, but I would have to talk it over with my family."
"That's fine. Just talk to Liz and Tony. They'll be there for a while filling out paper work and getting Padam back to me so I can try to find a way to turn him back. Give the phone back to Tony, please. There are still some matters we need to talk about." Clawdee handed the phone back to Tony and went to go stand by Aqua, who was talking with Peter. She poked him in the arm, a huge grin on her face.
"Guess what, Aqua, I get to be a Super Hero!" Aqua burst out laughing. Clawdee punched him in the arm. He fell down laughing. "What is so funny about me being a Super Hero?!" Aqua got up, still laughing.
"Oh, come on, Clawdee, you got a frying pan! What are they going to call you? Frying Pan Woman? Or wait, better yet…The Frying Duchess!" Aqua suddenly fell down. Clawdee's hand very quickly went behind her back, hiding the stun duck.