Cthulhu Protocol

It was the day after New Year’s Day, and as Pudgy scampered through the snowy woods back to his home, he shivered and knew getting the wood stove fired up was the first order of business. The little hedgehog was finally relaxed and recovering from his trip to the snowy north. He was looking forward to calm days, playing in the snow, and many trips to Cobalt’s house for goodies as and fun.  The trees had lost most of their leaves, except couple of the oak trees.  The pines gently swayed, casting their fragrance throughout the woods.  Pudgy made it to his cabin, and noticed the stream had run low, so the water wheel stopped turning.  He made note, he would need to check that later.  He opened his door and scooted inside.  Opening the hatch, he put in wood pellets and kindling, and started using the stove’s striker knob.  Cobalt was worried about matches, so he had installed an igniter like a gas grill.  Sparks dropped onto the wood, and soon a small member formed.  Pudgy blew into the stove, and soon had a little fire going.  His cabin was small, so it warmed quickly.

Sitting down at his table, the little hedgehog peeked outside and watched it start to rain.  The woods were quiet, which gave him time to think.  He wondered if Xylenia was ok, and what Lord Doomcock was up to?  He could ask via his crystal, but something told him he shouldn’t. As the day progressed, Pudgy continued to do chores in and around his home.  The skies darkened, and the little hedgehog made supper. As he was doing his dishes, he heard a tap on his door.  Pudgy scooted over and opened the door. There was a large snout sniffing.  Had stopped by for a visit.  Pudgy waved, “Hello Mister Dino!”  The dinosaur backed up, and waved with one of his little arms, “hello Pudgy!  Thank you for the goodie package you dropped off the other day!” Pudgy bounced, “you’re welcome. Pudgy glad you like pepperoni bread.” The hedgehog scooted inside and brought back out a sweet bread.  He tossed it high, and the dinosaur snatched it in his mouth, munching.  “Mmfrmmm…” the dinosaur said.  Pudgy sat outside of his cabin door and chatted with his friend.  He filled in where Xylenia had wandered

Off to, and his activities as of late.  The dinosaur listened, as the hedgehog acted out scenes from his journey.  The parts where Pudgy was blown up, drew a look of concern.  “Pudgy, you have to be more careful.”  The dinosaur admonished his furry friend. Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy knows, and very glad to be home.” His large scaled friend nodded, and the two watched the moon rise through the sky. The dinosaur sighed, “I need to go Pudgy.  Thank you for the sweet treat.”  Pudgy waved, and watched his large friend walk away, tail wiggling.  A couple days passed, and far below in Xanadoom, the future ruler of the world too was recovering from the events that transpired in the frozen north.  The giant robot was stored away in its berth, the reactors being refueled, and weapon systems resupplied.   As he sat in his large media room, he sat in an overstuffed green chair, and sipped a scotch.  His life had been very busy as of late, which was unexpected.  He had made grand plans and were all delayed or sped up by the inclusion of a small brown furred hedgehog.  His subterranean fortress was secure, and the Vril threat was now dealt with, which left him time to pursue other pursuits.  Doomcock got out of his chair and strode towards the elevator which led to the lower levels.  The doors swung open, and he entered. 

Pressing the button to descend, he would check in on his Eldritch friend.  As the lord mentioned many times in his videos and live streams, Harvey Cthulhu was safely contained.  He had made many preparations, and safeguards were in place.  But something kept reappearing in his mind, how exactly did Harvey get supplies to Pudgy on the surface?  He had been secretly working on that question, and he needed an answer or two.  Whether Harvey would provide the answers he sought, that was a question that could not be answered at the time.  The elevator dinged and the doors opened.  The stone hallway was smooth basalt, and dimly lit by the errant security light.  Reactor room was painted in a block font with reflective white paint.  Doomcock walked at a fair pace and maneuvered the halls out of memory. 

In a short time, he had reached the chamber with the reactor cores.  His platform where he recorded his videos was set up with a variety of equipment, but that was not where he would go today.  Descending a long set of metal stairs, he headed lower.  As he descended around the cores, which if measured would be over 200 feet in height by 25 feet in diameter, where grouped close together in a tri core design.  Core number one was designed by and built by his grandfather.  It had been over a hundred years, and the core was still functional.  Core 2 was designed by his father and supplied the bulk of his power needs.  Core number 3 was still being built, and Doomcock watched as his automated robots were assembling the various parts of the power plant.  He couldn’t help but smile, because when the time would come, Xanadoom power would be unparalleled.  There would be no question who was in command of the earth.  Reaching the bottom of the stairs, the lord turned towards a steel security door.  Removing his glove from his right hand, he placed it upon a scanner.  “Recognize, Lord Doomcock.”  The metallic voice stated as the door began to open.  The door for safety purposes did not open fully.  Instead opening only enough for him to enter.  Entering the room, he reached what he had sought.  There was a triple walled containment chamber, which glowed a faint green hue.  Inside Harvey Cthulhu floated.  The eldritch God turned and blinked. “Oh, you came in person?”  To save time, Doomcock had made it so monitors could project Harvey in the floating chamber above for the videos.  He also had an intercom to communicate with.  The lord nodded, “yes, I have a question, Harvey.”  The god looked annoyed, “come back tomorrow.  I’m busy.” 

Doomcock looked around the chamber, “Yes I can see that.  Harvey, how did you get the supplies to Pudgy?”  The God blinked, “I know not of what you speak of.  How can I do anything? I’m trapped in this darned fishbowl.”  The chamber was indeed like a fishbowl, which was then enclosed within an outer containment vessel with arsenic gas, then within another chamber with an Ozone gas.  Each seal had explosive fail safes, so there was no way for Harvey to escape without much damage to himself or the chamber.  The doors were rigged to seal shut, and weld automatically, with a vacuum seal to suck the air out of the room.  The lord really had thought of everything.  The lord snapped at him, “You gosh darn well know what I am talking about.  I know you hacked the robots.  While everything worked out in the end you have interfered in my plans for the last time, Harvey.”  The god sneered, “what are you going to do you impotent jerk.”  The two laughed, and Doomcock forgot to turn off the profanity filter he had installed in Xanadoom. Then as the lord reached the intercom panel, he started to unhook some wires from the intercom.  Harvey stammered “what … what are you doing?”  The intercom would still work, but certain other abilities the god had, were being removed one by one.  “I am taking measures to ensure you cannot work behind my back again.” Doomcock stood up and watched Harvey’s eyes glow red and started thrashing inside the containment chamber. The intercom was turned off for now, but where the tentacles were on his face, they were moving violently.  The lord turned his back, and exited the chamber, letting the doors seal shut once more.

As the god started to calm down, he floated and stewed in his anger.  It was his arrogance that caused him to be caught so many years prior.  But when you are immortal, time is not an enemy, but an opportunity.  He had a plan, though the removal of the intercom would not stop his evil plans, just merely delay them.  He had managed to get out a couple communiques to the surface, and whether the supposed future ruler knew it or not, plans were in place.  Events were in motion, and while his attention had been shifted elsewhere, measures were initiated.  His freedom was close at hand, and his wrath would be swift upon Xanadoom and its ruler.  Harvey grinned as only he could, and started to study what Doomcock had done, trying to find a work around solution.   A female voice called out, “It’s not going to work, Eldritch one.”  Harvey turned and noticed a tall pale skinned woman with a white fluffy coat adorned with feathers.  Her piercing blue eyes glowed.   The god grinned, ” Hecate’s, I see you are making the rounds.  Worry not my dear, I have plans in place.  I will free myself, and reign over this universe once more.  I knew your mother when she was young, and her mother before that.”  Hecate’s smiled, and adjusted her feathers, “Harvey Cthulhu.  If you are planning what I think you are, your actions will have consequences.  Are you prepared?”  The god grinned, “I will make Doomcock rue the day that he imprisoned me.”  The magical woman nodded and disappeared within a cloud of fog. 

As the fog parted, she was upon the surface world once more.  Leaning on her staff of white Birchwood, she frowned. “I hope not what he plans comes to pass.” The mysterious woman turned to face the west, knowing she needed to visit a small cabin with a water wheel and furry occupant. Measurements of temperament were needed, and intention. If he would be called again to act, could he sacrifice what would be necessary?  She did not know, and that concerned her.  Time quickly passed and soon it was the next day.  It was a brilliant blue sky with wispy clouds floating around long.  Pudgy’s cabin chimney was puffing out white smoke. A cloud of mist appeared, and Hecate appeared beside the cabin.  Height wise, the top of the cabin came to her waist.  The water wheel was turning at a fair pace, and the grinding gears of the alternator were quiet but noticeable.  She saw stacks of firewood, pile in neat rows.  The woods were brown, with a heavy cover of leaves, so if her target was hiding, it would be difficult to find him.  The tall woman walked around and knocked on his little door.  The door opened, and the hedgehog peeked out.  “Pudgy, dost thou remberst us from the north?”  The hedgehog rubbed his chin, and nodded, “Hecate, Pudgy remember.”  The women’s blue stained lips curled into a smile, and she motioned, “I need to ask questions, is now a good time to call?”  The hedgehog nodded, then quickly scooted past her to clean off a nearby wooden bench.  Then he scampered back inside the cabin.  The curious woman walked to the prepared spot and watched as her host scampered out with a tea pot and cups.

Pudgy also made a trip back and forth for a little jar in a bear shape.  As Pudgy climbed up on the bench beside her, he started to pour her a tea.  Hecate giggled, “my, tea and biscuits.  A proper meeting. How are thou feeling?”  Pudgy bounced happily, “Pudgy good. How Hecate?” The woman smiled, “I am well.”  Pudgy handed her a cup of tea in a simple white porcelain cup.  The hedgehog had to use both paws, which she took.  Raising the cup, she sniffed, and it did smell like tea.  She watched him pour a much smaller cup and sipped. Graciously she took a sip, and the drink was proper. “This taste of London Variety.” Pudgy nodded, “cobalt got it for Pudgy.  Come in red can, twinny I think.”  He opened the bear jar and offered a cookie.  Reaching her fingers into the jar, she withdrew one.  The two sat quietly, as the cool wind ruffled the tree branches above.  “This is a nice place, Pudgy.”  The hedgehog nodded, “cobalt lives over there. And Mister dinosaur lives back there.” The hedgehog narrated as he pointed.  Hecate looked at her furry host, “My dear hedgehog, dost thou know what is occurring far below in Xanadoom?”  The hedgehog shook his head no.  The woman started to lose her smile, “I fear Lord Doomcock may overlook the danger within his realm.” Pudgy looked worried, “is he gonna be ok?”  She adjusted her feathery head dress and looked towards the distant skies. “His dark secret endangers us all.  I fear the wrath of his charge, is soon upon us all.  If the eldritch one was to hurt Cobalt, what would thou do?”  Pudgy frowned, “why would Harvey hurt us?  He just grumpy.”  Hecate snapped at him, “answer me!”  Her eyes started to glow silver, and Pudgy started to back away.  She was scaring him, “please, Pudgy … don’t want anyone hurt.  Pudgy help.”  The women’s eyes pierced him, like Santa did during his last adventure.  Pudgy slid off the bench and started to back away. 

The women’s eyes softened, but the scared hedgehog scampered into his cabin and shut the door.  She could hear the lock snap shut.  An uncomfortable silence snapped the environment, and she was alone in the woods.  Setting the cup down on the bench, she stood up.  She had her answer, though the method to obtain it, could have used a bit more rehearsing. She looked around, and then disappeared in a cloud of mist.  Pudgy had locked himself in the cabin and was hiding under his table.  He hoped the woman would not rip his roof off or do something else.  Her eyes burned in his mind, and the words ran over and over. Pudgy started to whimper, ears folded down.  Why would Harvey want to hurt Cobalt, or anyone else for that matter? As the day progressed, the light faded until it was dark outside.  He did not dare light his lanterns, what if she was still outside?  Luckily the woodstove still was burning, and the cabin was warm.  He fell asleep under the table and woke up the next day with a sore back.  As the little hedgehog crawled out from under the table, he peeked out the windows.  The forest was empty, and a heavy frost covered the leaves.  Pudgy needed to check outside and get his tea pot and cookie jar back.  So slowly he unlocked the door and scampered out to the bench.  Picking up the cookie jar, the hedgehog turned, and found the woman had returned and was standing in front of his door. “Pudgy, I…” she started to speak.  The hedgehog froze, she never left.  Pudgy would never see Cobalt again. She tapped her white staff, “wish to apologize for yesterday.  It is of utmost importance …” He was letting her talk, waiting for the chance to get back into his cabin.  “I determine your willingness to.” As the woman adjusted her stance, boom he started to run.  Before Hecate knew it, he had shot between her ankles, and back into the cabin. 

As the door was starting to slam shut, she stuck her staff inside, barring it from fully closing.  Kneeling, she looked inside the little cabin.  The hedgehog was peeking from behind the door, trying to push the door shut.  Frowning, “Pudgy, art thou frightened?”  He nodded, and she sighed, “I did not mean to.  I am sorry.”  He stopped trying to push the door shut.  “Why is Harvey going to hurt Cobalt? Why scare Pudgy, Hecate?”  The woman nodded, “the truth then.  Lord Doomcock has missed something. Plans are in motion, occurrences hath been wrought. The time of the conjunction is soon upon us, by the time of the equinox, he will be free. On Luna you will find the gate.”  The woman reached inside and tapped his head gently, then pulled him outside for a gentle hug. The Hedgehog was not afraid but was still leery of her.  He wasn’t fully understanding what she spoke of.  The embrace ended, and she placed him back inside.  Pudgy watched as she faded away, going translucent, “Goodbye my furry friend.”  The confused critter sat in an uncomfortable silence.  He then slammed the door shut, as and barricaded himself inside.  He started to board up his windows.  Pudgy did not know what or who he was dealing with, so he had to be careful.   He opened his floorboards and squeezed through to the basement he had.  It was a crawlspace, where he stored extra supplies, and the battery Cobalt installed. He pulled the boards back and hid.  There were gaps in the field stone, so he could see out and around.  His eyes grew heavy, and the critter fell asleep.  It was after many hours, that Cobalt had appeared to check on his friend.  There had been no texts, nor hedgehog visits for a couple days.  So, when he found a spilled teapot, and broken cookie jar outside a barricaded cabin, he grew worried. 

“PUDGY!” the worried man called out.  The forest was silent, and he started to try to get into the cabin, but the door was tight. There was a crack in the boxes in front of a window, and he peeked inside. “Pudgy, are you ok?”  After a few tense worried moments passed, cobalt heard whimpering, and saw the floorboards move. Pudgy climbed up and raced to open the door.  The door swung wide, and Pudgy jumped up to start hugging Cobalt.  The little critter was a wreck.  His human friend hugged back, letting him cry, and recover.  Many minutes passed with no words, just the sounds of a wailing hedgehog.  Cobalt was looking around, noticing footprints around the cabin. “Pudgy, who visited you?”  The hedgehog sniffed and started to cry again.  The concerned man carried him over to the bench and sat down with the upset hedgehog.  He tried to console him, but nothing worked.  Cobalt reached down and pick up the bear shaped cookie jar. The lid had broken, though the rest was ok.  There were no cookies inside. “No cookies, your visitor must have eaten them.” Pudgy looked up, and he started quickly telling his friend what happened. The man listened and kept an eye on the forest. Time passed, and the two sat thinking.  Cobalt nodded, “Hecate seems like she was trying to warn you about Harvey for some reason.  We should tell Doomcock.” Pudgy nodded and tapped the Xanadoom crystal in his vest.  “Lord Doomcock, are you there?”  Pudgy looked around and watched as Cobalt warily scanned the forest.  The strange woman was not around.   The crystal remained silent.  “Perhaps he is sleeping, ” Cobalt muttered, and stood up, with Pudgy hopping down.  The two friends helped get the cabin back in order, with Pudgy trying the crystal every couple of moments with still no communication from Xanadoom. 

As this was occurring above, far below in Xanadoom, things were occurring.  The alarms were sounding, and the underground lair was in full lock down.  Diktor had put his helmet, and regal looking riot armor.  The robot guards were standing in combat mode, weapons drawn and pointed towards the reactor core.  The power plant was shaking, and tremors rippled through the fortress.  Doomcock slowly crawled on his hands and knees, to try to see what was occurring.  The red hazard lights were flashing.  Poking his head slowly over the short wall, he saw the cores of the reactor. The pressure doors to Harvey’s containment chamber were blow off their hinges, but not in an outward manner.  They had been forced inwards, and deep gashes ripped along the walls.  What appeared outside of the doors was something Diktor had never seen. 

Tall pale, almost translucent, beings with gray skin and large black eyes were standing guard. The alarms continued, and realizing just exactly what was going on, he reached into his belt.  Pulling out a hyper flash grenade, he primed the charge, pulled the pin, and tossed it towards the stairs.  The small object quickly bounced down the metal stairs and exploded into a strobe of intense bright light.  “Attack my robot forces!” Doomcock called out, as the robots started to swarm the reactor room.  The tall beings rubbed their eyes, and with a motion of their three fingered hands, caused the robots to explode one by one.  “Open fire, be careful not to hit the cores!”  The robots one by one started to fire laser beams of red or green color at the tall beings, who were struck down.  As the forces of Xanadoom pressed forward, an ear-piercing sound echoed through the room, causing Diktor to drop to his knee, and watch as a miasma of green mist start to ooze out of the room. 

A loud booming voice rang out, “FINALLY!”  the eldritch God floated out to where the translucent figures were standing barely.  Harvey waved his tentacles, and the robots exploded into a shower of dust.  His eyes burned red, and examined the reactor room, spotting Doomcock kneeling, clutching his helmet.  Harvey smirked, “enjoy my new allies present Diktor.  Your brain will hemorrhage before you can make it down the steps.  You really should have pressed the button last year. But now, I must be off.” The translucent beings bowed slightly, and one by one, white light shafts covered each, before shooting upwards at a high rate of speed.  Harvey floated over to core 2 and lashed out.  Thrashing against the shielding, he punctured the coolant systems.  A robotic voice exclaimed, “REACTOR FAILURE IMMINENT.”  The eldritch god smiled, and soon too was covered in the white light, quickly disappearing. 

The noise started to dissipate, and Diktor could move once more. He struggled to his feet and ripped off his helmet.  Blood was pouring out of his nose, and as he moved towards the control panels, he started an emergency core shut down.  Holding his nose shut, trying to stop the bleeding.  His eyes pulsed, with the room starting to spin.  The panels flashing red indicated 60 seconds to core failure, Doomcock worked the keyboard frantically.  The lights started to turn off one by one, and a huge metal tube started to descend from the ceiling and raise from the floor around core 2.  A loud clang rang forth when the two parts met, and the containment seals hissed as lockdown occurred.  The boards turned green one by one, until the shutdown measures completed.  Doomcock dropped down and passed out.  He lay on the steel grates floors beneath the computer terminals.  “Leopold core shut down complete. Xanadoom operational status 25%.”

Doomcock’s wrist started to light up, ” Lord Doomcock, are you there.” The little hedgehog’s voice was coming through the speaker in the watch band communicator, that resembled the kind of device Dick Tracy would wear. Every couple of minutes Pudgy’s voice would call out, and as the future ruler came to, he raised his arm, and moved the communicator towards his mouth. “Pudgy … now is …. not a good time to play.”  The hedgehog spoke again, “Hecate visit Pudgy, scare really bad, but had message don’t understand.” Diktor blinked, watching the room stop spinning he blurted out wearily, “what was the message?” Pudgy cleared his throat, “Lord Doomcock has missed something. Plans are in motion, occurrences hath been wrought. The time of the conjunction is soon upon us, by the time of the equinox, he will be free. On Luna the gate you find.”  Doomcock coughed hard, clearing his chest, and spat out a bit of blood he had swallowed.  “That would have been useful information 2 hours ago.  Pudgy, Harvey has broken free.  He had help from the grays.”  Cobalt spoke, “are you ok Lord Doomcock?”  As the lord sat up, “I will recover, I can repair the damage to Xanadoom.  But Harvey free is a bigger problem than anyone could ever imagine. Cobalt help Pudgy defend his cabin, you will most likely be the next target of his wrath.  I will send robots to help, when I get the teleportation grid functional. Doomcock out.”  Pulling himself off the steel floor, the future ruler set forth to start repairs to the power plant.  He knew a secret, and that would buy everyone time.  Time to plan and take measures to stop the eldritch god from destroying the planet.  Far above on the surface, Cobalt turned to face Pudgy.  The skies had darkened as sunset approached.  The little hedgehog watched in horror as his human friend’s eyes roll back into his head and he collapsed on the ground.  Pudgy scampered over shaking his friend desperately, “Cobalt no, please be ok.” 

Pudgy got the feeling he was being watched and looked above.  A huge disc shaped object was floating silently above his cabin.   A soft purplish light cascaded over the woodland forest.  “You go away now! You hurt Cobalt!” The little hedgehog exclaimed shaking his paws in the air. Pudgy turned, and noticed thin figures about four feet high, gray skin, bulbous heads with black eyes had surrounded his cabin.  They stood motionless, watching.  The hedgehog stood up and looked around. “Go away, Pudgy no want you here “a familiar voice starting to descend from the ship.  “Pudgy hedgehog…. I will go where I darn well please.” Pudgy looked up and Harvey was descending towards him. The eldritch God’s eyes were burning red, his body starting to grow, regaining definition.  Pudgy looked up, and then back at Cobalt’s motionless body. “What you do to Cobalt?”  The god smirked, “the same thing I did to Doomcock earlier.  You had your chance to free me, and yet you didn’t.  You chose to side with Diktor. But I have to thank you, hedgehog. You did the very thing I needed to escape.  Your actions opened the door for me to make communication with my allies.   The grays as your human friends call them, reside in my dimension.  We will take control here soon enough.” A tentacle wrapped around Pudgy and started to squeeze tight “No more adventures for you, Pudgy.” Pudgy started to black out, he couldn’t breathe.  Pudgy tried to break free, while the eldritch god cackled with an evil laugh.

ROOOAAARRRR!  a huge roar boomed throughout the forest, as Grumpasaurus charged forward over the hill.  Thrashing his tail, he flung the gray aliens into the trees.  Tyrannosaur eyes full of rage, almost glowing, locked onto Harvey.  “You put the hedgehog down NOW!”  Grumpasaurus boomed and rammed his head into the spacecraft.  The purple light faded, and the ship began to rise. Harvey dropped Pudgy’s motionless body onto the ground, as the grays disappeared one by one in shimmers of light.  The eldritch God boomed, “dinosaur, you will rue the day you crossed me.”  And soon Harvey too disappeared.  The dinosaur roared in anger, causing the trees to shake. As the spacecraft ascended into the skies above, the shimmering started. It disappeared slowly out of view.  The dinosaur looked down, and saw Cobalt’s nose bleeding, and Pudgy laying on the ground beside him.  Pushing his snout into the human, he groaned.  “Cobalt, you ok?”

The man patted the dinosaur’s nose and sat up blinking his eyes. “What was that?  I heard a loud pitch, and then the world disappeared?” He looked over and saw Pudgy laying on the ground.  Picking up his furry friend, “pudgy, you ok?”  He touched his belly and pushed gently. The hedgehog’s eyes opened, and he wiggled. The dinosaur’s concerned eyes were looking at him, and the hedgehog waved back. “Harvey did attack us like Doomcock said.  Thank you, mister Dino.” The dinosaur grinned as only he could.  Cobalt stood up weakly and staggered over to the nearby bench.  Pudgy scampered into his cabin and brought out a large meaty treat for mister dinosaur.  He tossed it into the large mouth.  Then the critter went back inside his cabin.  He came out with cups of water.  Cobalt gratefully accepted it and sipped.  He looked up above into the skies above, then to the dinosaur. “We’re lucky you were in the area.”  The dinosaur nodded, “I saw the strange craft in the sky, and came to explore.  When I saw you fall, then Pudgy get attacked, I charged.”

The hedgehog sipped from a tiny Doomcock helmet mug, “Pudgy glad you did. Mister dinosaur save us, thank you.”  The crystal that Pudgy wore glowed, “pudgy, this is Diktor Von Doomcock, are you all right?”  Pudgy looked at his friends, “pudgy and Cobalt attacked by Harvey.  Mister Dino came to save us.”  The lord laughed heartily, “I am glad you have a dinosaur living nearby.  My friends, you now see what we are up against?”  Cobalt walked over and sat beside the cabin, “it looked like Harvey is with the gray aliens.”  The lord cleared his throat. “Yes, Harvey’s home dimension is where they are from. Until today, I did not know they were in league with him. Friends, we must stop Harvey.” Cobalt rubbed his chin, “that sounds fine, but how do we stop a god working with aliens?”  The dinosaur nodded and started to lay down beside the cabin. Doomcock continued, “long ago when I captured Harvey, I was able to trick him.  I made a wager, that I won, which resulted in the eldritch god splitting his body.  What you have seen is essentially his brain.  His body is imprisoned in a safe spot, far away from prying eyes.” 

Cobalt looked up as the moon started to rise over the horizon, “the moon…” pudgy and Grumpasaurus looked up as well. Diktor coughed, “yes my friends.  Specifically, a deep crater on the far side of the moon.”  Cobalt covered his eyes, knowing full well what this meant.  Pudgy bounced and pointed, “PUDGY GOING TO MOON!”  Cobalt shook his head, “Pudgy, this is serious.  There are a thousand things that can go wrong with this plan.  NASA doesn’t go to space anymore, and last time I checked, I don’t have a couple million dollars to buy a rocket flight.  Doomcock sighed, “this will be our most dangerous and difficult adventure yet.  I have some things, but I never planned an orbital campaign.  For now, we must begin to plan. Cobalt, I need you to take point on this.  Do not let Pudgy’s enthusiasm cloud his judgement. I will contact you shortly, Doomcock out.” Cobalt nodded, “Cobalt, Pudgy, Dino out.” 

The three friends sat there in the quiet forest. The man took out a handkerchief and blew his nose.  More blood came out. Pudgy crawled up on his lap and hugged his friend. Cobalt rubbed the dinosaur snout, sighing.  After securing the cabin, and building some barricades, Cobalt left his hedgehog friend in the accompany of his Dinosaur friend.  The dinosaur after ensuring no return of aliens, also left, leaving pudgy alone with his thoughts.  He fell asleep, though restless, checking the windows for any sign of alien life, or scary lady returns. Night turned into day, and Pudgy awoke in his bed.  He yawned and rubbed his eyes with a paw. Then scooted out of bed to make a late breakfast.  He peeked out of his barricaded windows.  Cobalt said he would be over later.  As Pudgy sat down at his table, he munched on polenta.  Worrying about Harvey and his allies but trying to focus.  The moon was far away.  Much farther than Xanadoom, and dangerous to get to according to Cobalt. How would he get there?  The hedgehog didn’t know. Cobalt did come over to check on his hedgehog friend.  He brought donuts, and unsweetened teas.  As Pudgy was sitting on his friend’s lap munching a donut hole, the man pointed up.” The moon is 239,000 miles that way.  If I drove 65 miles an hour, it would take 155 days to drive that is driving 24 hours a day, nonstop, no gas or food breaks.  Pudgy, this is a monumental task.  There is no way we can get to the moon without help of some sort.”  The hedgehog nodded, and continued munching.  Cobalt always brought donut holes, which lent themselves to hedgehogs better. Cobalt hugged him gently, “pudgy, were going to build a rocket.  Money is tight, but I will get you up there somehow.  It’s the trip back I’m worried about.”  Cobalt chuckled, he had wanted to go into space his whole life.  Turned out, he would help Pudgy do it.

Cobalt and Pudgy sat quietly munching donuts while the skies darkened, and the moon rose.  “Hecate was right Pudgy, the conjunction refers to the closes point between the earth and moon, and it is around the spring solstice.  We have a month and half till spring, and it will be wintertime in Pennsylvania.”  Pudgy nodded.  After another hug, his friend headed home, leaving an excited hedgehog souped up on sugar, to start planning his trip.  Cobalt had given him a smart phone, with lots of data, so the hedgehog started researching.  Hours passed, the sun rose, and Pudgy kept to work.  Papers were everywhere, space temperatures, moon distance, rocket types. Another yummy lunch of polenta, and donut holes, kept the hedgehog wired and working diligently. Cobalt would be over again later after work. But the clock was ticking, quickly.

However, while Pudgy was busy at his house, Cobalt was trying hard to focus at work.  This was the first time that Pudgy’s little adventurers directly impacted him.  This plan to send Pudgy to the moon had so many moving parts, he needed help.  Doomcock was still offline, as repairs to Xanadoom were still in progress.  Pudgy was sending him a flurry of texts and emails with space related information.  It was then as the man was reviewing posts, and related material, he noticed that Comix Villain was liking many of his space related questions.  He sent a private message, “Hello Comix, Hey, you wouldn’t happen to be able to help with a space project?”  Some time passed, and a return message came back, “Oh, what were you thinking Cobalt?”  Cobalt rubbed his chin; would it be a good idea to reveal everything now?  He shook his head, and typed, “Pudgy and I are interested in space, and was wondering if you or one of your fellow villain consorts knew of a good place to browse aeronautical salvage around Pennsylvania?”  The message typing dots started to animate, “Why yes I do, ole Snickle lives somewhere around your neck of the woods, let me ask him.  I hope you are not planning to send Pudgy into orbit.  I don’t think the darlings would be too keen on a hedgehog in space.”  Cobalt chuckled and logged off for the day.  Moving quickly, he headed to his car.

He stopped by the hardware store for a variety of supplies and got the big cart.  The cashier laughed, as he had a load of fence poles, post hole digger, ropes, and a variety of hardware both wood and metal.  He stuffed his vehicle, and gingerly got inside, shutting the door. Driving as quick but safe to Pudgy’s house, he reached the path where he would normally walk.  But throwing the vehicle into 4wd low, , he started to drive into the forest.  He found a confused hedgehog standing in his doorway.  Cobalt waved and started to unload.  Pudgy scampered up, “What all this?”  Cobalt narrated, “Pudgy, we need to prep your home for construction.  If we use that Saturn 1 rocket design, we need a way to disguise a 55-foot-long rocket.  I’m going to the hunting store tomorrow, to get winter / fall camouflage.  We’re going to build a huge tent, and once that is in place, we can start the actual construction. I have a possible contact working on parts for the rocket.  Hopefully Doomcock gets back online, so we can see what Xanadoom has to offer in terms of logistics. 

It was in the 50’s, which was unusually warm for PA.  So he took off a couple of his shirts.  Cobalt had an office job, but had thrown in the car work clothes, which was good foresight, as he was a muddy mess.  Driving the fence poles in, he had ran a line beside and around the little cabin.  Pudgy was busy too, moving supplies around, and making tea and refreshments.  Cobalt was working hard, and the night started to fall.  Turning on the vehicle’s headlights, he illuminated the area.  “Pudgy, if we work at night, we will need a better light source than the car.”  Pudgy nodded, “we could build fires?” Cobalt shook his head, “yeah, but that has dangers of setting the forest on fire.  I do believe I need to build a forge, and perhaps a tool shed out here too.  Plus, we will need to get some more batteries, to boost your power storage.” The two friends worked hard through the night, till both could not move any more, and dropped by Pudgy’s house.  Sipping tea from a small mug, Cobalt laughed when the hedgehog laid on his lap going, “ow ow ow.”  Cobalt’s phone buzzed; it was Comix.

“Hi Cobalt, the villains are all curious, and want to do a skype call.  Are you available?” Comix saw on his phone a box appears with a middle-aged man covered in mud, with a Hedgehog sitting on his shoulder waving.  Comix started to choke on his water, holy crap, Pudgy really was real! Cobalt” Hello Comix.  Were you able to find out anything?” The man appeared as well, wearing a dashing outfit, and a partial mask. “Yes, Snickle was able to locate an air force supply collector nearby, it is around somewhere called Erie, Pennsylvania.”  Cobalt nodded, “about 4 hours north of here.  What do they have?”  Another voice joined, this time with a duck in a fedora picture, “They have aircraft parts, and radios.  Cobalt, and umm .. Pudgy, what are you planning?”  Other images started to appear, and Cobalt nodded, “Ok, you guys know about Harvey Cthulhu from Doomcock’s channel?” Comix nodded, “He’s real.  So is Doomcock, and we were both attacked a couple days ago.  I need to build a rocket, to get Pudgy into space.” 

The skype call grew quiet, until a older voice cried out, “This is awesome, just what the league of villains’ need, an epic quest!”   Comix nodded, “Yes, I agree.”  Pudgy bounced happily, “Yay, Pudgy wanna go to the moon and save everyone!”   Snicklefritz coughed, “wait, why save the world, shouldn’t we work with Harvey to take it over?”  Comix shook his head, “No Snickle, what good is taking over a destroyed world? You know what Harvey says during those videos, he’s going to destroy the universe.  We have to help but let’s vote.  Villains signal your vote in the chat.  Do we help Cobalt and Pudgy?”  The chat started to vote one by one, and all were in favor. “The league of villains will support you. What do you need us to do?”  Cobalt nodded, “for now, we need intelligence.  Anyone with access to a higher power telescope, we need good shots of the moon.  Also, anyone that can line up parts, or plans for a Saturn 1 rocket.  I don’t need to build a Saturn 4, because Pudgy does not weigh that much.  But we must factor in the rocket, thrust, payload, etc in the weight and velocity calculations.”  Snicklefritz laughed, “you look rather dirty their Cobalt?”  The man nodded, “aye, been putting in fence posts.  Going to camouflage the area, for assembly.  Gentleman, there is one other concern.  Harvey was working with the gray aliens, the ones with the heady black eyes.  They may still be around, so I have a concern about security.” 

Comix nodded, “got it, we will keep our eyes and ears outs, and send you updates about strange atmospheric phenomenon in the Pennsylvania region.”    The skype call ended, and Cobalt patted his hedgehog friend on his head, and let him lock up the cabin.  The tired man headed back to his car, to back out of the forest.  He drove up to his house, which was nearby.  He needed a snack, a hot shower, and 4 extra strength aspirins for his aching back.  He was glad for his newfound friends help.  He couldn’t help but worry about Doomcock.  If Xanadoom was hit hard, then Pudgy might have to do this solo with minimal support.  He wondered how much a tig welder cost to buy, and operate, as well as how would he get the necessary fuel. Questions for tomorrow, as he shut the door and turned on the water full blast hot.  It was time for bed, and a good sleep. Tomorrow was another day, of planning and work.  Pudgy already was asleep.

Cobalt had woken up early and left for work before the little hedgehog had woke up the next day.  Pudgy saw his friend’s house dark, but he had work to do.  Scampering back and forth all day, he assembled the rigging for the camouflage blinds to be installed later that day. Hedgehog told his dinosaur friend what they were going to do, he made a big grin of sharp teeth. Roared playfully, and then shot back to his Cave. Pudgy wondered what that meant? He also noticed Hecate was standing far away occasionally, not approaching. he kept a wary eye on her.  As the hours passed, and Pudgy watched as Cobalt came over in his car once more, driving into the forest, and pulling up below Pudgy’s cabin.  He started unloading another full carload of supplies.  The man hugged his friend, and then got to work stringing brown leafy camouflage, the kind used for duck blinds, and fall deep blinds.  He had bought out the entire store, so he had enough netting to cover the soon to be work area.  As he strung the netting, his little friend scampered to and fro telling him and showing all, he did.  Cobalt patted his head and complimented the amount of work done.  Cobalt noticed the tyrannosaurus was heading over the hill, carrying something in his mouth.  

Cobalt waved, and as the dinosaur strode up, he noticed the netting.  “Camouflage netting?”  The man nodded, “yes, once we start building the rocket, this will be visible from the air.  While Harvey’s alien allies will most likely be able to see us, we don’t want any other extraneous persons stopping this project.”  The dinosaur nodded, and pointed with his snout, as Pudgy scampered up. “What is this mister dinosaur?” Grumpasaurus beamed with pride, “It’s my ion drive.  I’ve been working on it for months.”  Cobalt stopped, and walked over, “A functional ion drive?  Mister Dino, you really are serious about going to Mars?”  The dinosaur nodded, “Yes, my kin are there, and I need to get back eventually.” Cobalt looked at him, “Why are they on Mars?”  The dinosaur nodded, “My kind was much more advanced back in our day.  We detected the incoming asteroid and started planetary evacuation.  The young were sent there, as the trip would be too hard on the elderly.”  Pudgy bounced, and Cobalt shook his head, “No Pudgy, you are not going to Mars.  The moon is hard enough.”  Cobalt started to inspect the drive and looked up at the grinning dinosaur. “This looks great, what does it run on?”  Pudgy sniffed at the strange device, “what is an ion drive?” 

The man motioning at the various parts, “An ion drive energizes particles as a means of propulsion.  Nasa has been working on these for decades.  Supposedly they have a functional drive on the Cassini probe that went to Saturn.  It needs power though, and the probe had a nuclear core.” Grumpasaurus nodded, “Yes that is a good summary.  Mine runs on tungsten and an alkaline core.  I just need a better power source to start the initial fusion.”  Cobalt nodded, “I know where to get solar panels.  Once we’re in space, the panels should provide the power for space flight.  So, this eliminates one variable, but the main issue is primary lift off.  Pudgy’s crystal started to glow in his little vest, “Greetings Pudgy, this is Doomcock.”  Pudgy bounced, “Hail Lord Doomcock, are you ok?”  The lord laughed, “Yes I am, Xanadoom is back in working order.  How goes moon preparations?”  Cobalt looked at the dinosaur and spoke loud enough for Doomcock to hear through the crystal.  “I have been spending a lot of money, but we have the build site fairly camouflaged.  I contacted the league of villains who are starting to provide intelligence and reconnaissance support.  I have plans for a Saturn 1 rocket and will start construction as soon as I can order some materials.” 

Doomcock laughed heartily, “A Saturn 1?  Do you think you need that much lift capability?”  Cobalt laughed, “If I was trying to life Grumpy here, I need a Saturn 4.”  The dinosaur snorted, “I do not weigh that much.  And besides, my ion drive should be more than sufficient.”  The future ruler coughed, “An ion drive?”  The dinosaur beamed, “Yes Lord Doomcock, I have been building one for my trip to Mars.” The crystal hissed a bit, as the dinosaur was talking, and Pudgy felt his body floating.  Doomcock has activated the crystal and was moving the hedgehog away from the two. Pudgy wiggled his feet, “Why Pudgy floating?”  Diktor laughed, “I am teleporting materials, and you need to move away from your friends. “Pudgy nodded, and Cobalt watched as long crates started to materialize around the hedgehog.  Long Cylindrical tubs started to drop onto the ground. Doomcock narrated, “I have been doing the thrust calculations, and based on my research, a Saturn 1 is overkill, I believe a delta class rocket is more in order.  I will be available for assistance should you run into issues during assembly.  With the ion drive, Pudgy can make a round trip to and from the moon.  Cobalt, you need to research landers.” 

The man had already been taking notes and moving the ion drive to a more secure location beside Pudgy’s cabin.  The dinosaur watched in amazement as boxes all around him.  The lord was not messing around.  “Lord Doomcock, if I may have a moment of your time?” The dinosaur asked, “Harvey also sent to me a crystal, like the one Pudgy has.  Does that mean I can come to Xanadoom as well?”  The lord grew silent, “I am unsure, you will need to bring the crystal to Pudgy’s cabin.  It is not showing on my list of active crystals. My friends, this is an extraordinarily dangerous mission.” Pudgy bounced happily once he was set back down on the ground. “Pudgy can’t wait to go to the moon!”  Cobalt laughed, “yes, but then you will have to locate Harvey and deal with him.  This is yet another thing to worry about.  Hopefully the LOV will have information soon.”  The dinosaur blinked, “LOV?”  Cobalt nodded, “League of Villains.”  The dinosaur nodded, “Ahh.”  Doomcock chuckled, “I am aware of these so-called Villains, so I will be the judge of their trustworthiness.  For now, start inventorying the supplies sent, and contact me when you need assistance.  Doomcock out.”  The crystal stopped glowing, and Pudgy scampered between the stacks of crates.  Cobalt and the dinosaur moved the crates to form a long wall around Pudgy’s cabin. 

“My word, this hath been a busy day.”  A feminine voice spoke behind Cobalt.  As the man turned, he saw a woman standing there, leaning on a white oak staff, and a sparkly blue and silver outfit.  Her green eyes were striking, and Pudgy screeched, “It’s her again!”  Cobalt shot her an angry look and grabbed a pry bar. “What are you doing back here?”  She raised her hands, “Wait, Cobalt … please.  let me explain?”  The man kept eyes on her, as the Dinosaur grimaced as well.  Pudgy scampered up to Cobalt’s mud-covered boots, peeking around his leg. “Pudgy scared, tell lady go home.”  The woman sighed, “Pudgy Hedgehog, I mean thee no harm I admit I overdid it, with the glowing blue eyes and blue makeup.  I wanted only to test thine resolve, not scare you.  I am sorry.”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy accept apology, pwease don’t do again.” Cobalt dropped the pry bar down to his leg, “If Pudgy says it’s ok, then I guess you are ok.  If you scare Pudgy again, I will be very annoyed with you.”  He laughed, and sat the pry bar on the crate, and extended his hand to shake hers.  She took his hand, and then looked at the assembled supplies.  The netting above, and throughout the trees. “Is our faithful hedgehog going on a trip to Luna?” 

Cobalt nodded, “yes, we are building a rocket to go into space.  Hecate, do you have any more information as to what Harvey is up to?”  The woman laughed, “no, I only know what my mother has shown via visions.”  Pudgy looked confused, “your mom?”  The woman nodded, “yes, I am the daughter of Hecate.  Part of what you saw, and caused much fright, was my mother channeling my body.  She is a goddess of magic, along with other manner of things.”  Cobalt, “so what is your name?”  The woman smiled, “Hecate as well.” The dinosaur muttered, “humans using the same name again.  confusing.”  The woman giggled, “I heard thee Dinosaur.  Pudgy, you would not happen to have tea made?”  The hedgehog nodded and scampered off.  As Cobalt walked beside the magical woman, he watched the dinosaur poke around the boxes.  As she sat down on the bench beside Pudgy’s cabin.  Cobalt investigated the skies as they were clear but darkening quickly.  “Why did Harvey pick winter to do this.  If this was summer, we would have light till almost 9.” Hecate nodded, “The winter solstice was the weakest time of year for ley lines.  Lord Doomcock’s prison tapped into those ley lines to power the eldritch god’s prison.  Once the weakness was at its peak, he contacted his allies.  They originate from his home, but I have been unable to attain further knowledge.”

The hedgehog scampered out with cups of hot tea for Cobalt and Hecate.  He scampered back and returned with his small official Doomcock mug. As the trio sipped, the Dinosaur yawned, “I am going to head back.  I will be taking the Ion drive back.  I need to do adjustments.”  The dinosaur picked up the unit in his mouth, wiggled his tail, and strode off towards his cave north of the cabin.  Cobalt and Pudgy waved, then turned back to Hecate who had glowing blue eyes again. “Is this Hecate mom now?”  The woman nodded, then her eyes faded and returned to green once more.  “My mother does that from time to time.  I am sorry it scared you Pudgy.”  Pudgy frowned, and sipped his tea trying to suppress a yawn.”  The man nodded, “ahh, I think it is bedtime for Pudgy soon.  I need to further hide the crates.”  He started to rake the fallen leaves, covering the supplies.  He also had brought tarps and started to cover the metallic tubes after propping them up on rocks in case of rain.  Hecate finished her tea and helped Pudgy tidy things up around the cabin.  She soon disappeared; thankful she had straightened out the misunderstanding.

Cobalt hugged his hedgehog friend, and after he watched him lock up the cabin.  He headed over to the car and drove home for the night.  The hedgehog watched as Cobalt drove through the forest, got into bed when he lost sight of the taillights.  Pudgy immediately fell asleep. Pudgy slept in late the next day. Laying in his bed, every muscle hurt.  He had overdone it and couldn’t move. So, the little hedgehog stayed in bed till lunch time, then with the blanket still on, ate a small lunch. Pudgy wondered if Cobalt hurt like this too. He would ask later when his friend would stop by. A couple days passed like this, with a flurry of activity at night when Cobalt would get home from work.  He would leave late, and Pudgy would fall asleep.  Mister Dino stopped by occasionally, watching as the long metal tubes were being assembled.  Throw in snow at night, led to interesting morning conditions, with Pudgy sweeping snow off of materials.  Doomcock had left instructions, which Cobalt was at page 100 of 4,000.  The little hedgehog didn’t know who Allen was, nor why he has a wrench named after him.

As he maneuvered the tables built by his Friend, pudgy could not believe how big this rocket was going to be.  The League of Villains had sent information, and the best time for launch would be in mid to late February. It was as Pudgy was examining the rocket he heard a familiar voice. “So, this is what you are up to?” Pudgy turned to see someone poking his nose into an open box labelled tools.  The large brown bear waved a paw, and Pudgy waved back. “Hello mister bear.  Yes, Pudgy going to the moon!”  The bear blinked, “you are?  So that is what all the fuss is about?”  Pudgy nodded and the two headed to the cabin.  As the older bear sat onto his rear, and looked around, his head extended over the roof line.  Pudgy had scampered in to make tea.  The bear laughed, “I need to check on you more often, my hedgehog friend.”  Pudgy came out with a mug of tea, which his guest gratefully took, sipping. “Clover honey I take it?”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy out of wildflower. Need to buy more.”  As the hedgehog went in and out, he sipped his tea from his Doomcock mug.  The two sat quietly in the calm forest.  The bear looked at him, “Pudgy …The moon is very far away. What if you can’t return?” 

Pudgy frowned, “Pudgy need to stop Harvey, no matter cost.”  The hedgehog started to explain what had been going on, and his bear friend listened intently.  After he was done, the bear rubbed his chin. “Hmm…I see.” Pudgy nodded, and mister bear pondered.  The tree branches moved with the wind gently, as the errant bird fluttered through above.  The bear watched as a bird flew, and went bang against something, and fell to the ground.  Squinting his eyes, the skies looked clear.  “Pudgy, that bird flew into something invisible.”  Pudgy squinted too, looking at the sky where his bear friend was viewing.  Another bird hit something and fell to the ground. “Uh oh, they’re back.” The hedgehog whispered.  Mister bear nodded, “your aliens are still here, watching.” As the day passed, Mister bear took his leave, heading home to his cabin that was across the valley, and on the opposite distant hills. Pudgy was glad his friend stopped by. The hedgehog kept a wary eye on the skies, and the birds were no longer smacking into the invisible object. Cobalt soon stopped by after work with these strange cornmeal taco things called tamales.  Pudgy told him about the visit from mister bear, and the aliens above.  Cobalt nodded, ” right now we are not a threat.  I suspect they will become more active the closer we get to launch.”

Shortly after supper was done, Cobalt set up large work lights, and fired up a generator he had bought. With the proper amount of light available, he started to work once again on the rocket motor assembly. Pudgy continued his scampering, looking around the boxes. He located one that was easily opened by a hedgehog and found a tiny by human standards sewing machine and all variety of fabrics. There was a note, written in Doomcock’s handwriting. Pudgy read it aloud, “As the availability of space suits for hedgehogs are virtually non-existent, I have provided you the means to produce one.  Please follow the instructions and ask me for assistance should you need it.  I will admit my sewing skills are passable, I rely on the professionals for some things.”  Cobalt chuckled, “I can’t sew worth beans, so you are on your own there Pudgy.”  Pudgy started to carry the materials into his cabin, and set up the sewing machine, which thankfully also included a stand.  The two friends worked well into the wee hours of the morning.  It started to snow, hard which caused a further chill to the air to sweep through the camp site and assembly area.  Cobalt was yawning bad, so he turned off the generator.  As the lights dimmed, he went up to the cabin and found a sleeping hedgehog.  “Good Night Pudgy.”  he whispered, as he walked to his car, and drove out of the forest. 

Hours passed and when Pudgy woke up, he found ice everywhere.  The snow had changed to freezing rain.  He also found a fire going, and Cobalt working again.  He scampered out and slid on the ice landing in a pile of leaves.  “Cobalt, did you work all night?”  The little critter asked and watched his human friend wave back. “Good Morning Pudgy, I worked till about 3, then left when it started to snow.  Today is snow, then freezing rain, then rain, then back to snow.”  Pudgy nodded, “Typical.”  It was then when he spied a large blue cooler on wheels beside his home.  Pudgy scampered carefully over and pointed, “Goodies?”  Cobalt nodded, and the hedgehog bounced.  He knew it was Cobalt was here all day when he brought food.  The critter scampered and saw that there were now three 10-foot empty rocket sections sitting beside one another on heavy wood blocks.  Each rocket section was so complicated, and he was amazed what his human friend could do.  Cobalt had a leather apron on, with thick leather gloves on, working something with a long cord.  He had a long metal rod in his left hand, and a sparking rod in a big red box hummed that said Milwaukee on it.  Cobalt even had a Doomcock style mask on, though a rectangle piece of dark glass was where the eyes should be.  The light hurt his eyes, so he looked away. 

The instruction manual was open, with two stones holding it open to page 993.  Pudgy read out loud, “second stage release assembly.”   The rocket that the lord sent, was a two-stage delta class rocket.  It allowed for extended flight.  What drew Pudgy’s attention quick, was the start of the crew module.  He scampered over quickly, sliding on the wet leaves.  The tarps above were catching the heavy rains, diverting the water beside the camp.  The critter looked back and saw his water wheel was flying fast from the rain waters.  Then returning his focus, he found a small chair inside an hollow cone shaped section.  Crawling inside, he marveled at how much room was inside.  He would be able to walk around.  Cobalt laughed when he noticed his friend had found the flight module. “Pudgy, that is not done yet, it will be full of things soon.  But you can imagine about a foot of clearance in a circle.” Pudgy peeked out of the back, “really?  Pudgy will be smooshed inside.”  Cobalt nodded, “Once I put the electronics in, the supplies, and a hedgehog in space suit, there will be virtually no extra space.” Pudgy made a face, but he trusted Cobalt. Climbing back out, he scampered out and back up to the cabin.  He too had work to do.

Space suits were comprised of three layers.  The interior layer, a thick insulating layer, and then the external layer.  Space was a vacuum, with extreme temperature conditions.  Nasa also had temperature regulators inside This suit would resemble that of the Apollo era missions.  That meant less work to do, but it all needed to be done accurately with triple stitching, and rubber seals.  As the hedgehog worked at the sewing machine, his friend continued outside.  Hours passed, and as the light started to fade, Cobalt called out. “Pudgy, you want supper?”  The hedgehog peeked out and bounced happily.  His friend had already started roasting hot dogs and had a pot of water boiling hard.  Pudgy smelled coffee and scooted beside his friend who was tending the fire. Yummy smells of roasting meat filled the air and wafted up through the forest.  Cobalt laughed, “I suspect we may have a large visitor soon.”  Pudgy nodded, “probably, but that ok.  Cobalt, have you heard anything from the league of villains?”  As Cobalt cut a small piece off a hot dog, and handed it to his friend, he spoke.

“Comix has been sending me updates.  The moon has been unusually active.  The various space agencies have all planted seismometers on the moon to record ground movements.  Normally they do not pick up anything.  The two prior days have had massive quakes that are shaking the moon.  It appears that Harvey is trying to do something.  The moon is important to the earth and can cause much damage to it if it were to be harmed.  What I wonder though, is why is Harvey in two parts?”  The hedgehog nodded as his friend talked and munched on the salty chunk of hot dog.  Pudgy’s crystal started to glow in his vest, “Hail Cobalt and Pudgy!”  Doomcock was speaking, and the two friends called out, “Hail Doomcock.”  The lord laughed heartily, “Cobalt, what stage of assembly are you at?”  Cobalt stopped eating, “Primary stage engines are done.  I am almost complete on secondary stage.  The Ion drive is being enhanced by Grumpasaurus.  He should have it back here in a day or so I believe.  The league of Vilnians, sent word that the moon has become seismically active, with massive 5 and 6 magnitude quakes shaking the moon.”  The lord sighed, “He really is trying to break free then.  My friends let me tell you a story.” 

Pudgy nodded, “Ok, we are having hot dogs.”  Diktor laughed, “Oh boy, maybe I should come up then?”  Pudgy bounced excitedly, “Please do!”  The lord grew quiet, and soon a yellow shimmer of light started to appear next to Pudgy’s cabin.  A figure started to appear, dressed in regal attire.  His long coat was that of fine leather, with golden braids that ran horizontal across his chest.  His mask was that of a pale gold, and he looked around at the rustic cabin.  Pudgy scampered up and waved at the lord, “Hi Lord Doomcock, welcome to Pudgy’s home!”  The lord turned and waved, “Hail Pudgy, thank you for inviting me.  Well I must say you do have a nice cabin. I admit, I was hoping it would be a tad bigger, as I cannot fit inside.”  He laughed, noticing the water wheel flying fast and the alternator humming.  The little cabin was perfect for the hedgehog.  nice decorated with various fabrics, and little windows.   The lord turned and saw Cobalt standing next to a large fire.  The man waved, and Doomcock walked over.  Shaking hands, Cobalt motioned for him to sit on the bench beside the campsite.  The smell of strong coffee and roasted foods was wafting in the air. 

As Doomcock sat down, Cobalt sat as well.  Pudgy scampered to get cups, and then sat on a nearby flat rock near the fire so he could see both of his friends.  Doomcock, watched as Cobalt poured the coffee out of its large pot and into a serving pot.  “Cowboy coffee, good for long nights and big groups.”  The lord laughed as he was handed the cup.  “Milk or sugar, ” Cobalt asked.  The lord shook his head no.  The man poured himself a cup, and then added some milk out of the cooler.  The lord opened the face plate and revealed his mouth.  Taking a sip, “Um Cobalt, some milk please.”  Cobalt nodded and opened the cooler, then pulled out and handed over a small jug of milk.  As Doomcock lightened his coffee, he smiled. “It has been far too long since I was on the surface, during a rainstorm.”  The rains were still heavy, and hit the tarps cascading water around the camp.

As Diktor handed back the milk, Cobalt placed it into the cooler.  The lord nodded, “Now, let me tell you that story I spoke of.”  As he took a sip of the coffee, he smiled. “Mm that is better.   My friends.  Years and Years ago, I had a chance encounter with the gray aliens.  They had become known to my father, during his various envoys to the surface world.  They in turn became aware of Xanadoom, and the power it held.  Their visits were at first benign, looking at things.  When my father caught them, they would quickly teleport away.  However, over time, their trespasses into our realm became more pronounced.  When we captured one, and began to interrogate it, their leader appeared.  He was a green floating creature with tentacles.  A supremely arrogant fellow, my father disliked him greatly.  The creature said the grays were his followers, and they acted his will accordingly. We released the captured gray, and they disappeared for many years.  When my father passed, and I assumed command of Xanadoom, the green creature returned.  I could never pronounce his name right, so we settled on Harvey Cthulhu. 

As he resembled the character from the HP Lovecraft novels, it made sense.  His arrogance had only grown,  in the time that had transpired.  It was then when the visits resumed, as I increased the capabilities of my land.  They began to directly interfere in my plans, so I made a wager.  Harvey was intrigued and accepted my wager.”  Cobalt nodded, and handed Doomcock a hot dog, which he took and munched.  “Thank you, mmm…this is quite good.”  Pudgy was nibbling on a small potato that was wrapped in aluminum foil. “How’s the potato Pudgy?” The critter peeked up, “Crunchy.”  Cobalt nodded, “Ok, not done yet.”  The lord ate and smiled, as it had been far too long since someone invited him for a visit.  The meal was not fancy but was appreciated. 

Doomcock nodded, ” I wagered that I could beat Harvey to the moon. The eldritch god laughed, saying his follows could get him there and back.  I wagered he could not do it, if it was just himself.   The god laughed and accepted the bet.  I added a stipulation, that he could not use magic, nor his entire body.  Again, so prideful Harvey was, he agreed.  So, Harvey divided his body, and left his consciousness within a small shell, that would remain in Xanadoom.  He could still control his body, which was much larger, from afar.  As preparations were made, Harvey decided to cheat, and fly his body to the moon.  What he did not realize was, I was planning on double crossing him.  As the body flew towards the moon, I fired my only rocket towards the moon.  A V2 rocket design from the second surface world war.  My great grandfather had acquired the plans from a man who sought refuge.  That man was not what he said to be, and thus grandfather dispatched him…. “

The lord trailed off.  Cobalt nodded, and so did Pudgy.  After the lord finished another hot dog, and a sip of coffee, “So Harvey’s body reached the moon, with the rocket barreling towards it.  I detonated the rocket, which caused the capture system to engage, and it strapped Harvey’s body to the back side of the moon. Harvey in Xanadoom grew enraged and started to lash out.  I left him into a chamber within my reactor room and sealed him inside. Flooding the room with tetrazene gas, I incapacitated him, and then proceeded to imprison him.  His followers in turn started to approach, and I commanded that if any came forth, I would dispatch the form I had imprisoned.  They backed off, and left Xanadoom alone for decades, till just fairly recent.”  The lord watched as Cobalt retrieved a foil wrapped potato out of the fire and cut it open. “Taters are ready.  Hey, do you want butter?”  The lord nodded, and watched Cobalt get the fixings out of the cooler.  Handing a foam plate with plastic fork to the lord, the man began to retrieve his potato.  Diktor munched and laughed while Pudgy scampered about doing hedgehog things.  The critter kept checking on the two men sitting next to the campfire. As Cobalt began to eat, he pointed across the forest.  The rain had started to switch back to freezing rain.

“Looks like the weathermen were right, it is switching back.”  Doomcock nodded, and turned to Cobalt, “If the moon is having quakes, it means the body is stirring.  The consciousness kept apart from the body resulted in Harvey’s body going dormant.”  Cobalt nodded, “I see, and how big is Harvey normally?”  The lord nodded, “Well, he is about 200 feet tall.  Though I suspect perhaps a tad bigger, he had to duck in Xanadoom.”  Cobalt rubbed his chin, “Um, what hope do we have to stop Harvey then?”  Diktor nodded, “I researched what was stolen from me. Harvey’s followers were able to get various parts from Xanadoom to send to Pudgy and his dinosaur friend.  The dinosaur’s crystal is not a teleportation crystal.  It is a containment crystal.  With the proper application of energy, the crystal can trap the creature inside of it. Once we get Harvey inside, I can shatter the crystal.  Harvey will be trapped forever, and the shards can in turn be scattered throughout the universe.”  Cobalt nodded, “till the forces of evil seek out said shards, reassemble them, and put them in a spiffy gauntlet.  Hmm, that sounds familiar…” The lord laughed as Cobalt did, but Pudgy frowned.

“You aren’t going to hurt Harvey?  Maybe grays are controlling him?”  Doomcock shook his head, “No my friend, that is not the case.  I suspect once freed; the grays would leave us alone as their leader may not speak for all of them.”  The campfire meal was excellent, and as the trio sat there, Pudgy began to relay all of the strange things happening on the surface.  Doomcock was on his second cup of coffee, watching as the ice changed back over to snow.  He was glad he brought the coat, as it was becoming quite cold.  Pondering, “Cobalt, if I may inquire, do you have any Irish in that cooler? To warm my coffee up?”  Cobalt chuckled, “I do not drink spirits usually, does bad stuff to me.  But I do have this…” He opened the cooler, and produced a tiny bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey, and handed it over.  The bottle was still sealed, and the price tag said $9 fine wines and spirits 10/4/2005.   The lord laughed, “still sealed no less?”  Cobalt nodded laughing also, “a case of beer lasts me three years.” As Diktor broke the seal, he proceeded to Irish up his coffee.  Cobalt stood up, and his hip popped loudly, “Sucks getting old.”  Diktor laughed, “tell me about it.”  As Doomcock also stood up, he walked over to inspect the rockets.  Cobalt motioned, “Thank you for sending all of this.  I do not have the funds to finance my own space operation.  Just all of this has been a couple thousand dollars.  But to save the world, I think it is worth it.  Plus, I can still use all of this for the next Pudgy adventure.  But Please, Lord Doomcock….can we wait on the next one for a while?”

The two men laughed and returned to the fire.  Pudgy had already got the cookies out and were nibbling.  He was sipping tea from a Doomcock mug, which drew a smile from the lord.  Diktor nodded, “I believe we can stop Harvey, and Pudgy will get to the moon safely.”  Cobalt looked at him, “and what of the return trip? I want Pudgy home safe and sound after this.”  The lord nodded, “yes, I believe the ion drive the dinosaur spoke of will be instrumental in the round trip.  Should there be an emergency, I will have the power of Xanadoom focused on Pudgy, so I can teleport him back.  The furthest I have teleported was in high earth orbit.  I tried my luck at a satellite.  Got up there safe, though it didn’t work out.  Turns out, nobody wanted to watch classic dr who in 1990.”  Cobalt laughed, “yeah that is on Pluto now 24×7.” The trio of friends sat next to the fire, and as the spirits kicked in, various tunes were sung.  Cobalt was not a singer, which the lord quickly saw.  Pudgy did hedgehog things, scampering to and fro, and bouncing happily. 

As the visit grew late into the night, Doomcock felt Pudgy snuggle up beside him, and watched him fall asleep.  It was hard being an evil future ruler of the world, with a snuggling sleeping hedgehog.  Nodded, “I believe it is time for me to head back.”  Cobalt nodded, yawning a bit, “perhaps that is for the best.  You can always come back.  My house is over there,” he pointed towards the eastern side of the forest.   “Goodbye for now then, my friends.”  Diktor said while patting Pudgy, and slowly teleporting back to Xanadoom.  Pudgy was still asleep, and Cobalt walked over to gently scoop him up.  The man carried him back to the cabin, he reached inside and put Pudgy to bed.  Shutting the cabin door, the man returned to work on the rocket assembly.  It would be another long night of work, though it was fun to meet Doomcock and listen to the story.  He now knew what happened.

A couple days passed, with Cobalt spending a lot of time at Pudgy’s cabin construction site.  He was starting to get overwhelmed, and the clock was ticking.  So, it was as he was at work, when Comix Villain sent him another message.  “Hi Cobalt, the LOV confirmed the source of the moon quakes is a region called Mare Anguis.  One of the villains has a powerful telescope and is seeing strange lights floating along the area.  I think we now know where Harvey is focusing his attention.  The coordinates are.” Cobalt started taking notes and forwarded to Pudgy.  Then Snicklefritz sent a follow up communication, that NASA was planning a mission to investigate.  Their target launch was February 15th.  Cobalt felt sick, he had to get Pudgy there first.  So there was no getting around it.  He requested vacation time from his job, knowing he was going to work all night on the rocket.   Pudgy informed Lord Doomcock, and he agreed that they had to get there first.  The lord was already working on the refining process to fuel the rocket.  Cobalt thanked Comix and Snickle for the updated information.  As the man tried to focus on work. 

Meanwhile Pudgy was busy, he had finished sewing the interior space suit.  He had started working on the interior suit.  The little hedgehog was getting pretty good at this, and he liked making the clothes. He might even try his luck later at other clothes.  As the critter peeked over his table and out his window.  It was snowing, and his little cabin was toasty, as his wood stove was casting a nice heat.  But he had a strange feeling he was being watched.  Pudgy turned and looked around.  The cabin was empty.  The hedgehog turned back, as he heard shuffling and a clunking noise.  He turned back around, and found a gray alien holding his head. “You ok, Pudgy can make tea?”  The alien froze and disappeared.  Pudgy turned and went back to working his sewing machine.  He saw the alien peeking in his window. The hedgehog was not scared of the aliens.  He was curious, so he waved, “you wanna come back? Pudgy have cookies.”  The alien realizing, he was no longer invisible, he disappeared quickly.  The machine made a rhythmic thumping noise, and the interior insulation suit was taking shape. 

The LOV messages started to come in with information, including two great pictures from Frankun.  The villain was able to locate high resolution maps of the moon surface.  The second map was a listening with coordinate locations for the various lunar missions from the American, Russian, Chinese, and European space agencies.   Pudgy noticed 3 Russian landing sites were nearby to Mares Anguish.  He wondered if anything was still up there.  Standing up, the hedgehog stretched, and saw Cobalt driving up to his cabin.  He scooted out the door and waved.  The man got out of the car, and walked up to the cabin, and knelt to hug his friend.  Then stood back up to start working on the rocket. Pudgy would scamper back and forth with drinks and snacks.  Cobalt worked late into the night once again.  As the skies cleared, he sat beside the cabin, with Pudgy curled up on his lap and looked up at the moon, “it looks calm and pretty.”  Cobalt nodded, ” but we know Harvey is up there. Pudgy, I am going to take some time off work.  We need to get there ASAP, to beat NASA. I hope you don’t mind me coming over more?” Pudgy bounced happily, and hugged Cobalt.

Every day passed like this, and with Cobalt talking time off from work, the rocket assembly was quickly progressing.  A week had flown bye in the blink of an eye so to speak, when the loud stomping noise of footsteps echoed through the forest around Pudgy’s cabin.  The dinosaur looked around the cabin and found the huge camo blinds had disguised the cabin.  Grumpasaurs sniffed the air and could smell the human and hedgehog nearby.  In his mouth, he had carefully carried the ion drive.  As he walked around the blinds, he found an opening and stuck his head inside, placing the ion drive onto a flat spot.  He saw a platform had been built, with rocket sections one and two connected.  The landing module was in pieces but coming together. But there was no sign of the two friends.  Sniffing around he found a scent trail. Following the trail led to a nearby pond.  The dinosaur found Cobalt waving beside the pond.  He was working a bellows to drive air somewhere.  The pond was bubbling. But no hedgehog.  Walking curiously towards the human he asked, ” where is Pudgy?”  The man pointed in the water.

“Pudgy finished his space suit, so we are testing. NASA uses water to test space suits.” The dinosaur investigated the water and found Pudgy floating in the water. The dinosaur looked around, then watched Pudgy float to the surface.  Pudgy waved, and his friend pulled him to shore with the air hose.  As the hedgehog scampered up, he waved at the dinosaur.  Cobalt disconnected the air hose, and then connected the air tank, and hose assembly.  Then Pudgy jumped back into the pond.  The dinosaur sighed, ” we’re really going to do this, send him up to the moon.  It seems like a silly game, till you realize how close we are.”  Cobalt nodded, “yes.  How’s the ion drive? Is it ready to go?”  The dinosaur nodded, watching as a light rain started to fall, causing ripples on the pond.  It was another abnormally warm day, which was nice. Pudgy was amazed, as he swam under the water.  The pond bottom was full of rocks, and the occasional fish swimming around slowly.

Inside of his helmet, he heard crackling, then Cobalt’s voice. ” check your regulator and gauge.  How much air do you have?”  Pudgy looked at his paw, seeing the gauge Cobalt had attached, “Pudgy see green, 250.”  Cobalt crackled again, “ok, you have been down about an hour, and I loaded 300 psi of air.  This shows how much air I will need to pack. Do you feel any wetness?”  Pudgy laughed, “Pudgy dry, no drink anything.”  As Pudgy swam to the surface, he crawled up the bank to reach his friend.  Cobalt was talking into a walkie talkie, “ok, we’re going to walk back to the cabin.  I want to see how much air you use.”  So the two walked slowly around the pond. Pudgy usually was carried by his friend, as hedgehog speed was much slower than human speed.  The dinosaur turned and walked slow. The hedgehog was used to scampering, but soon found it was very hard to walk.  The hedgehog was learning how to use his suit.  Cobalt would check his air usage, it was slowly draining, which was to be expected.  After an hour of excruciatingly Slow speed, the trio reached the cabin.  Pudgy looked at his gauge and activated his radio transmitter, “25 psi, Cobalt.”

As his human friend stooped down, he started to disconnect the air tank and assembly.  Twisting the helmet off, Pudgy wiggled his ears and nose. The critter bounced happily and waved at his dinosaur friend. “Mister Dino, is special drive ready?”  The tyrannosaur nodded, and pointed with his snout, “it’s fueled and ready to go.  Cobalt, how do you plan to power the ion drive startup?” Cobalt pointed; two boxes were resting beside labelled Apex Energy Systems. “I bought two bendable solar panels.  When we are ready for launch, I will have the batteries fully charged.  When the ion drive starts its initial launch sequence, it will suck the power dry.  The solar cells will recharge the battery banks, and thus allowing a restart when Pudgy needs it.   The panels should be able to make 300 watts of power. ” the dinosaur nodded, “that should be sufficient.”  Cobalt heard shuffling behind him as he was talking, so he turned around.  He didn’t see anything, so he turned around to help Pudgy out of his space suit but heard the noise again. “Think my ears are playing tricks on me.”  Pudgy shook his head, “Mister alien, you can come out now.”  The dinosaur turned his snout towards the noise and sniffed, “something smells off.” 

Cobalt turned, and a shimmering light distorted a tree.  The man blinked, and started to stand up, but quickly the shimmering stopped, and the tree looked normal.  “Pudgy, how long has that been going on?”  Pudgy rubbed his chin with his paw, “a couple of days.  Poor mister alien smacked head off of Pudgy roof when he was inside the other day.”  The dinosaur blinked, “they got inside?  How, there is not enough room as is in there?”  The hedgehog chuckled, “he is a small alien.  I’m going to name him Bob.”  Cobalt shook his head, “this is not good, but we expected to be monitored Pudgy.  Have you found anything missing?”  The little critter shook his head and bounced out of his little space suit.  The Dinosaur called out, “Ok Bob, no messing with Pudgy.”  There was no response, but the three friends knew Bob the alien was out there somewhere, reporting back.  As Cobalt looked at the dinosaur’s ion drive, he smiled, “Good work Grumpy.”  The dinosaur shook his tail playfully, and watched as the man lifted the drive and positioned it into rocket cone stage 2.  He then started to connect the various parts to the flight module / lander. 

The dinosaur assisted as well, instruction the man how to connect certain parts.   “Just how exactly do you know how to do this?”  Cobalt asked, while connecting parts.  The Tyrannosaur smiled and beamed with pride. “In the end days of Pangea, I was part of the engineering works to launch our species into space.  As I referred to before, my species was much more advanced than you primitive humans.  We had art …. culture …. it was a great society.  I miss those days…” he trailed off.  The man nodded, “Sounds like it was a much different world.”  Pudgy scampered up with a tray of cookies and hot tea.  “Cobalt, can I give mister dinosaur his treat?”  Cobalt nodded, and the hedgehog scampered off.  The large dinosaur looked as the Hedgehog was pushing a blue cooler which was on wheels towards the man.  He scurried around and opened it and started to pull out a huge haunch of meat. Cobalt had to help and looked up at huge nostrils sniffing. “I had to get this with the bone, is that going to be …” and with lightning reflexes, the deer haunch was snatched away.   The dinosaur happily chewed, as the Hedgehog nibbled on his cookie.  Hours passed, with more assembly, but the rocket was almost complete. 

Cobalt had Pudgy get back into his space suit, which the hedgehog did as quickly as he could.  After some time passed, Cobalt carefully loaded his hedgehog friend into the flight module.   This was important, as the placement of dials, switches, and other means to control the ship would need to be set to his specs.  Doomcock’s voice came out muffled, as the crystal was underneath several layers of materials.  After some quick work, and many giggles from a ticklish hedgehog, the crystal was repositioned so that the tip would stick up into his helmet.  “Hail Cobalt, Pudgy, and Grumpasaurs.  How goes the rocket?”  Pudgy couldn’t bounce, as he was packed tight into the flight module.  “Pudgy in-flight module, Cobalt done with rocket stage 1, stage 2, ion drive, and solar cell 1.  He must hook up solar cell 2, then the heat shields.  He is hooking up the controls now.”  The lord of the earth laughed heartily, “It will soon be time to go to space to stop Harvey.  Did your dinosaur friend bring his crystal?”  The dinosaur sniffed, “Yes I did, can I go to Xanadoom too?”  The lord cleared his throat, “my dear dinosaur friend, the crystal Harvey gave you was for containment purposes.  I am unsure why he would send that.  Pudgy you will be able to use this to trap Harvey.  Then you know what to do next.” 

Pudgy frowned, “but if Pudgy shatter crystal, means Harvey will never be able to return.”  The lord snapped at him, “He hurt me, and your friend Cobalt, and if he succeeds in refusing with his external body on the moon, he will return to destroy the world.”  Pudgy nods, “yes, that is bad.  Pudgy understand, Pudgy will smash crystal.”  Doomcock sighed, “I wish it had not come to this. But we must stop Harvey, at any cost.  Cobalt, I will send my robots to the surface soon, so you may begin fueling.  Based on my calculations, the conjunction that Hecate spoke of is this coming weekend.  NASA is planning a February 15th launch, so this will give Pudgy 2 weeks tops to handle this.”  Cobalt nodded, “How exactly are we going to stop Harvey?”  The man asked, as the Hedgehog was working foot pedals that would control the ion drive.  They were not connected to the drive yet, so there was no danger of unexpected thrust. Doomcock laughed, “Pudgy will fly to the moon, and then land on Mare Anguish.  He will find the main body of Harvey secured within the crater, and then use the crystal to entrap it.  Harvey’s current form is essentially his brain, and spirit, so when you destroy the body, the connection point to our world will cease to exist.  He will be phased back to his original dimension.” 

Cobalt nodded, as he was continuing to work.  “Lord Doomcock, there has been an alien lurking around Pudgy’s cabin.”  Pudgy laughed, “we named him Bob.”  The future ruler cleared his throat again, “That was to be expected, has anything gone missing?”  Pudgy shook his head, “No, everything seems to be here.  Hey Cobalt, can I get out now?”  The man shook his head, “No Pudgy, you have to stay in there.  It will be a 5-day trip to the moon.  Then you only have a couple of hours on the surface, with a 5-day return trip.  You are going to be in there for a long time, so it is crucial that I set everything right, plus you get used to the cramped quarters.”  Pudgy blinked, “10 days Cobalt?  I won’t be able to get out?”  His friend shook his head, “No, you would pass away, and never come back.”  The hedgehog’s ears folded down, and he started to whimper, “Pudgy wanna help … but not go away forever…”  He started to sniffle.  Cobalt felt bad, he couldn’t hug him, so he reached inside and touched his nose.  Pudgy wiggled his nose and started to calm down. 

“There, there Pudgy, please don’t be upset.”  Doomcock voice started to distort with static, “Pudgy, please be ok.  I will contact you once more, Xanadoom repairs …. still.”  As the hissing sound increased in volume, a strange voice started to click through.  Something was interfering with the crystal, “Clak …hru ….”  The strange voice started to click through. Pudgy blinked, “Bob, is that you?”    The slender gray skinned creature appeared in front of the flight module.  His black eyes were unblinking, and for the creature to appear in the daylight, meant this was an escalation.  Cobalt turned, and the loud noise echoed through the forest, Pudgy watched as blood came out of Cobalt’s nose, and he fell onto the ground.  The dinosaur roared, “your trick will not work on me creature!”  The alien stood there looking and placed a three fingered hand on the tip of the rocket.  “Clark … hruy ….name ……. not Bob.”  Pudgy and the dinosaur blinked, “What is your name then Mister Alien? and why you hurt Cobalt?”  The alien stood there, looking around the camp / build site.  “Warn …. you ….”  The alien’s body started to contort, and then disappeared in a shimmer of light.  Cobalt cough and sat up wiping the blood coming out of his nose. “I really hate it when they do that.  What did I miss?”  The dinosaur, blinked, “The alien spoke through the crystal. His name is not Bob, and he was going to warn us.  then he got teleported back.”  The hedgehog started to wiggle, “Pudgy need to get out now.”  The man reached inside, and then hoisted his hedgehog friend out.  Pudgy started to hug Cobalt, not whimpering anymore.  Doomcock was right, Harvey and his friends were not nice.   Many quiet moments passed, then he scampered off back into his cabin. 

In the blink of an eye, another weekend was gone.  Cobalt had to go to work On Monday, having not been able to schedule time off from his job due to scheduling conflicts.  So Pudgy was busy preparing space food using special pouches the astronauts used.  Realizing the ability to bring solid food, and the space limitations of said food had issues, Pudgy was making a variety of liquid based supplies.  While the pouches were human child size, the hedgehog knew that space would be tight, and they would fit within his flight module.  As the little pots bubbled on his stove, Pudgy looked on his calendar, only 4 days to go till he would launch.  Pudgy was also aware of what happens when he eats and researched that the astronauts in the old days did not have potties in space.  He would have to rely on a diaper, and using absorbent materials, he had rigged a series of layers within his suit for that purpose.    Meanwhile at work, Cobalt sent Comix Villain a message: LOVOC is go.”  As Pudgy saw the communication appear on his home phone, he clarified, “League of Villains Orbital Command.”  Almost instantaneously, a flurry of messages started with the various villain members.  The moon quakes were getting stronger each day, and rocks were floating off the surface over Mare Anguish. The national news was mentioning that the Russians were scrambling to launch but would be February 21st at the soonest.  The Chinese offered to move their lander towards the crater, but they were months away due to the speed of travel.  The world did not know there was a hedgehog ready to fly, to save the day.

Doomcock’s last message to Cobalt and him last night, was the robot from Xanadoom with the fuel would arrive Tuesday and fueling would take 2 days.  Any pressure leaks would be fixed by the robot.  To meet the conjunction window, where the distance between the earth and moon would be the closest, the launch had to be Friday at the latest.  As the hedgehog was filling the plastic pouches of his travel food, he peeked out his window.  It was a dark gray day, and raining.  He hoped mister dinosaur was ok, and happy in his Cave.  Hours passed, day turned to night, and Cobalt came over.  More work on the rocket, while a pot of boiling water sterilized and preserved the pouches of food Pudgy had made.  His friend also brought a box of sterilized saline and freshwater pouches.   The little critter scampered up to his human friend, who was finishing the assembly of the flight module. Pudgy saw a pallet loaded with small green metal bottles. “What are those?”  The man smiled, ” I am glad that I still had my late father’s oxygen concentrator.  Those are your air tanks.  I worked out the numbers, and you will need 25 of those for the trip up, and back.  Really 18, but I want you to have a buffer.  Space is a vacuum, and you will suffocate without oxygen.  The capsule’s air will stagnate, so most of the trip, I want you to keep your space helmet glass down.”

The hedgehog nodded and hugged his friend’s leg.  His human friend smiled and picked him up for a proper hug.  After some moments passed, Cobalt put him in the module.  He started showing him how to work the controls.  Then he stood up and started carrying over the green tanks one by one.  Once they had been moved into a better position, the man started connecting them into the rear section. Using a torque wrench, he tightened the steel braided air lines.  Pudgy could feel a little rush of air behind his head.  “Cobalt, I feel wind.”  His friend grumbled and reached into the module.  Pudgy had pushed the air lever accidentally.  “Turn off the air lever Pudgy,” he called out as his hedgehog friend found the air control levers.  As Cobalt checked the main tank gauges, he determined that luckily the air loss wasn’t bad.  Cobalt checked the master air supply, and each tank would pressurize the main supply. He could top off the loss once he had an idea of how much air he needed. Pudgy looked around, and he saw his space was 1/3 of what Cobalt started with.  “Pudgy, what are the air gauges showing?”  The hedgehog called out, “two zero zero zero psi.” Cobalt nodded, I have three big tanks to connect also.  The problem is weight. I hope I am not overloading the rocket.”  Pudgy peeked and saw led bulbs lighting up around the gauge.  Pudgy peeked out of the hatch, “Cobalt, all these green lights are showing around air gauge?” 

Cobalt crawled over and rubbed his nose against the hedgehog’s, who bounced happily.” Each dot is a full tank.  You will see eventually 25.  When all dots are off, you have no more air.”  Pudgy looked at him, then slunk back into the chair.  Cobalt grunted, as he moved a large tank into position.  Using Doomcock star trek level language, he hoisted the tank into the center of the rear compartment.  It was going to be another long night, and the man rubbed his weary eyes, “I hope this adventure is your last big one…. i….” Cobalt trailed off.  The forest got quiet, and Pudgy peeked out, seeing cobalt shining a flashlight into the woods.  “Hello?” The loud screeching sound hit, and the man dropped down onto the ground. Pudgy looked around, and gray aliens started to appear in the woods, looking at the rocket.  Pudgy starts to climb out and look above.  Far into the sky, he saw the circular object floating above.  The hedgehog jumped out and crawled up to his friend.  Cobalt’s eyes had rolled back into his head, and he started to float.  Pudgy screamed, “NO! Don’t take Pudgy friend!” 

The man’s body was limp, and suddenly he was flung across the camp and landed hard against a tree.  The aliens started to float closer towards his rocket.  The man sat up, and coughed up blood, somehow, he was defying whatever was causing the paralysis.  The noise got louder, and Cobalt dropped to his knees.  Reaching into his tool belt, he threw a ball peen hammer.  The hammer nailed one of the grays between the eyes.  “You leave my friend Pudgy alone.” The camp site was bathed in white light, and the noise screeched louder.  The aliens started drawing closer, they were at the edges where the tarps tied into the trees.  Three gray aliens rushed Cobalt, knocking him down.  They had surgical tools and were cutting his clothes off.  The man swung wildly and clocked one alien in the head.  He gasped, as they held him down, cutting gouges in his skin.  He was starting to bleed, bad.  The hedgehog cried out, “Noooo!” More aliens started to appear, one by one.  Pudgy noticed, they were only focused on his human friend.  The hedgehog scurried around, and found a blow torch, still lit.  And an unconnected oxygen tank.  Pudgy had to be careful and pushed the torch towards it.  Tense moments passed as the critter moved and pointed the tank at the aliens. 

The noise was deafening, and Cobalt’s body dropped onto the ground again.  As the ten aliens subdued the human, they turned their attention to Pudgy.  They saw the 50 liters air tank, and a lit blow torch pointed at them, “tell Harvey he’s next.”  Pudgy growled, as he hit the air valve sending a fireball at them.  The aliens screeched, as they were set ablaze, and ran around.   The white light disappeared, and one by one the injured gray creatures disappeared.  Pudgy scurried up to Cobalt, seeing the extent of his injuries.  He started to whimper, ears folded, “Cobalt…pwease wake up.” The whimpering hedgehog scurried up to his cabin.  The fireball had blown apart his cabin.  One wall had fallen, and the windows shattered.  He scooted inside and got out any cloth or first aid supply he had.  Then scurried back, to help his human friend.  Pudgy started to tend his wounds, and kept looking at him, repeating Cobalt’s name.  The man eventually started to groan, and his eyes opened as Pudgy was sitting on his chest blinding wounds. “Hello Pudgy, I think they’re worried now.” The hedgehog bounced as he was relieved. the human shivered as he Looked over at the damaged cabin, the lit blow torch, and air tank. “Fireball?”  Pudgy nodded, and the man chuckled, “we’ll need to refill that tonight. Pudgy, I need a cookie.”  Pudgy nodded, and the two crawled over to the cabin.  Pudgy came out with a box, and the two munched while watching as light started to shimmer nearby. 

And poof, a shower of white sparkles, Hecate appeared in her fine white long dress, and feathered head dress. Her smile quickly faded, as she looked at the hurt shirtless man, sitting next to a partially destroyed cabin. “Cobalt, don’t move!” The man nodded, and watched as she quickly came over, running her hand over the wounds.  Her touch felt like hydrogen peroxide, burning his skin.  But as her hand passed, the injuries slowly faded.  Her green eyes had started glowing blue once more. Pudgy watched, and Cobalt turned his head for cough, spitting out some remaining blood. The magical woman spoke as she continued her work, “Pudgy, what happened?” Between whimpering sobs, the hedgehog started to tell her, the color drained from Hecate’s face.  Pudgy scurried back and forth, with what medical supplies he had.  Cobalt soon was ok with the care of the hedgehog and woman.  Just as Hecate was about to speak, more light shimmers started, and floating robot sentries started to appear around the camp. The royal Crest of Xanadoom was emblazoned on the chest plates.  One floated up to the trio and spoke in a metallic voice. “Hail Pudgy, legionnaire of Doomcock.  Sentry droid 47 reporting.  What is situation?”  Pudgy bounced and started to explain everything.  The robot floated, and after the story ended, “situation parameters defined.”  Four more robots appeared, this time with turrets. 

Hecate grinned, “Lord Doomcock is not taking any chances now.  Dearest Pudgy, dost thou see what I meant now?”  The hedgehog nodded, and watched the robots start working on the rocket. “Assembly 95%, error, tank empty.” Cobalt laughed weakly, “Pudgy had to make a fireball.”  The robot attached the tank to its claw, and in a matter of seconds, repressured the air tank. A maintenance robot took the tank, and quickly started to finish the work.  Hecate sat beside Cobalt, watching him smile at her. “Thank you for healing me, Hecate.” She giggled and looked at Pudgy who had made tea. The trio sat quietly in the dark forest, as the generator sputtered and ran out of gas. The lights faded, and soon the only light was coming out of the cabin. The robots moved around, adept for the low light conditions of Xanadoom.  They had work lights built into their bodies. She watched in amazement and was shocked at the progress the two friends had made.  The daughter of the goddess had been occasionally stopping by to watch, though had been gone for a time due to other pressing matters.  Sipping her tea, she patted Pudgy’s head.  Cobalt had brought a change of clothes and had a new dirty shirt on. 

Luckily the cabin damage was not severe as expected, and the man was able to piece together the wall once more, hammering it back into place.  The windows would need replaced. “Pudgy, we need to build a blast shield around your cabin.  The rocket will cause a lot of damage.”  The hedgehog nodded, though he was barely able to send from exhaustion.  The hedgehog started crawling into his cabin, then his bed immediately falling asleep.  Cobalt wearily stood up and headed over to help the robots finish the flight module.  Hecate nodded, still sitting.  Watching, waiting, lest the evil ones return. Cobalt was still hurt and would need help if the mysterious beings returned.  As the hours passed, the forest regained its serene nature.  Cobalt worked alongside the Xanadoom robots on the rocket.  The sun started to come up, Pudgy woke up finding his friend moving lethargic dragging his feet.  Hecate had disappeared again.  The hedgehog scampered out concerned, “Cobalt, have you been up all night?”  His friend nodded and dropped onto the ground beside the cabin. The hedgehog peeked over his leg, and up at him. ” no go work, stay here.  You need sweep.”  Cobalt nodded, “Pudgy, I don’t feel good.”  He got out his cell phone and called off from work.  He handed Pudgy his phone; can you hook it up to your charger?”  The hedgehog nodded and dragged in the phone into his cabin.

The man dropped down onto the wet ground, and immediately passed out.  Pudgy peeked out his door, and saw his human friend partially blocking the door.  But the hedgehog knew he needed to take care of his friend.  Pulling out from underneath his home the tarps he used to cover his roof, he set up a tent over his friend.  Then scampered back to the cabin, firing up the woodstove to high.  The door was open, so the heat travelled out to the tent enclosure.  He peeked out and watched the robots continue to work.  The hedgehog began to make many trips back and forth from his cabin to the rocket.  The robots helped him load supplies into the flight module.  Each trip, he would check on his human friend.  It wasn’t until late afternoon, Cobalt woke up.  He found himself under a tarp tent, and a hedgehog peeking at him.  “I’m better Pudgy.” He said, which drew a tired smile, and many hedgehog hugs.  He rolled out from under the tarp, seeing the robots fueling the rocket.  “Hey, 47, how’s it going?”  The sentry drone turned, ” rocket assembly 100%, fueling 50%, oxygen 100%, supplies 90%.”  The robots had attached solar panel 2, the remaining oxygen tanks, and the heat shields as he had involuntarily slept. 

The man turned, patted the robot and returned to work, helping Pudgy move and pack supplies. Once that was finished, he made a big fire in the firepit, and started to cook various canned products.  He was tired, so they went into the coals.   As scents of dollar store beef stew wafted in the air, Pudgy curled up beside his friend, watching the light fade in the skies above.  “Pudgy hope tonight is less eventful.”  Cobalt chuckled, “yeah me too. He, where did Hecate wander off to?”  Pudgy nibbled a chunk of blackened spam, “she had to go find a chaos goddess.”  Cobalt nodded, “ahh, Eris I think, if I remember her profile.”  Pudgy nodded and bounced, “she’s pwetty, and nice.”  Cobalt chuckled, “you keep that up, and one of those Darlings might ask you to be with them.  I would never see you again.”  He laughed, but Pudgy hugged his leg looking up at him. “Pudgy would come back.  Pudgy would miss Cobalt too much.”  The human patted his friend gently, and cut another piece of spam, then handed it to him.  The hedgehog nibbled.  “Tonight, I have to build a barricade around your cabin.  The force of the thrust from the rocket would blast your cabin apart.”  Pudgy nodded, nibbling his food. “We are as almost ready to launch; I think tomorrow you should leave.  So, after I finish work tonight, you need to sleep.  I do too for that matter.” 

The hedgehog nodded and started to clean up supper.  This was while Cobalt started to dig, move rock, dirt, crates, so that he could form a blast shield barricade around the cabin.  The man worked late into the night once more.  The robots also helped, realizing quickly what he was doing.  With their help, it was done.  The tired, mud covered man hugged his hedgehog friend once more, before taking his leave.  He needed a hot shower, 4 heavy duty aspirins, and a long sleep.  Pudgy waved as Cobalt left, and watched the robots hover, patrolling the area. “47, Pudgy go sweep now. Nite nite.”  The sentry blinked its yellow eyes.  The door shut, and soon the hedgehog dropped hard into his bed, falling asleep immediately. The cabin was quiet, save for the errant shuffling of leaves, and a faint shimmer in the corner.  “Pudgy need sweep, go home Bob!” The hedgehog grumbled and tossed an empty cookie box at the corner.  There was a clucking noise, then the shimmer disappeared.  By that time, Pudgy had fallen asleep again.  One sentry looked inside the cabin window, “intruder gone.”  Doomcock’s voice rang out over the intercom. “Good job 47, stand guard. Tomorrow we launch.”

The night quickly passed.  Pudgy napped frequently throughout the day, as he knew that he would get little rest in the coming days.  Late afternoon, Cobalt arrived, and started going over a check list.  Pudgy got more hugs than usual too, which made him happy.  The robots also were double checking the rocket and various systems.  It was as the light started to fade; Cobalt grew very serious.  “It’s time Pudgy to get dressed.”  The man knelt and started putting the layers of clothing on his little hedgehog friend.  As he pulled the second layer onto and fitted Pudgy, he watched him wiggle his nose and bounces happily.  Cobalt smiled, and then secured the outer layer, and air tank assembly.   He picked up, and carried the hedgehog, and helmet over to the flight module.  Connecting his helmet to the space suit, he looked at the excited critter, then kissed his nose gently.  “Pudgy, please come back to me.”  The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy Promise.”  Cobalt nodded and loaded him into the module.  Locking the air tank into its holder, he strapped the hedgehog into place.  “We can keep the hatch open for now, I will let you know when to close it. Don’t touch the controls yet.”   The man stood up and motioned to the robot sentry 47.  “Can you help take down the camo blinds and tarps?” 

The robot blinked, “affirmative!”  The sentries started to cut the lines and rolling up the camouflage materials.  Soon the rocket became visible from the sky, and Pudgy felt the rocket being tipped to an upright position.  Doomcock had sent a launcher platform, which was hoisting the rocket to launch position. The digital displays started to light up: T minus 30 minutes.  Pudgy heard Cobalt talking to him over the radio. “Pudgy, shut the hatch.”  The hedgehog worked the controls, and his hatch closed.  The rocket started to seal, with loud clicks and hisses.  There was a small window in front of his flight module.  The clock kept ticking down meanwhile, the rocket was in launch position.  Cobalt was moving items away from the launch platform, less anything be turned into a projectile.  As he finished cleaning the site, the robots were also moving away to a safe distance.  Taking a cue from the robots, he too moved far back, behind the cabin.  Then after considering things, he backed further up the hill by a large boulder next to a tall pine tree.  The man sent a message to the villains, with Pudgy in his space suit inside the flight module. That got an immediate response, with an excited flurry of messages between the group online. 

Pudgy’s voice crackled on the radio, “10 minutes Cobalt.”  Doomcock realizing Cobalt had to build and train, while Pudgy had to fly, numbered the switches.  The man pushed the transmit button on his walkie talkie, “Pudgy, start flipping the switches into the one position in order one through 10.”  The hedgehog began to push the numbered switches in order to 10, calling out each switch number as he did so over the radio.  When the critter reached 10, Cobalt spoke again over the radio, “go ahead, and turn on the oxygen.”  The hedgehog reached back and turned the valves to allow the oxygen to flow.  As Pudgy looked around inside the module, there were various screens.  Very wisely, Cobalt had printed a paper manual, in case something was to occur.  Outside, the rocket was making clunking noises, as the various seals to move into place readying for launch.  The hedgehog pulled his glass face shield down, and locked it shut. He could feel the faint wisp of air against his face. The hedgehog tapped his crystal.

“Lord Doomcock, Pudgy ready to go.”  The crystal hissed, and Doomcock’s voice came through the helmet, “Pudgy, I have my network monitoring you. T minus 60 seconds. Turn on switches 11 through 20.”  Pudgy started turning on the engines which began to roar, which made the whole rocket shake.  Cobalt’s voice came through the radio, “Please be safe Pudgy.  You’re my best friend, now go kick Harvey’s butt back to the dimension he came from. Hit it!”  Pudgy pushed the radio button and the battle theme from Flash Gordon by Queen started to play. ” 10, 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1…BLAST OFF!”  Cobalt watched as the flames shot out from beneath the rocket, and it began to lift off.  The rocket started to ascend slowly, and then as it cleared the treetops, the thrust kicked into full burn, and it shot into the air at a fast clip.  Cobalt was cheering and dropped to his knees from exhaustion.  The blast shield that was built to protect the cabin was ripped apart.  Pudgy’s cabin burst into flames, and logs were blasted in all directions.  The roar of the engine bellowed through the forest. 

Mister dinosaur opened his cave door, to see the rocket shooting into the sky.  He roared in excitement, “GO KICK THOSE ALIEN’S BUTT PUDGY!”  and far away on the opposite side, mister bear watched, praying this endeavor worked for the best, and the little hedgehog returned safely.  On the edge of the forest, a couple miles away a gentleman wearing Gideon’s Mob jacket was on his patio playing a guitar and looked up.  “Honey, do you see a rocket?”  His wife poked her head out and watched the white plume of smoke. “That’s it…. we’re moving!”  The guitar player pulled out his phone, and wildly excited posts of Pudgy going to the moon were flooding twitter. Worried darlings were commenting as fast as updates were provided. The villains were quick to action, and started their mischievously evil deeds, to run subterfuge to ensure the hedgehog could make it to space. As Cobalt watched the fireball from below, he turned watching the robots disappear one by one. 

Pudgy’s whole body was shaking, the roar of the engines was deafening, with Queen belting out melody occasionally making it through.  Higher and higher he went, the altimeter quickly speeding. He had gone to 20,000 feet in 10 minutes.  The fuel gauges showed he was still good on stage one.  The rocket was a delta 2, mark D, for Doomcock.  The payload was much lighter than the rocket’s capacity, so it was shooting quick into the skies.  Pudgy watched as the clouds disappeared, and the stars appeared in his little window.  The rocket started a preplanned turn, to better align with the planet, and continued its ascent.  With careful planning by the villains, Pudgy was able to miss all commercial air traffic over the Pennsylvania skies. He closed his eyes, and whimpered, settling in for a very long flight.  It would take 4 to 5 hours to reach space, and he could do nothing but sit there. Doomcock’s masked face appeared on a screen, making a thumbs up gesture to Pudgy, and another screen showed the planet.  The G forces wedged the critter into his seat, so he wasn’t able to motion back. Pudgy began to pray as the light drained from the interior, the hedgehog passed out. 

The little hedgehog woke up after an unknown amount of time passed, finding himself still in the rocket.  The hedgehog realized that he had blacked out, as the G forces became too much on him.  He could still feel the vibrations, and the screens were showing that the rocket was now in orbit.  The earth was immense, with a sea of blue as far as he could see through his little window.  His little body while wedged into the module, felt funny.  Cobalt had said he would float in space.  This was it in effect now.  He pulled out the paper manual, and watched it float in front of him.  Smiling, he knew he would be ok.  “Pudgy in space!”   As the excited critter watched the screens, the rocket passed over Poland.  He could feel the forces against his body once more increasing as the rocket was gaining momentum.  Just like the Apollo missions, Doomcock had programmed the rocket to use the earth’s gravity to sling shot the rocket towards the moon.  The hedgehog saw that stage one had already been jettisoned, and stage two was 50% burn, with fuel remaining 25%.  The mp3 player was still playing music, cycling through various iron maiden songs from Cobalt’s collection.  While he was hungry, something told him not to eat yet.  Pudgy saw various satellites floating around, and the course programmed was avoiding them.  The rocket was climbing higher and higher into orbit, and the earth was growing smaller. Pudgy located the paper manual, which had been tucked away in a tight compartment nearby.  Nodding as he realized that this would be a very long flight, it would be a good time to read on the operation of this flight module.  The hedgehog hoped everyone was ok back home, and read aloud, “chapter one…”

As the hours passed, Pudgy was now on chapter 27 of the manual, the rocket shook.  The computer had triggered a maximum burn, for escape from Earth’s orbit.  The paper manual landed on his chest, and he could feel the G forces return.  It was time to slingshot from the earth’s gravity.  The fuel gauge quickly dissipated, till there was nothing left.  Loud clanking noises started to echo though the flight control module, as stage 2 began to come apart and disconnect.  Doomcock appeared on the monitor, “Pudgy, you have cleared orbit.  Now, let’s see if that ion drive actually works?”  Pudgy had actually reached that chapter and started working the controls.  “Press switch 4, then tap button labelled Y, then push floor pedal…” outside the module, the rear panel dropped off, and floated away.  A long bronze colored tube started to glow as particles started to flow.  The panel showed the startup was in progress, as the drive was starting. Inside the lights flickered, as Pudgy remembered what Cobalt said before launch and repeated it, “pudgy push solar buttons after drive start.”  The little hedgehog pushed the array, and a new gauge lit up, showing the panels producing electricity.  The ion drive hummed, and whoosh, the flight module sped quickly towards the destination programmed: the moon.  The vehicle had some cameras positioned in places, so he could cycle through. 

The future ruler sat at his control room, sipping what looked to be a cognac.  “Good job, my hedgehog friend.”  The critter waved, “Hail Lord Doomcock.  Thank you.”  Pudgy’s belly rumbled, as he was hungry now.  As the earth slowly reduced in size on the rear-view monitor, he slowly opened his helmet’s glass face shield, and sniffed.  The air was stale. But his helmet was on, and fresh air was coming through a air vent within his helmet.  Reaching behind as best he could, he pulled out two long clear tubes.  He twisted the cap and started to suck gently.  He watched as minestrone soup started to work through.  It tasted so good.  Diktor looked, “what did you bring to eat, Pudgy?”  The hedgehog nodded, “minestrone soup, cheese soup, potato soup, brownie soup, and cookie soup, and water” The lord laughed, “brownie and cookie soup? How do you make that?”  The hedgehog nodded, “chocolate sauce from dollar store, and crumbled brownies with nondairy half and half.  Cookie soup is nondairy with crumbled cookies.”  The lord rubbed his chin, “I have all of that in the lair, I just may have to try that.  I will let your friend Cobalt know you are well, and to tell the dinosaur his drive works. I will check in later, Doomcock out.” 

Pudgy twisted the cap on his meal, then proceeded to open the water tube.  Taking a sip, it was then when the hedgehog remembered that there was no potty on board.  Pudgy nodded as he realized he was going to have to hold it, for 15 days.  That plan lasted 5 minutes, so after realizing the diaper was there for a reason, the critter twisted the good tube caps.  Stowing away the tubes, Pudgy locked his helmet’s face shield down once more.  The critter checked the displays, and noticed that the screen for the rocket motors stats was now replaced with ion drive stats.  The output was 50%, and the battery status was 12%…13%…14%…good was recharging.  Wiggling his paws, Pudgy tried to get comfortable.  He still had 3 to 4 days to go to get to lunar orbit.  Getting the manual out, “chapter 28, water landings….”  There were 60 chapters left to read, so he turned on Doomcock podcast, and sat quietly.  Watching the screens and reading Pudgy settled into a routine: read, sleep, wake, eat, repeat.   Hours passed, and while he was reading the paper manual again, he realized that half through the Doomcock podcasts had now been completed. The screens indicated he was a third of the way to the moon. The timer indicated 2 more days to go.  Pudgy was starting to get bored, which drew a tired laugh.

Pudgy woke up, and checked his panels as and gauges, everything was in order.  He started eating the cookie soup, which was good.  Looking out his little window, he saw the moon with all its craters quickly approaching.  The display said 20 hours to go at current speed.  Pudgy squinted his eyes, and for the first time, noticed a small light following him with a parallel course.  The hedgehog started checking his panels, and sadly his sensors only pertained to his module and engine system. Turning on the rear camera, he saw another light following.  As the hours passed, Pudgy watched as the lights continued to flank and follow his flight module.  The hedgehog could do nothing but watch, as the rocket did not have any defensive nor offensive capabilities. The aliens were apparently monitoring him.  So, the hedgehog turned on the radio.  Only static, could be heard.  Pressing the broadcast button, “hello, are you hearing Pudgy?  Pudgy see you following.”  The radio continued its static sound.  The lights faded and disappeared one by one. Pudgy nodded but kept the radio on in case they responded.  The hedgehog checked his panels, he had 14 hours to go till lunar orbit.

The moon continued to grow larger as the flight module sped towards it.  Pudgy checked the clock, and only 3 hours had passed.  He still had 11 to go, so he tried to get comfortable, and he started to drift off to sleep.  The computer would alert him when it was time for orbit.  The lights started to appear again on a parallel course.  The radio started to crackle, “Hisssss……rawwwrr…” then silence.  Pudgy missed it, due to light snoring, and his being asleep.  It would seem he was not alone. More hours passed, and Pudgy was started to wake due to a loud sound.  The warning beep was buzzing loudly, as the flight module’s positioning rockets put the module into geosynchronous orbit around the moon. Bouncing happily, he had made it to the moon.  The site was awe inspiring, as he started using the cameras to scan the surface of the moon.  On display was a sea of white and gray as far as the cameras could point.  Deep jagged craters were everywhere, with trails of dark rock inside.  The module was slowly descending as the orbit continued.  The maps had been programmed into the computer systems, so he accessed the map screen.  Pudgy remembered he had to find mares Anguis, since that was where the Villains said NASA said where the moon quakes were occurring.  As the hedgehog examined the surface, he saw in clearer focus what was going on.  Deep gouges were in the lunar surface. 

Pudgy’s ears folded down as he started to realize what he was looking and spoke, “oh crap…… Doomcock, are you there?” The hedgehog was frightened, when he saw that inside the gouge, was a long black tentacle.  It was stretching for at least a mile.  He found another gouge further away, again with a tentacle inside. he guided the module to follow the gouges, as they were all running towards the same point. Knowing the signal would take a while to reach Xanadoom, he had to gather data to send to the future ruler of the earth.  The cameras started to notice movement around the tentacles, so the hedgehog tried to zoom in. The grays were on the surface too, though what they were up could not be determined.  Hindsight being 2020, Pudgy should have asked for more science stuff, but that was too late now. The critter was also able to locate three circular shaped space craft around the area where the tentacles were located. It would seem the grays needed to operate from there, and perhaps they needed air too.  Lord Doomcock appeared on the display screen.  He was moving, but the audio was distorted. “Xanadoom calling Pudgy.  Time variance 15 minutes between transmission. See reach lunar orbit.  Report.” 

Pudgy nodded and turned on the camera. “Pudgy in orbit Lord Doomcock.  Huge gouges in lunar surface, I see black tentacles stretching for miles.  Gray aliens along gouges doing something.  Too high for cameras and see three circle spaceships along surface. Following tentacles towards source.”  Pudgy turned off the transmit button, knowing it would be a delay to the next transmission.  Continuing to zoom in and out with the camera control, the critter did not realize that he had in fact not stopped broadcasting the external video feed.  The lord of the earth started to see the lunar surface, and what Pudgy was studying intently.  He poured a shot of whiskey and started to sip watching the video feed. After the delay, Pudgy’s message came through.  Diktor downed the remainder of the shot and poured another. Pondering what to do, he watched the feed.  The lord watched as suddenly; the cameras changed to an orbit view.  Zooming in, he saw a cigar shaped silver craft following the module. “Pudgy, what is that behind you?”  He cursed after turning the microphone off, because he knew there would be a 15-minute delay. The cameras kept changing angles.  Lord Doomcock consulted maps of the lunar surface and started to transmit landing coordinates via his terminal.

Pudgy in his module, was worriedly looking at his monitors.  He had attracted attention from the aliens, who were starting to launch from the lunar surface. A cigar shaped craft had started following.  Doomcock’s voice was garbled, but the landing coordinates started to appear. The critter had no control over the aliens, so he would have to proceed with the landing plan.  He started to flip the switches, and the flight module started to hiss as the landing feet extended.  The hedgehog locked his helmet faceplate into place.  While the computer was going to handle many of the landing calculations, Pudgy would need to take over if something unexpected happened.  As the rocket’s altimeter decreased, he watched as the alien craft stayed in their relative orbits and positions.  “Pudgy, contact …. landing. ” Doomcock’s voice was garbled and hissed as the flight module started to pass over the Mare Tranquilis plains.  The positioning thrusters were firing at preprogrammed intervals.  It was also the first time Pudgy started to feel an inclination of gravity, though it was faint.  While he was excited to be landing soon, also the hedgehog was apprehensive. Even without the looming Eldritch God to deal with, space was dangerous enough. 

The displays read the statistics of the module; the hedgehog saw all the numbers decreasing. The oxygen gauge showed 100%, but that was deceptive.  At the start of the trip, there was a ring of green dots that surrounded the main gauge.  24 dots, for 24 reserve air tanks.  Cobalt had programmed to not use the main air until the reserve tanks had been spent.  He had used 9 tanks to get to the moon, or 40% of his oxygen. Based on Cobalt’s calculations, Pudgy could spend no more than 3 days on the lunar surface.  That was not a lot of time, which meant the critter had to be smart about his activities. Talking and walking used more air, so he had to be aware of his air usage. BEEEPPPPP! the proximity alarm started to sound, as the flight module positioned to land in an upright position.  The altimeter continued to quickly decrease, and the retro rockets fired as the lander touched down on Mare Anguis. Pudgy excitedly spoke, “The hedgehog has landed.”

Earlier, when the ion drive had fired up, landing feet had been extended to form a triangular landing system.  Touchdown resulted in the flight module sticking up with the nose cone pointed towards space.  The result of this landing was Pudgy now was sitting with his back parallel to the ground.  The flight module had landed safely, and Pudgy was now on the moon.  He started to work the controls and extended the radio antenna. Typing on a little keyboard: lord Doomcock, Pudgy safe, hedgehog landed. Unlike the previous transmission delays, the hedgehog received a response over the computer terminal: congratulations first hedgehog on moon. Now, shut down the rocket systems, and prepare for a moon walk. Doomcock out.  Pudgy started turning off the ion drive engine, and various systems.  The critter took noticed that the gauges all lowered, except for the solar systems, which continued to charge the batteries.  Pudgy needed a full charge to restart the ion drive.  Pulling a lever, the module interior’s stale air started to be sucked into a holding tank.  The interior had to be a vacuum, otherwise the hatch would explode off of its hinges.  The interior air pressure gauge started to decrease slowly.  Pudgy typed on the keyboard: systems off, solar on, battery 60%, interior depressurization in progress. The space suit started to hold tight against his body as the vacuum increased.  After quiet moments, of a hiss as the vacuum pump sucked the air from the flight module passed, a green light blinked, indicating vacuum had been achieved. 

Pudgy undid the straps and started to unhook himself. Cobalt had made a rather ingenious setup for the hedgehog’s life support systems.  There was an air hose wrapped in three layers, with an outer layer of metal mesh, that connected to the backpack with two tanks.  There were handy clips to attach things to the outside.  Three air valves were in place to ensure virtually no air loss when he would disconnect from the flight module’s main air tanks. As the critter worked the valves, lights lit up showing progress.  Lord Doomcock was also sent notifications of each step.  Pudgy’s air tank also had a gauge that was paw mounted. Sealing the third valve, the hedgehog disconnected from the main system, and pushed the button to open the hatch.  As the hatch swung open, pudgy saw the black void above, stretching in all directions.  Stars crystal clear twinkled, so close it looked like you could touch them. The lunar surface lay before him in all its glory.  Boulders the size of cars were scattered amongst the plains.  Cobalt realizing how the module would have to land, had prepared a chain ladder. But as Pudgy tossed it out, he noticed the gravity wasn’t right. The ladder floated out in a straight line. Wiggling his nose, the critter opened a compartment and got out his tools, clipping them to his pack. Returning to face the open hatch, he jumped out grabbing the chains. Hedgehog mass won out over space, and he floated down to the gray sandy surface. 

Slowly pulling out the rock hammer, the critter began to anchor the ladder into the surface.  He also tied an extra cable to the landing strut, in case the anchors floated away. Pudgy bounced on the moon, which sent him a couple feet forward.  The hedgehog grinned, pulling free and planting a small flag with the royal crest of Xanadoom.  Meanwhile, the cameras were tracking Pudgy, and lord Doomcock couldn’t help but smile as he toasted his hedgehog legionnaire as he planted the flag of Xanadoom in the north western part of Mare Crisium. Diktor watched as Pudgy clipped his tools and bounced off away from the module.  The gravity on the moon is 17% that of the earth. That meant a hedgehog bounce would send him forward quite a far distance. Turning back, the hedgehog could not believe how far he had travelled.  Realizing that getting lost would be very bad, he started tapping in red flags marked spikes into the lunar surface.   Scamper bouncing continued and Pudgy started to ascend a wide hill.  Due to low gravity assisted bouncing, in no time flat he was nearly at the top. Turning around again, he saw his module in the distance, with a big blue earth in the background. Sadly, realizing that no photography equipment was brought, he could not take any pictures.  However, the hedgehog would never forget that sight.

Checking his air gauge with a nod, Pudgy turned around to continue his ascent.  In a couple of minutes, the critter reached the crest of the hill.  Once reached, his mouth dropped open as sighting what lay before him.  It was not Harvey Cthulhu, but a massive stone structure. The lunar rock had been finely cut, almost too exact. It resembled a pyramid, though with no point, perhaps 2/3 of the height of one.  There was a massive set of black doors that were currently shut.  Rows of black glass ran along the walls.  Pudgy would have rubbed his eyes, had he been able to reach them.  Starting to bounce along once more, Pudgy started to descend the crater.  The excited hedgehog bounced harder, which meant he went higher, and began to float.  Wiggling as trying to get back down, he traversed the lunar surface quick as he floated slowly down. Gently landing next to a huge boulder of what looked like volcanic basalt, the critter noticed the rocks were different colors.  Now muddy red and brown colors.  As he marveled at the huge structure, the ground started to shake beneath him. The rocks started to slide, and he watched as the huge doors started to open.  A huge burst of atmospheric gas burst, as the airlock opened.  Pudgy watched as the cigar shaped object from before started to fly inside the structure. Pudgy felt his body being lifted up and pulled behind the boulder. He wiggled, trying to break free, until he saw three talons cover his face shield. 

Pudgy was turned to face a set of yellow goggles covered eyes. The creature too was in a space suit and examined Pudgy as he examined back.  The hedgehog waved nervously. His helmet radio crackled, “hiss …. rawr ….” it sounded guttural.  Not many people were aware of this, but the hedgehog could speak with other animals.  Animal language was essentially the same, though various animal dialects were easier than others.  The critter watched as the pointed snout and rows of sharp teeth moved.  It looked like a dinosaur, but not as big.  There were also various booster jets in appropriate places on the creature’s body to assist lunar movement. Suddenly they were sprinting off, through a trail of boulders

The hedgehog could do nothing, so he went along for the ride as he watched the gray sandy surface speed below, and as a huge black chasm began to appear.  It was as this occurred, he saw a better view of his captor, and the shape resembled a velociraptor. It was dressed in black.  Struggling to see where they were going, Pudgy sighed as the dinosaur was running too fast. Quickly they darted into a cave, and the light faded.  Pudgy hoped his captor knew where they were going.  Checking the air gauge, the gauge read 50%. Feeling movement changing, Pudgy could see the faint dim of lights.  His captor slowed and walked.  Pudgy’s radio crackled again, and slowly he started to pick up words.  The language was similar to snake, “hiss … door …. open …. intruder …hiss.”  The hedgehog blinked, and started to try to respond, but he was never good at snake. The creature whipped its head towards him, examining him again under the pale light from an unknown source. “Quiet …. hiss …. you …. ” Pudgy nodded, and the creature turned him to look forward.  There was a huge underground cavern, with several domes inside.  Other dinosaurs in space suits were working, though it looked like a battle had taken place recently. Pudgy frowned and dangled in clawed hand that gripped him. They started to move forward once more, and the domes started to grow larger.

The critter was tossed unceremoniously in front of the raptor, and he bounced onto a hard pack sand surface.  Getting back to his paws, he looked around.  There was all manner of dinosaurs around, in protective space suits.  Pudgy turned to look at his captor, noting the claws were exposed, but the rest of the body was covered in a pattern of gray, white and black.  Pudgy recognized, they were using camouflage.  The hedgehog had a white outfit on. So, there was no mistaking he was coming. The clawed hand pointed towards a chamber, so Pudgy nodded and bounced towards it, with the raptor slowly walking behind him. The sand changed to hard stone, and as he scooted inside, Pudgy saw a set of round doors, of an unknown metal.  The raptor walked in, and then the outer door started to swing shut.  It was an airlock, the critter noted.   There was a loud boom, which meant air was present.  Sound needed air to move, and Pudgy started to feel the tightness of his suit dissipate.  Checking his gauge, he still had 40% of air left. The raptor watched him intently.  A loud buzzing sound vibrated the room, then the interior door started to open.  And inside a triceratops was standing there in a similar outfit, though with many more markings.  The dinosaurs greeted each other, as Pudgy was motioned to move forward.  As he started to scamper, he noticed there was more gravity now.

It was easier to walk, though now the tanks were heavier.  Pudgy looked back, seeing the raptor taking off its protective head gear, and talking to the large older triceratops. The older dinosaur narrowed its golden eyes at Pudgy as he was presented before it. It lowered its snout and tapped Pudgy helmet and motioned with an upward motion of its snout, to lift the helmet’s face shield.  Pudgy looked at his air gauge, and nodded, turning the air valve off.  Taking a deep breath, he unlocked his face shield, and lifted it. “H… hello, my name Pudgy.”  The large triceratops looked at the strange creature before it and laughed.  “This is your intruder Razar?”  Pudgy blinked, he could understand, and the voice sounded feminine. The raptor hissed, and which drew a rebuke, “stop that!  Our guest should know what you’re saying.” The raptor sighed, “yes…. lead claw. I found …  this …. creature on the surface.  It landed in a vehicle, planted a flag, and headed towards the Alarian base. I stopped it and brought it here.”  The raptor narrowed its eyes at Pudgy.  The hedgehog noted another female voice.  Boy, when he would get back and tell Mister Dino there are girl dinosaur on the moon…” the triceratops nodded, “I see.  Pudgy, that is your name correct?”  The hedgehog nodded, which drew a toothy grin from the lead claw, spoke clearly. “You were in mortal danger, if they found you.  What in Pangea’s name where you doing there?”

Pudgy coughed, while the air was breathable, it had a weird smell to it. Probably too many dinosaurs in one area. “Pudgy come from earth to stop Harvey Cthulhu. Lord Doomcock sent me.”  The dinosaurs laughed heartily, “he did?” The raptor started to laugh guttural and rolled her silver eyes. “Lead claw, this Doomcock sounds either arrogant or incompetent. Why would he send this creature to this moon, potentially never come back?”  The triceratops shot Razar a look, and then looked back at Pudgy. “Tell me little one, how did you come here.  And please be honest, I’ve lived long enough to know when one is telling falsehoods.” The raptor grimaced and watched as Pudgy started to explain. The hedgehog’s story also included him acting out scenes. The two dinosaurs listened intently.  When Pudgy started talking about his friend Mister Dinosaur, the two snapped to attention. Lead claw stomped her foot, “wait stop, back up.  There is a Tyran on Earth right now?”  Pudgy nodded, “yes, his name is Grumpasaurs.  He lives in my forest, in a big cave.”  The two started to intently question him, on all details.  Pudgy answered, though he was wondering what was going on? Lead claw nodded, “pudgy, does mister dinosaur have any markings on him?”  Pudgy rubbed his chin with his paw, and then nodded.  He squatted down, and saw the ground had lunar sand. He started to draw a symbol he saw but didn’t know what it meant. The lead clan’s eyes went wide, “engineering corp….. Razar …. a word.”  The two started talking in their guttural language quietly. Pudgy looked confused and stood there watching and listening.

Razar nodded, beginning to put the protective gear back on.  Once done, the raptor bowed its head while backing up into the air lock once more. Pudgy turned and watched as the air lock door started to seal. He looked back the lead claw, “umm, is everything ok?” The triceratops nodded, “Razar made a detour to pick you up. Walk with me and continue your story.”  Pudgy scampered beside the large dinosaur and continued his story.  The triceratops nodded and pondered what was being told to her.   She lowered her head and motioned for Pudgy to climb up. “Little one, climb up, I want to show you something Pudgy nodded, and climbed up onto the dinosaur head carefully, and held onto the horns, as she lifted her head up. While the older dinosaur walked, she started to talk. “Your mister Dino friend is someone we thought lost to us. So, it took us by surprise, to say the very least.  Many years ago, far too long, our kind lived on earth. Our society was advanced far beyond measure. We had science, technology, art, culture.  Our cities were vast and spread all over the world.” Pudgy nodded, “wow, what happened?”  Lead claw sighed sadly, “our astronomers detected a massive asteroid coming.  Our technology could not stop it, so the decision was made to evacuate the planet. We had already established a moon residence, so our space craft began rapid launches. As the months passed, we had run into an issue.  The moon was full.  So, we sent our young, with a core group of kind to establish a base of operations on the red planet new Pangaea.  As the asteroid fell, we watched the planet wide devastation spread.” Pudgy whimpered, which drew a soft look from the older dinosaur.

The two had travelled a distance through a long featureless stone hallway.  With the bare minimum of lighting, they reached a black hexagonal set of doors.  As they approached, they started to open. And a large chamber started to be revealed. Pudgy looked around, “lead claw, where are we going?”  Once the doors opened, the triceratops entered, and Pudgy couldn’t believe his eyes.  All manner of dinosaurs was walking around.  Big ones, little ones, he saw a pterodactyl flying above landing on a wide ledge. “Wow, look at all the dinosaurs!” Pudgy exclaimed, which drew curious looks at the lead claw with the strange white covered critter riding on her head.  The triceratops beamed with pride, “this is one of our living domes.  There are several here, guarded by the Razar.  They are our armed forces and protect the domes.”  Pudgy looked down, “I thought her name was Razar?” The lead claw grinned, “no, that is a title.  If she agrees, she will tell you her actual name.”  Two Raptors strode up to lead claw, “lead claw, what is that?”  The hedgehog waived, “hi, my name is Pudgy.” The two took a step back, sniffing, “what’s a Pudgy?” Pudgy pointed, “I’m a hedgehog,” which drew a chuckle from the two approaching dinosaurs. “Alacir, can you assist me for a moment?”  The raptor on the left snapped to attention, “yes lead claw!” Lead claw looked up, “pudgy, go with Alacir.  I must take my leave for now. I will return after I confer with the other Razar forces.  Alacir, please do not eat our guest, or I will be very cross with you.  Show him around, perhaps a trip to our museum?” Pudgy watched as the raptor strode up beside her, and he swung over to drop onto his back.  As the large dinosaur walked away, Pudgy found himself with two young dinosaurs who were eyeing him.  As he held on, the two started to head off towards another large hallway at a much quicker pace. The hedgehog was aflutter with excitement, looking at the scene around him.

Meanwhile in Xanadoom, Lord Doomcock was monitoring the cameras.  The lander was detecting moon quakes at an increasing rate. But what worried him the most, was Pudgy still had not returned.  Based on the air use calculations, he was dangerously close to running out of air. Diktor watched the cameras pan and then start tracking movement along the crater ridge line.  “What is that,” the ruler muttered as several shapes were walking towards the lander.  It was a slow progression, but soon the camera focused on spacesuit clad dinosaurs approaching the site, “moon dinosaurs…. how in the?”  A loud train horn sounded, which drew a look from the ruler, “I have to turn off that censoring device.  I will have words with mister Dinosaur in Pudgy’s Forrest after this operation is over.” In a matter of moments, the moon dinosaurs had surrounded the rocket, and were examining it. “Son of a…..” the train horn sounded again and kept sounding as he beat his fist on the computer desk. A large tyrannosaur approached and picked up the lander in a huge set of jaws.  The module was being carried off. “NO!” One by one, the cameras started to turn off, and transmission signals from the lander ceased.  Lord Doomcock was holding his head in his hands, worrying what had happened? But, one thing that neither Pudgy nor Cobalt knew, there was a transponder inside the craft. So that signal continued to send in intermittent bursts. The lord could watch on his moon map, and plot where the space dinosaurs were taking the rocket.  Diktor also watched on a high-resolution feed, black marks growing all over the surface of the moon. While the surface television was distracted by sports and politics, the science channels were being very quiet as to the events of the lunar surface.  That was odd, though not uncommon for a news blackout to occur.  Though twitter was ablaze with conspiracies from amateur astronomers.  “If they only knew,” Diktor muttered.

Meanwhile, Pudgy was inside a large room with a triangular shaped ceiling. Wonderful murals were painted, showing a panoramic scene of a dinosaur city. They showed daily life of common folk in all manner of activities. His raptor escorts narrated and explained when he questioned certain depictions of historical events.  Pudgy had been set down on a ledge, with tall green leafy plants. He had attracted the attention of younger dinosaurs, who curiously asked him tons of questions. Pudgy would bounce and act out his answers. Which drew cheers, and attention.  It was the hedgehog’s description and stories about Humans that drew the most attention.  Pudgy blinked when he realized there was about 50 dinosaurs crammed into the museum’s grand plaza to listen to him. He also saw the lead claw triceratops slowly pushing her way through the crowd.  She was smiling as only a dinosaur could and was listening as well.  After stories about Cobalt, and his cabin in the forest, the lead claw had made it to the front, turning towards the crowd. “Ok everyone, our friend from earth has had a long trip.  So, everyone please disperse, Pudgy will be here tomorrow.” The younger dinosaurs wined, but their parents herded them wandering off through the adjoining hallways. The lead claw looked at the two Raptors, “take Pudgy to the museum. I should have asked you to not let him teach a class.” Chuckling she dismissed the young Raptors, “you may go now, thank you.”  She motioned with her head, and Pudgy climbed back onto of her head, being very careful where he stepped.  Turning around slowly, she walked through the plaza.  “Did you enjoy the museum Pudgy?”

Pudgy bounced, “yes!” The hedgehog looked around, as he was riding on the lead claw.  The walls were smooth cut stone.  The wonderful murals ended, and gray stone was seen.  All the doors they passed were hexagonal black metal, with automatic openers.  Which made sense, as most dinosaurs were walking on all four legs.  The Raptors had arms, with three fingers topped with long claws black or silver.  The hedgehog noticed lead clan’s horns seemed to be painted red.  “Lead claw, why are your horns red?” Pudgy asked, which drew a burst of laughter. “Aren’t you the inquisitive one? There are many lead claws, I represent general operations within the domes.  Green indicate the science operations, and silver indicate engineering. If you see claw symbols, three claws are the superiors.  It’s good that you asked this though, as we are going to a meeting of the claws.  The others want to meet you, and then we can discuss what to do with you.” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy need to stop Harvey Cthulhu, and get back home to Earth.” The triceratops nodded, “yes, I see.  We will discuss your status at the meeting.”  The triceratops was moving at a fair pace though not as fast as some smaller dinosaurs who sped past as they maneuvered around the domes.  Pudgy looked down, watching as the dinosaur’s skin flexed as her legs moved.  She was not covered in a space suit, and could see brown with faint black stripes, almost like a zebra.

As she walked towards another set of hexagonal doors, which slowly opened into another large dome.  Pudgy saw all sorts of dinosaurs welding and assembling things.  But the sight of his lander sitting in a wide empty spot drew his attention. “Pudgy Lander!  Why move it?” His tone switched from inquisitive to upset.  The lead turned and started walking towards it. “I ordered the Razar to move it here.  While I do not believe your intentions are evil, you are a trespasser within our realm. But we will inspect your … lander as you call it. Then our meeting will commence.”  She lowered her head, letting Pudgy slide down and drop onto the smooth stone floor. The hedgehog scampered over to the lander and inspected it.  Everything looked all right, though.  The chain ladder was dangling.  He started to climb up and opened the hatch.  Inside, his flight module looked all right.  The solar cells were still charging, and the battery was at 95%. The lead claw stretched her neck and peeked inside. “So, this is how you came here? It is so small; I would not be able to handle being trapped inside.” Pudgy turned and nodded, “will Pudgy still need air tank and helmet at meeting?” The dinosaur shook her head. “No little one, you have my word your lander will be safe.” The hedgehog nodded, and started to disconnect his air tanks, and connect them into the module.  He also took off his helmet and placed it into a compartment. With his possessions in order, he took a long drink of water.  The dinosaur watched quietly, and then asked questions. Pudgy started to narrate what the various systems were for, and after connecting the air tanks, he began to recharge the tanks. It was a quick process, which drew more questions. Pudgy secured things inside, then moved towards the open hatch, looking out.  A long skinny dinosaur with three silver claws was watching him, as the triceratops was talking with a large tyrannosaurus.

Far away in Xanadoom, Lord Doomcock’s computer started to chime.  He wheeled his chair quickly over, and saw the transponder was signaling. The air tanks discharged 2%, and the main tank registered Pudgy’s tank being connected.  There was no radio signal, nor video feed still.  As Pudgy unknowingly set off the transponder which sent data back to earth, there was a strong vibration sent throughout the dome.  The dinosaurs started to roar and screech, as they dodged pieces of falling rock from above.  The hedgehog peeked out at lead claw triceratops, “Everybody ok?”  The triceratops and long dinosaur nodded, “those moon movements have been growing in strength and intensity each day. Engineer Brachza, have you determined the source?”  The long dinosaur nodded, and pointed towards a wall, “I believe it is coming from the Ordari.”  Pudgy looked a bit confused, “Ordari? Is that the big Pyramid with flat top?”  The brachiosaurus engineer nodded, “it is our main power generation and oxygen generation plant.  The Alarian are refueling their ships per our agreement.”  Pudgy blinked, and lead claw motioned for him to climb back onto her.  As Pudgy climbed out, he shut the hatch and rode along with the lead engineer walking beside her as well.  They were soon joined by a raptor, who had a strange head gear on, with multiple colored circular lenses. Pudgy waved, “hello.” The raptor did not respond but grinned at the hedgehog with rows of sharp teeth. Pudgy peeked and saw three claw Mark’s in bright green.  He recognized this was the lead science department head. 

The trio approached a white frosted glass hexagonal door.  Illuminated with a golden glow from behind, the doors opened, the chamber revealed a control room.  Maps of the lunar surface were everywhere.  Small dinosaurs scurried to and fro, between circular groupings of screens.  In the center was a huge tyrannosaur.  This one was different, with skin the color of the deepest darkest blue one could imagine.  Silver eyes glowed, watching the procession of the three lead claws and hedgehog.  Pudgy immediately was frightened and clutched onto a horn.  As the trio fanned out in front of the clearly in charge head dinosaur, they all bowed their heads, with Pudgy following suit. “Daedlus Claw, this is Pudgy the hedgehog from earth.” The tyrannosaurus started to bend down and examined the timid critter onto of the triceratops’s head. Glowing eyes locked onto him, and Pudgy felt like he was looking through him.  The room grew silent, as the Daedlus claw began to speak, “so, you are the one who landed on the plains?  There have been few attempts to land here.  We have seen to that.  So, why have you come here?” Pudgy was whimpering, ears folded.  The triceratops looked up, “Pudgy, please answer, the Daedlus will not hurt you.”  The tyrannosaurus continued to stare at the hedgehog.  Pudgy nodded and looked up. “Pudgy come to stop Harvey Cthulhu.  He is going to destroy the earth, then the universe.  Lord Doomcock and Cobalt helped Pudgy get to moon.”  The Daedlus narrowed his eyes, “oh, is that all. One …. hedgehog…. against a god backed by Alarian forces?  And how…. pray tell do you plan on completing your goal.”

Pudgy whimpered and shook with fear stammering.  the large dinosaur roared, “TELL ME!”  The hedgehog started to sob, “Doomcock gave … containment …. crystal.  Pudgy …. need to …. touch Harvey with it.  Once …. inside…pudgy smash crystal.” The Daedlus claw blinked, “what crystal?”   Pudgy reached inside his suit and produced the Xanadoom crystal he wore. “It’s like this, but bigger” Pudgy put the crystal back inside his suit, after the large dinosaur nodded, “I see, a pterocrystal. Pudgy, please start from the beginning, tell us everything.”  Pudgy nodded, “it was dark, and warm, Pudgy open eyes and momma was hugging Pudgy.” The Daedlus snorted, stifling a chuckle, “perhaps a little further forward?”   The other lead claws were laughing in their guttural tones. So the hedgehog started to tell his story, about Doomcock, Cobalt, Harvey, and the aliens.  The critter acted out parts, which drew many looks and soon the whole room was listening. Like before, when he got to the parts with mister dinosaur, that drew immediate questions.  The Daedlus stopped the story, “so, one of our kind is in your … forest?”  Pudgy nodded, “yes, mister dinosaur is very nice. He lives in as big cave up the hill. He made ion drive for flight module. He has big story about time travel, but when he explains, make head hurt.” The Daedlus nodded, “I see. What else has mister dinosaur told you?”  Pudgy rubbed his chin, “for some reason he wants to go to mars. Pudgy don’t want him to go, pudgy miss him.”  The lead scientist nodded, “he means Vrilonia. Our kind has colonized that world.”

Pudgy turned, “r … really?”  The Daedlus nodded, “indeed. If he wants to go, and colonize, that means he would have left prior to the colonization trips began. Begin your research there.” The scientist bowed and Backed away. Returning his gaze upon Pudgy the Daedlus spoke, “continue.”  Pudgy started telling his story again, with the conclusion of him getting picked up and carried to the domes by the Razar. Then, the various section heads began intense questioning, because the hedgehog represented the most up to date information source they had on earth and its activities.  The hedgehog answered as best he could, though he wished Cobalt was here, he knew more than Pudgy did. Hours upon hours passed, which caused Pudgy’s speech to slur a bit.  The Daedlus nodded, “I see you have had a long period of wakefulness. Take him to his craft and let him rest. Pudgy, you are our guest, but be mindful of the fact I determine your fate.  Am I clear?” Pudgy rubbed his eyes and sleepily yawned. “Yes, Daedlus claw, Pudgy understand.” The triceratops bowed and turned around to head back to the large dome where Pudgy’s lander was being kept. The lead claw spoke once they exited the chamber and were in the hall once again. “You did well, the Daedlus is intimidating to speak with.” Pudgy yawned, and watched the hall quickly pass by, because he had fallen asleep a couple of times.  When they reached the lander, pudgy opened the hatch, and climbed back inside. “Good sleep Pudgy. I will return upon the next sun rise.”  Pudgy waved, “night lead claw.” 

As he wiggled into his seat, the exhausted hedgehog fell immediately into a deep sleep. As the lead claw started to turn, she noticed the small rectangle box with circular lenses inside was pointed in her direction.  Pondering its function, she turned and headed off. But unbeknownst to her, Doomcock was watching.  Mouth agape, he had been watching for hours.  The scenes of dinosaurs building things, and armored military dinosaurs walking about, had fascinated him.  Using a much higher power transmitter array he had “acquired,” he was able to reactivate the lander’s communication system. The flight module recognized Pudgy’s presence and notified the future ruler of the earth. Doomcock had been sending messages, but as the lander was several feet below a stone, steel, as and glass structure, there was a lot of interference. Pudgy’s terminal started spelling out Doomcock’s message one character per 10 minutes. “Pud.” Was what it said now. The lunar map showed mare undarum was the current location for Pudgy’s craft. Diktor took a sip of bourbon, and waited, prepared for a long night. He needed to know the status.

Far away from the moon dinosaurs and their sleeping Hedgehog guest, Harvey Cthulhu sat on a white stone throne.  Scowling, he turned his head and stared at his Alarian advisers.  These aliens were not the gray variety with the large black eyes.  They were a tall race, easily 8 feet, with slender builds.  Their skin was milky white, though an iridescence could be seen.  They were long robes of satin covered with blue markings, triangular shoulders, and narrow eyes that glowed a soft azure hue.  “Lord Cthulhu, what is it?” The attendant asked, with his small toothless mouth turning to a frown of concern.  Harvey’s eyes glowed red, “what is taking so darned long?”   The attendant bowed, “I will check, Lord Cthulhu.  May the sun never set upon your reign.”  The attendant backed away, then walked away at a brisk pace.  The eldritch god after his surface activities on the earth, had been flown via his follower’s space craft to the moon about an earth month ago.   Reuniting with his main body was not an easy task, under the best of circumstances. There had been many developments over the decades the moon had been struck by all manner of cosmic debris, humans sent both manned and unmanned missions, and left all sorts of junk behind. And unbeknownst to him at the time of Diktor’s deception, inhabited by dinosaurs.  Harvey fumed as he sat on his throne and remembered the day that he met Diktor.  He was a blowhard, fool of a human, who was claiming to rule the vast underground realm of Xanadoom.  His family had no rights to that land and was putting up a grand charade of a front to claim dominion.  The eldritch God called him on his deception and reminded him of his human limitations.  A lord lasts maybe 100 years, a god lasts forever.  So Diktor, being the arrogant fool that he was, challenged the eldritch God to a race to the moon and back.  Harvey accepted, to prove how wrong the human was. 

Though in hindsight, he should not have agreed to the condition.  Diktor asked how he would know that Harvey would not cheat and needed an assurance.  Harvey offered to leave a part of his form in Xanadoom.  Essentially, it was his consciousness in a small shell of flesh.  Easily, he could multiply his body into separate forms.   So, the day of the grand challenge occurred, and Diktor sent a rocket off blasting into the sky, and Harvey sent his body to the moon.  It was after the launch, when Diktor’s deception occurred, and he imprisoned him within the containment pod.  The body, now cut off from its consciousness, landed hard on the lunar surface and buried itself deep within the moon.  The resulting impact caused it to be buried under the lunar rock.  The dinosaurs then proceeded to further aggravate things, by building structures over his unconscious form.  The attendant returned, “Lord Cthulhu, I have news.”  Harvey rolled his eyes, “what is it now?”  The attendant bowed, “your faithful forces have advised that a small craft has landed upon the plains of insanity.  A small creature exited and was captured by the dinosaurs.”  Harvey’s eyes glowed with a fire rarely seen, “PUDGY MADE IT TO THE MOON!” 

The attendant bowed lower, “my apologies, Lord Cthulhu.  As I was acquiring the status of your body excavations, they informed me of the fly over and landing of the craft.”  Harvey extended a tentacle and grasped the advisor around the throat.  As he struggled, Harvey’s tentacled mouth contorted. “Have the dinosaurs done anything yet?”  The Alarian attendant shook his head, “They seem to be interrogating him, based on our spy reports.  We have forces in there.” The eldritch God was beside himself with rage.  He flung his attendant away, with the poor alien being thrown against a stone wall.  He fumed, as his mind worked feverishly. The ground beneath started to shake violently. His proximity to his unconscious form was causing the body to react.  Followers of the eldritch one was frantically trying to remove decades worth of debris, so they could reunite the two.  His second attendant placed a four fingered hand upon his shoulder, “please Lord Cthulhu, calm yourself.”  Harvey flung that advisor against an opposite wall. Steam started to erupt from his form, and his shell crackled. The Alarian sounded the alarm, a strange screeching noise.  The eldritch God exploded into a shower of silver sparks, which spread all over, and then down violently.  Holes the size of dimes were everywhere with the throne room, and as the one attendant looked through, he could see the floors beneath. “Sister, we have a problem.”

Far away, Pudgy’s lander was shaking violently.  The moon quakes were severe, and the large dome where he was currently at experienced a severe amount of damage.  A few dinosaurs were hurt, which led to assistance by the science / medical group.  Pudgy offered to help and was tasked to bring supplies from the hospital to the engineering dome.  The hedgehog was also running messages between the leads as well.  The dinosaur doctors were busy but was glad for the assistance.  Albeit a hedgehog was not the best choice for carrying splints. As Pudgy was dragging a long splint, he was almost stepped on by the nice triceratops lead claw, who apologized. “Oh Pudgy, my apologies.  I am glad I found you, the Daedlus Claw would like to speak with you.”  Pudgy’s ears folded down “Pudgy need to help doctor.” The lead shook her head, and leaned down for him to climb up, “it’s not something that can wait.”  Pudgy nodded, and climbed up, then rode onto once more as she headed down the long hall to the central command dome. Pudgy tossed the splint to a nearby runner, who took off towards the doctors with the splint in its mouth. They reached the hexagonal doors, which opened haltingly.  The Daedlus was busy as various section heads reported the status of the various domes.  As the triceratops approached, the Daedlus dismissed them. “Pudgy, good to hear that you were helping the doctors.  When last we spoke, you had got to the part where your human friend was hurt building the rocket.  I need to hear the rest of your story.” Pudgy nodded and started to continue.  As the various dinosaurs coordinated repair activities, they too listened. Pudgy did not hold back any details.  The critter knew that they would know and would let him know immediately if he didn’t tell them.  Plus, they were a hundred times bigger, so it is best to have happy dinosaurs, than angry ones. 

Although when he explained about Harvey, the Daedlus started to scowl.  Once the hedgehog completed his tale, the room grew quiet, waiting for the Daedlus to speak. It started with a scowl, then a small roar.  Pudgy looked down at the triceratops eyes, “is that bad?”  She nodded and backed up slowly. Pudgy was pretty sure a tirade of curse words was occurring, though he couldn’t understand. When the Daedlus calmed down, he turned towards a half moon station with several goggle wearing long neck dinosaurs. “Cut the power and air to the Alarian!”  The controllers nodded and started working the controls Pudgy watched as the dinosaurs pushed wide brightly colored buttons.  Dinosaur controls were much bigger, to accommodate a variety of physical styles. One by one, the screens behind the station indicated the power plant was being diverted. And soon, a sound like a chirping bird started, a young rainbow-colored dinosaur with feathers motioned, “Daedlus, the Alarian are contacting us.” The tyrannosaur nodded and turned to a flat silver wall.  Light shimmered, as a picture formed.  The advisors to the eldritch god appeared.  Pudgy noted, these aliens were not the ones who kept visiting his cabin. They were much fairer and were worried looks.  “Daedlus, why have you cut our power and air supplies?”  The tyrannosaur roared, “did you think you could hide this from us? You seek to free the eldritch being within this lunar form.  The Alarian advisors nodded, “we seek to free our Lord from this prison.  To return him to the glory that is rightfully his.”  It was then when they noticed the hedgehog watching in the background. They pointed, “his presence incensed our lord, and sped up the reacclimating process. 

The body is stirring, now that the mind and soul has been restored.”  The Daedlus growled, “what does that mean?” The advisors smirked, “soon your end will begin, and the lord’s glory shall begin.” The video feed cut out, leaving a room full of confused dinosaurs.  As the tyrannosaur turned back, he looked at Pudgy. “I know, your craft has been receiving a message from the earth, us that your leader Doomcock?”  Pudgy nodded, “yes Daedlus.  It is coming slow. Pudgy think dome block signal.” Pudgy watched a nod, and a toothy grin form. The Daedlus looked to the lead claw for the science and military forces. “I wish to speak, to this Doomcock. His enemy, has now become our enemy.”   A trio of communication dinosaurs started working the controls.  Soon, on the wall where the Alarian had appeared, Lord Doomcock appeared.  The Daedlus narrowed his eyes and spoke. “Lord Doomcock, I wish to speak to you about an Eldritch God problem.”  Diktor was in his full regalia and nodded. “Indeed, I think it is best to compare notes. Might I inquire as to the status of my hedgehog however?” The triceratops lead moved forward and beside the Daedlus, which allowed Diktor to better see Pudgy. The hedgehog waved, “Pudgy ok Lord Doomcock.  Dinosaurs real nice, treat Pudgy good.” The Daedlus grinned a bit, “let us make plans.”

As Pudgy was speaking to Doomcock, insidious laughter started to echo throughout the dome. The dinosaurs at their stations reported the laughter with its deep tones echoed throughout the hallways and connector corridors. Then the violent moon quakes began once more.  That same demonic laughter was throughout the pyramid structure where the Alarian ships were docked.  The advisors were standing on a wide ledge, overlooking the hangar bay with several craft floating. A chasm could be seen below the ships, that stretched far within the moon. Slowly at first, a large glowing red eye opened, and started to focus on the advisors. “We must be careful and evacuate the faithful. His madness may cloud his judgement, now that he has been restored.”  The other advisor pressed a button on his collar, “all faithful, return to the ships, we will proceed to the agreed upon rendezvous in the polar orbit.”  They watched as various gray aliens began to disappear one by one.  The quakes became much stronger, causing chunks of stone to fall from the ceiling above.  The advisors nodded to one another and left

Once the Alarian forces had been loaded. The large hangar doors began to open, and the ships exited one by one into space.  As they floated slowly out, huge black tentacles were floating around, reaching into the void of space.  The surface rocks were splitting apart. The eldritch God started to thrash, pulling himself out of the moon, gigantic clawed hands burst from under the lunar surface. The faint shimmer of green coloration returning to his blackened scaled skin.  The pyramid structure started to crack, and parts shoot out in all directions, floating into space, as his head began to emerge from the chasm below. “DOOOMCOCKK….I AWAKEN!”  His booming demonic voice resonated far and wide within the Dinosaur domes, and the Daedlus was doing his best to contain the fear of his compatriots.  They were still broadcasting to Xanadoom, and Lord Doomcock was reacting with a tirade of words neither Dinosaur nor Pudgy understood.  The hedgehog knew it was bad and watched him react in semi-real time as there was a transmission delay. 

Far away on Earth, one might think the awakening of the eldritch god, and potential destruction of the moon would make the news. But nope, the media continued to be too busy covering politics, and sports.  Though Comix Villain and his fellow villains were monitoring the moon activities with ground-based telescopes.  The black mass covered the moon, and rocks floating away, drew a frenzy of discussions. Frankun had even dropped big money on a Celestron telescope and was running a live video feed to LOVOC.  The alien ships could be seen in the live video feed.  The earth oceans were having huge tidal fluctuations, with higher than normal waves, as the moon went out if its normal orbit.  Even Snicklefritz had for admit, helping Pudgy was a good idea.  And from below in Xanadoom, Lord Doomcock had figured out a plan. “Daedlus, I believe I can stop this.  Pudgy, do you still have the containment crystal?” Pudgy was moved closer by the lead claw triceratops. “Yes, in lander. Harvey too far away now, Pudgy could never reach. ” The Daedlus motioned with a small clawed hand, “continue, lord Doomcock.”

“Harvey Cthulhu is too dangerous to be allowed to escape.  Using the crystal, if we can focus a laser through it, we will be able to create a void. Tear the fabric of reality and send him back from whence he came.” The Daedlus blinked, “while we can accommodate this, I must ask. How have you come to acquire this knowledge?”  Diktor sighed, “in my youth, I was a fool. I thought to experiment with the void, and I attracted attention.  I thought my solution smart, though I see now, how wrong I was.” The dinosaurs spoke in their guttural language for a time. Pudgy waved, “you brought Harvey here?” Diktor nodded, “yes. I hope to correct this error of judgement shortly. Daedlus, Xanadoom has one satellite in orbit of the earth. I can send a beam of energy to help boost your output.”  Daedlus nodded, “we accept your plan.  Construction will begin immediately, and we will communicate with the coordinates in due time.”  The wall grew dark, as Doomcock faded away. Pudgy was left confused, but ready to help.  The dinosaurs spoke to one another for a while, and then looked at the hedgehog. The Daedlus spoke softly, “Pudgy, to do this, we will need a craft to use…. yours.  You will never be able to go home again.”  Pudgy’s ears folded down, and he rubbed his chin with his paw as he thought. The room grew quiet, as Pudgy looked up. “Pudgy will miss Cobalt, he is Pudgy best friend.  But if Pudgy no agree, then everyone is hurt.  Pudgy say, let’s get started.”  The Daedlus nodded, “you may reside here as long as you may live. But first, we must construct the means to our survival. Lead claws coordinate with Pudgy.  We will build a satellite and use that to collect and focus the Xanadoom energy beam. Both the earth, and moon’s survival depend on it.”

The dinosaurs roared, and the hedgehog yelled roar too.  As the triceratops started to turn, she spoke, “Pudgy, you are doing a brave thing. Are you going to be all right?”  Pudgy looked down and sniffled, realizing he would never see Cobalt, Doomcock, or anyone ever again. But better to know they are alive and well, than see them scared and potentially hurt. The hedgehog nodded and held onto her horn as she started to pass through the hexagonal doors.  An hour quickly passed, with Pudgy stripping out the various components from the flight module: his food and water, oxygen tanks, helmets, tools, and other components.  He was making a pile, until a small dinosaur engineer brought metal box, for him to put his possessions. The taller engineers were busy taking measurements, making brackets and struts.   A shower of sparks sprayed, as grinders were stripping the heat shielding from the flight module. While the engineers worked, pudgy put the manual in the crate, which drew a look from the lead claw “Pudgy, what is that?”  The hedgehog nodded, “it is the manual how to fly lander.”  The lead claw blinked, and soon Pudgy was mobbed by engineers, who asked him to read aloud from the book. Pudgy knew he was going to have a long night, and opened a pouch if food, taking a sip.

Pudgy also shared his food pouches, as now there was no return trip, and squirted the cookie soup into a small dinosaur’s mouth when he got a curious look.  When the refined sugar hit, the dinosaur sped off like a bolt of lightning. The hedgehog watched as the module was altered and started to help pop the panels off, which revealed the air tanks. The engineering lead claw looked, “what are those?” Pudgy pointed, “oxygen tanks. If we take air out, can we use to fuel rockets?”  The dinosaur engineers nodded and started to carefully work.  As they worked, Doomcock was activating all of the power plants in Xanadoom. Unbeknownst to many, Xanadoom had a surface base, as well as a satellite in orbit.  As such, he was preparing the delicate task of connecting the various parts of this plan, he noticed the flight module’s transponder deactivated. The future ruler of the earth signaled the dinosaur moon colony.  A young carnosaurs dinosaur answered. He had a small horn, “yes lord Doomcock?” The lord nodded, “I lost communication with Pudgy’s flight module.” The Daedlus voice could be heard in the background “We are augmenting Pudgy’s craft, to send into orbit.  Your energy beam will connect, and then focus into the crystal, which powers the laser.” Doomcock started to choke, realizing what that meant.  Pudgy would never come back. “Is my hedgehog all right with this plan?”

The young dinosaur nodded, “he will be safe. He mentioned someone named Cobalt.  Can you let him know?”  Doomcock signed, “yes, I will.” As the feed ceased, the lord sat quietly. He had to do this delicately.  But for now, there was more important work to do.  The power cores were charging, and the geothermal power grid was charging up.  As the robot guards were in high alert within the realm, the time for orbital alignment was counting down.  Doomcock watched as Harvey continued to break free of the moon.  Far away, the Alarian watched as the eldritch god struggled to break free of the moon.  As the two advisors looked at the ocular viewing screen, Harvey’s body was not only changing color to a more natural green, he was growing.  “This is not good; he is growing too quickly.”  The aliens started to move their craft higher into lunar orbit, until one ship had a tentacle wrap around it.  In one horrifying movement, the ship was crushed, and imploded.  The short gray aliens started to float away into space.  The ships started evasive maneuvers. It was as they feared, Lord Cthulhu madness had begun.  The remaining ships tried to rescue their floating compatriots, dodging the flailing tentacles. The Alarian signaled the dinosaur colony.

The Daedlus appeared on the screen. “Lord Cthulhu’s mad, and attacked one of our ships.” The dinosaur leader nodded, “ah, perhaps it is best to consider changing your blind allegiance?”  The Alarian turned off the transmission, looking at each other.  Watching in horror as another ship was imploded by a tentacle wrapping around it.  “All ships, we must evacuate. As the transmission signal was broadcast, the remaining vessels started to move away, watching as the eldritch God’s feet burst forth, and he broke his body out of the moon.  He had finally broken free of his lunar prison. Surrounded by a cloud of lunar rock and dust, Harvey’s gaze turned upon the Earth, floating off in the distance, a silent blue marble floating in the distance. But first, he had business to attend to upon the moon. “Puddddgggyyy…” the demonic voice echoed throughout the moon domes and the Alarian ships.  It was not a voice fueled by the movement of soundwaves through the air, but that of a mental thought.  And as the dinosaurs worked frantically on the lander, Doomcock’s satellite was moving into position.   Time was running out, and Pudgy looked up out of the glass top of the dome, looking at Harvey. Pudgy spoke haltingly, “Harvey … please stop.  There no reason to do this.” The God’s face started to draw closer towards the dome. “Why should I? I can do anything I wish. Once I deal with you, and your newfound allies, i will deal with that fool Diktor…” the hedgehog frowned his ears folded down, and sniffled. 

As the eldritch God’s eyes fixated on the hedgehog, Pudgy started to float up as he was being psychically pulled up, then flung against the sides of the dome repeatedly.  The God laughed with an insidious tone, taking pleasure in the torment. The dinosaurs were concerned at what was happening to Pudgy, as he was flung repeatedly, from each side of the dome. But the god was fixated upon the hedgehog, they were able to drain the tanks of air and replace with fuel and reversing the flow.  The large brontosaurus pushed the lander with its focusing array, containment crystal, was as ready as it could be within the rushed time frame. As the airlock opened, the lead claw Triceratops roared, “stop it!” Pudgy was unconscious, floating in the center of the dome. The eldritch god turned his attention upon the dinosaur, “be QUIET dumb beast, how DARE YOU speak to a GOD! Once I extract my revenge upon Pudgy, I will destroy your colony, and the moon where it rests.  Then I shall deal with Diktor von Doomcock and remind him who rules this universe.  And when I am done, I will destroy this universe, and remake it in my image!”  A clawed hand with four outstretched fingers started to move towards the dome.  Pudgy opened his eyes weakly, having trouble focusing, as the room was spinning. He hurt all over and looked up at Harvey Cthulhu. “Is that so, Harvey?” Pudgy asked, with an unusually antagonistic tone.  The God’s hand stopped, “what was that hedgehog?” Pudgy coughed, “you will destroy the universe? What about your alien friends?” The eldritch one cackled, ” I do not need them. With one snap of my fingers, I will wipe their kind from the universe in an instant.”

Pudgy nodded, “pudgy see, they mean nothing to you … aliens …. you listen to Pudgy. We need stop Harvey …” Pudgy’s body contorted, and he was thrust hard into the stone floor below. “Will you be quiet past! Your adventures stop here and now!” The dinosaurs watched in horror as Pudgy lay motionless on the ground, while the brontosaurus had moved the lander into firing position. As the airlock sealed, the atmosphere was emptied from the chamber.  Once free of the dome’s interference, the transponder lit up on the Xanadoom control systems.  “Daedlus, fire the lander!” Doomcock shouted, as he activated the energy output.  The full might of his realm’s energy grid was outputting at 150%. The surface base started to glow, as the transmission tower shot a beam of pure energy into space, connecting to the satellite. As the alignment began, it relayed the beam, and fired it at the moon. In the control center on the moon the Daedlus roared, “FIRE!” Pudgy’s lander’s engines went to maximum thrust and started to lift off.  Blasting into space once more, sans one hedgehog.  The dinosaur engineers had figured out how to control the propulsion and flight control systems. So, teams of engineers were coordinating the launch of the array. The Daedlus watched on his main screen the energy beam coming towards them, “Where are we with the array? How soon till we can redirect the beam?”  The leader watched as a small circle that represented the craft moved on his screen. The lead engineer claw, “connection in 3…2…1….” the screen showed the energy beam connect to the craft.

Daedlus, shall we fire?”  The Daedlus roared his approval, and as all dinosaurs roared, the array redirected the beam straight at the eldritch god.  The Xanadoom crystal acted like a prism and focused the beam tighter. Striking the center of Harvey’s chest, pushing him away from the moon. The God thrashed, as he was pushed violently into space, away from the moon. “NO, HOW DARE YOU! I am a God; I am your better.”  As he continued to be pushed away, the beam started to widen, and envelop him into a bubble of golden energy. As Pudgy regained consciousness, he looked up and saw what was happening, and pulled out his crystal from beneath his space suit, it too was glowing golden. Holding the crystal tightly, “Harvey bad …. you hurt people, dinosaurs, aliens.  Pudgy no like you anymore! You go away forever!” Pudgy’s crystal shot a light beam straight up, which connected with the lander.  The eldritch god roared in pain mixed with fear, as the bubble started to change from containment to destruction.   An explosion of energy burst out of the lander, which destroyed it, as the final beam blasted Forth, obliterating Harvey Cthulhu. The mental roars stopped, and every silence commenced. Pudgy’s crystal was glowing bright green illuminating the dome with a soft bright light. Pudgy looked into the crystal but saw nothing.  The light faded and dimmed.  Tucking it back into his space suit, the hedgehog dropped onto the cold stone ground, and passed out.  Harvey Cthulhu was defeated, and the day was finally saved.  The dinosaurs roared as they cheered, but there was no waking up the hedgehog.

Far away Lord Doomcock was cheering as well, putting the power grid into outage mode. The satellite and surface transmitters were fried. As Xanadoom grew dark, the lord of the earth realized the nightmare was now over.  Collapsing into his chair, he poured himself a bourbon, and toasted his hedgehog charge and dinosaur allies.  A couple earth days had passed in the blink of an eye.  Lord Doomcock had received reports on his hedgehog legionnaire’s status.  After the events of the Cthulhu incident, Pudgy had been injured.  He was being cared for by their medical staff.  There had been no signs of Harvey, nor of his Alarian allies.  Their craft had scattered during the encounter with the Eldritch God. Xanadoom had returned to normal, though there was one major difference: silence.  The robots did make noise as they moved out and about, but there was no talking.  Harvey for all his faults, talked incessantly all day long.  It was a unique experience, one Diktor almost had forgotten about. It gave the ruler a time to reflect upon the events as of late.  And how to break it to Cobalt, that Pudgy was never coming back.  He had to be delicate, and that need for awareness of Cobalt’s feelings, had struck the normally eloquent lord silent.  For he too was saddened by the loss of the hedgehog’s presence. Yes, Pudgy was alive, he was far away, out of teleportation range.  There was no plan B for rescue, the lander was the only plan.

The robots having been ordered by Diktor, were disassembling the containment chamber that used to contain Harvey. He materials were being repurposed for various repairs to the power cores. It was as lord Doomcock surveyed his power plant; he pondered many things.  “You son of a,” Lord Doomcock turned, and saw a robot carrying a beam.  It beeped at him as it carried out the task assigned.  “I could have sworn I heard Harvey….”  it sounded like his voice but was faint.  Shaking his head, Diktor went back to work.  The Daedlus had recommended setting up communication channels between the moon colony and Xanadoom.  Steps were being taken in both locations to allow better communication. The future ruler recognized that having a contact up there, would be advantageous to his designs.  Pudgy could be connected to Cobalt also.  What Doomcock thought he heard, and dismissed, was in fact Harvey.  It was an errant communication from right before Pudgy changed the crystal from containment to obliteration.  The eldritch God’s anger was such, the psionic wave was cascading into the earth. Though it was a whisper, the danger had passed for now. Harvey woke up, hurting all over.  He was floating in a void of black space, with no light visible from any direction.  As the eldritch one opened his eyes, he extended his limbs and tentacles trying to loosen up as well as determine where he was. “You jerk think you have stopped me? I’ll be back in an instant, and boy you’ll be sorry!”

Extending a clawed hand, he started to chant in the old tongues. He would open portal and continue his revenge. But nothing happened, so he chanted again.  Still, nothing occurred “What is this? Why are my spells not working? Darn you Pudgy, what did you do?!?!” What the hedgehog had done, was the worst possible thing to do.  He cast Harvey into the void of oblivion.  There was no escape, and Harvey Cthulhu let forth a string of vulgarities that if anyone could hear them, would cause one to flee and hide. So, the eldritch god floated, cursing into the darkness.  “Darn you Pudgy!!!!!!” And with a jolt, the hedgehog woke up screaming.  Having cast Harvey into the void, he saw the last image of his whereabouts.  A concerned dinosaur walked over and patted his head gently. “There, there little one.  It’s all right.” Pudgy started wailing and crying.  The flood of emotions was pouring out, having been hidden by excitement and resolve.  The doctors were kind and patient, though they knew this reaction was not conducive to a speedy recovery.  The female doctor, a micro raptor had been assigned to Pudgy.  She was only 16 inches long, so while still bigger than Pudgy by a factor of 3, she was better suited at helping him. The hedgehog had been moved to the medical clinic. Tucked away in an alcove, the dinosaurs had tried to make a bed to accommodate their new resident. As the doctor calmed Pudgy, she tucked him back in. “Please rest, you need to recover.” Yellow eyes watched him, with a concerned tilt to her eyelids.

Pudgy nodded and fell quickly asleep Pudgy woke up the next day and could leave the medical clinic.  It was at ground level; he could see the most details.  For instance, the stone floors were cut in such a way to mimic what an actual forest ground would look like.  Though the leaves were way too big. When he would reach a junction, Pudgy would scamper between large dinosaur feet, as they walked and stomped by.  Once safely across, he noticed the hallways were hexagonal too.  As he stood there, several therinozaurs scampered over to join Pudgy.  They looked like raptors, but had long claws, almost like needle nose pliers.  They had dark green skin, and white eyes.  “Hi Pudgy! Greetings Pudgy!” They all chattered, hissing afterwards.  Pudgy waved, “hello everyone.  Where are you going?” They bounced happily, “we’re going to the play, you should come too!”  Pudgy nodded and scampered along in the pack.  They were quick, and showed Pudgy a secret path, which kept the small dinosaurs safe as they travelled.  Climbing an inclined ramp, they emerged along a wide platform overlooking a gathering spot.  Various dinosaurs were gathered, including the lead claws and Daedlus. Pudgy stayed with his group, and they settled in for the show.  A pterodactyl was hanging from above, holding a light to shine on a raptor, painted white, wearing a black Cape. “Today, we tell the tale of our escape to the moon…” The neighboring groups of dinosaurs looked up, and saw Pudgy with the pack of little ones, and grinned.  Some waved, which drew the attention of the costumed speaker.  He pointed, “it is fortuitous today, our tale can be heard by our newest resident.” Pudgy settled in, listening. The play was quite good, and the sets were adequate to convey the scenes. All sorts of dinosaurs were acting out the day the asteroid fell from the skies. Pudgy couldn’t understand some parts, the language barrier was too great to overcome. But the acting was top notch.

Another day passed on the moon, and Pudgy had been assigned various jobs with the engineers.  The domes had been damaged, which required both inside and outside repairs.  After a brief training course, pudgy was suited up with his space suit, helmet, and recharged air tank. He had his tools, and was assigned to a Razar military raptor, who made sure both he and the domes were ok.  The hedgehog was suitably sized to get into the tight places’ dinosaurs could not get to.  It had been a couple of hours outside in space, when Pudgy crawled out of an exhaust port, covered in black dust, when he saw the earth in the distance.  He sighed, as he was now very homesick.  Pudgy missed Cobalt, the nice twitter people, hugs, cookies, his cabin. He wondered what Mister Dino was doing.  The raptor gave him a quizzical look, and Pudgy bounced down, floating along the way.  Outside the domes was moon gravity, inside was more earthlike gravity.  He bounced along with the raptor, “2 more places to go Pudgy, then we can return.”  Pudgy waved, and then scooted along a leaking seam.  He had a three-part process which started with squirting a tube of green stuff on the leak, which resembled caulk.  Then he used a scraper to spread it, then a light tube which was hot, to cure the patch.  The engineers said it would be just like metal when done. The critter continued, keeping his head down and focused on the task at hand. “You son of a….” pudgy heard Harvey’s voice again.  So too did the raptor, who looked around. “I don’t see anyone, where did that voice come from?” Pudgy shook his head, moving to the next leaking section.

“Do you think you can ignore me?”  Pudgy blinked, “be quiet Harvey, Pudgy working.”  It was Harvey Cthulhu, talking telepathically somehow.  The dinosaur looked around, “I don’t see him!”  Harvey cackled, “just because you made me leave your dimension, does not mean you won.  It is only a matter of time until my followers will set me free.”  Pudgy finished the patch and stood up. “You hurt your followers too, the dinosaurs said you destroyed 2 ships.”  The eldritch god laughed with an evil tone. “What do I care about their safety, they swore an oath to me.  I can do with them as I please!” Pudgy stomped his foot, “No you can’t! Pudgy know they not bad people, they had to do what you said. Now you gone, they free.” The hedgehog looked at the raptor, “clear mind, no listen to Harvey.  We made him go away.”  The raptor nodded and hummed a tune. Pudgy bounced along besides, heading to airlock. Harvey hissed, but soon he was shut out.  Again, the eldritch one was floating in his dark void, cut off from Pudgy’s universe. The god was testing his boundaries, and psionic messages seemed to work. His followers however were not responding to his queries though.  He would try once more, so Harvey closed his eyes and concentrated.  He was able to reach one of his Alarian advisors. “My Lord Cthulhu, I thought we were bereft of your leadership forever.”  The eldritch god laughed, “temporarily gone, but not forever. What is the status of my fleet?” The advisor did not immediately respond.  After an uncomfortable silence, the alien spoke, “my lord, the fleet has disbanded. Your followers have scattered.” Harvey’s blood started to boil, “WHAT?!?!” The advisor sighed, “you destroyed 2 ships, countless lives lost. They are understandably concerned if we free you, you will do this once again.  We heard, what you said to the hedgehog.”  Harvey roared, ” I am your God, you will do what I say!”  The silence was deafening, “Alarian, respond to me!”  There was no response. He roared, and thrashed, but in the void, there was no one to respond.  “DARN YOU PUDGY!”  Blinking, “why can’t I swear?”  The eldritch God was dumbfounded and began to think upon this.  Why would that be the case?” Because I dislike foul language ….” a disembodied voice echoed from far below Harvey.

As the god pondered, far away Pudgy was exiting the air lock, returning to the dome.  The hedgehog turned off his air tank and opened the face shield.  “Boy, pudgy wonder if anyone else heard that “the raptor shook her head, “I hope not.  But….” the raptor sniffed, and hissed. Pudgy unclipped his hammer and stood behind the raptor, “pudgy got back.” Several raptors also hissed nearby, as several gray aliens appeared within the dome.  Their unblinking black eyes stared at Pudgy.  They all started to point three fingered hands at Pudgy.  Pudgy scampered towards one alien. “What you want?” The aliens started to move towards the center of the dome, forming a circle.  As a silver light formed, one of the tall Alarian advisors appeared.  “We come in peace. We were … misled …by Cthulhu.” Pudgy’s watched, still holding his rock hammer.  The raptors all watched, but stood guard, blocking the doors to the other hallways.  A micro raptor took off quick to let command know.  Pudgy moved closer, “Pudgy unsure if can trust aliens.  But Pudgy know Harvey bad, and lies, so maybe you are all right?”   The Alarian nodded, “yes, we Do not wish you, nor your friends harm. We wish to make amends.”  The raptor walked up beside Pudgy “how would you do that?”  The Alarian smiled, “we will help repair the colony, and give Pudgy a ride home.  We saw you send your craft up, so you have no way home to Earth.”

Pudgy looked hopeful, “you can help Pudgy go home?”  The gray aliens nodded, and Pudgy bounced.  Though as he looked up, the raptor looked sad.  “Pudgy, we need to discuss this with the Daedlus. We cannot fully trust them, they did side with Cthulhu” The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy agree.”  Pudgy yawned, and rubbed his sides which drew a glance from his raptor companion. “Pudgy, there is no need for you to stay here, we will handle the Alarian.  You can head back to your dome. You did good work today.”  Pudgy hugged the dinosaur’s leg, and then scampered off. The aliens watched, but when the hedgehog got go the hexagonal doors, they would not open.  The Daedalus’ voice filled the room, “all forces, remain in bay 4. Alarian, I have been monitoring your conversation.  Do you promise to return our Hedgehog back to the earth?”  The tall Advisor nodded, “you have our word.  We will go to high orbit and make atmospheric entry.  We cannot land, however.  It would be sun time for his home.”  The dinosaurs chattered in their guttural language.  Then the engineer lead claw spoke, “pudgy, there should be materials in bay 4, you can make a glider.  With your air supply, you would be able to reach the surface.”  The aliens nodded silently, and Pudgy looked around. The advisor nodded, “yes, that plan would work.”  So, the group of dinosaurs and aliens started to help Pudgy construct a glider. 

The dinosaurs also helped to recharge the air tanks in Pudgy’s pack.  After a short time passed, the glider was ready, and resembled a pterodactyl. Pudgy looked up, “Daedalus, lead claws, Razar, thank you for letting Pudgy stay here. Pudgy glad to meet you all.  Pudgy consider all Friends.  If come to earth, Pudgy will host party.”  There were various goodbyes, and sad dinosaurs making various comments.  All were positive, with the Daedlus speaking last. “We were not aware of you, nor what happened on Earth.  I am glad you came here Pudgy Hedgehog.  Safe travels, our friend.  And Alarian, please deliver our friend home safe.”  The advisor nodded, “we will Daedlus, on behalf of my people, I apologize. The wrongs of Cthulhu shall be righted, and our people will Assist yours.  Pudgy, it is time.”  An intense white light filled the room, and in a flash of light, all aliens, pudgy, and glider were gone.  The raptors looked around, looking a bit sad.  But it was clear the hedgehog needed to go home.  He had used up all his supplies.  There was only this funny little box he had, which didn’t work. The engineers however were working on it. As the dinosaurs looked through the various dome windows, they saw the cigar shaped craft lift off from the lunar surface and quickly speed off to the earth.  The little dinosaurs whimpered, as they had fun with Pudgy exploring.  Their elders consoled them, while the lead claw triceratops looked thoughtful. 

In a blink of an eye, the bright white light was gone, and Pudgy found himself strapped into the glider falling at a fair rate of speed.  The aliens in seconds travelled from the moon to the earth, and dropped Pudgy off in the high atmosphere, right below the part where objects burn up. Pudgy’s crystal crackled, “we’re sorry Pudgy.  Please tell your friend, we did not want to hurt him.”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy understand.  Accept apology.  Will tell Cobalt. Please help the dinosaurs.”  The Advisor spoke, “yes we will.  Now Pudgy, do not extend the wings of your glider till you see what are called clouds. We must go now.” The sound of silence was deafening, though Pudgy was not afraid.  It was still dark, so he could not see what was below yet.  He could feel the Earth’s gravity, which was a nice but heavy feeling. As whispers of moisture started to appear on his face shield, Pudgy saw the clouds.  Pushing feet and paw levers, the Pterodactyl glider extended its wings, and Pudgy started to fly.  The downward trajectory leveled off.  As Pudgy looked go the horizon, he started to see the sun rise.  It was a welcome sight to see, and awe inspiring.  Streaks of pink and red illuminated as far as the eyes could see.  It was also when Pudgy saw the blackness below him.  Pudgy was over an ocean, though his radio started to pick up a radio station. “Good morning everyone, it’s Greg James.  Today on the morning show on BBC one.” Pudgy blinked, “Pudgy near Great Britain!” He started to see the shape appear, as the island formed.  

Adjusting the trim, he tried to slow his descent, but he was picking up speed, and saw there was a big island to the north west, and another much bigger one ahead of him. “Pudgy unsure, is that Ireland?”   He quickly flew over the first Island, crossed another sea, and then was over the next island’s land mass.  He could see train tracks as Pudgy continued to fly, morning came.  The glider started to fall apart, with the wings starting to shred.  The air gauge was also in the red mark, with 10 psi left.  He had to land soon, trying to find a safe area to land.  A couple of lakes were coming up, with lots of grass covered fields, so Pudgy chose to land there.  He had no landing gear, so it was going to be a rough landing.  Kicking the tail back, he crashed into the ground, hard.   As the glider ripped and broke apart, the hedgehog was thrust forward and flung into the lake.  The various metal and fabric parts started landing in and around the water.  Pudgy floated face down in the water stunned, but ok.  After he regained his senses, he swam ashore, and crawled out.  The air gauge was zero psi, so he popped open his face shield.  Coughing hard, he took a deep breath of fresh air, and dropped onto his rear end in the muddy shoreline. His radio was busted, having been damaged when he landed. As the filthy, mud covered, space suit clad hedgehog emerged from the lake, a human woman was approaching wearing a jogging outfit. Pudgy waved as the woman walked up quickly, “my word, what do we have here?”  Pudgy looked up and sniffed, seeing her reddish colored hair and kind concerned eyes looking at him.  “Hi, my name is Pudgy.”  Her dark red lips drew into a smile. ” hello Pudgy, do you remember visiting me before?”

Pudgy looked at her and remembered, “Purple lady 853, Pudgy remember.  Does that mean Pudgy in Great Britain?”   Purple lady nodded, “yes, you are in Sutton Park, outside of Birmingham.  Pudgy, you look like you have been on another adventure?”  The hedgehog nodded and immediately collapsed from exhaustion.  As the woman knelt, she saw the space suit and air tanks strapped to his back. “Oh my god, you really did go to the moon. It’s gravity sickness, I think.  Don’t move Pudgy!” She had read the Twitter posts, and thought Cobalt was being silly again.  As the concerned woman looked around, she saw a variety of metal debris scattered around. “Well your spaceship is destroyed.  I’m taking you to my house.” The hedgehog didn’t protest and was in and out of consciousness.  As the woman picked him up, she hurried to get to her car.  She had to get her hedgehog friend to her home quickly, it would not be safe to leave him alone in a strange area.    Many hours later, Pudgy woke up.  He hurt all over, and it was difficult to breathe. Looking around, he was in someone’s house.  He had been placed on a folded blanket and looked like he was on a table.  There was a not folded and standing up in front of him. “Pudgy, please rest. I will be back from work later with goodies and Starry-Eyed Girl 11 for a visit. She lives nearby and wants to see you too.  Purple lady.”  Pudgy nodded, and took off his helmet and oxygen tank pack, setting it beside him.  He immediately fell back to sleep.  The hedgehog was safe.

Pudgy woke up again and looked around.  It appeared he was in the kitchen, as he could see the stove and cabinets. He reached into his suit and tapped the Xanadoom crystal. “Lord Doomcock, are you there?”  The crystal hissed as it glowed a yellowish white color, “PUDGY?!?!” Doomcock’s voice rang out, and Pudgy smiled thirdly. “Pudgy made it safely back to earth.  Alarian agree help dinosaurs and Pudgy.  Flew back to high orbit, and Pudgy use glider to fly to ground.  Pudgy in Great Britain now, at Purple Lady house.”  The future ruler laughed, “You have had me worried sick.  I am so glad you were able to arrange transport back to the earth.  You must come to Xanadoom, I want to hear everything.  The teleportation grid will be online within 8 hours.  I see you on the map now. You just rest, it will take time for you to reacclimate to normal gravity and oxygen levels.”  Pudgy nodded, “hurt to breathe, pudgy hurt all over, not moving unless have to.”  Diktor sighed, “I do not wish you to be hurt, but you saved the world and Xanadoom.  If anyone deserves to rest, it is you.  I will let you rest, we will talk later.  Doomcock out.” As the transmission ended, Pudgy fell asleep again.  Meanwhile, a very excited conversation was occurring on twitter with the Darlings.  Purple lady had messaged Starry Eyed Girl 11 about coming over to see Pudgy.  It was turning into a delightful affair.  Cobalt had been notified, and he responded quickly.  Thanking Purple lady for taking care of his hedgehog friend. Unbeknownst to Pudgy, she had a camera with app, so she could access her kitchen. The hedgehog wasn’t moving in most shots. But the tank and helmet were off, so that meant her was still alive just tired.

Pudgy woke up with two giggling ladies sitting at the kitchen table looking at him.  He rubbed his eyes with his paws and sat up.  Waving, he was feeling better. Starry eyed girl smiled, adjusted her glasses, brushing an errant strand of brown hair behind her ear. “Hello Pudgy.” Purple lady smiled too, “I’m glad you’re awake. Are you feeling ok?”  Pudgy nodded, and weakly bounced. “Pudgy feel bit better. Doomcock said it space sickness.  Pudgy spent too much time in space.”  Starry blinked her eyes twice, “Pudgy, you went to space?” The hedgehog nodded on the stove; a silver metal hot water kettle started to whistle.  As Purple lady got up from the table, she patted Pudgy’s head.  He smiled and watched her pour the hot water into a Doomcock tea pot.  “Pudgy, what type of tea do you like?”  Pudgy looked confused, “there’s more than one?”  The women giggled, and Starry opened a long box labelled assorted biscuits. “Pudgy could use a cookie, but biscuits sound good.”  As Purple lady returned with the tea pot, she sat down.  And picked out a fox biscuit, handing it to the hedgehog.  He started nibbling as the women talked about work, and local politics.  The hedgehog listened and munched.  It turns out cookies are called biscuits in Great Britain. Pudgy would have thought this to be strange, but he just fought an eldritch god on the moon with dinosaurs. 

Starry set up a tablet, and turned it on, soon other Darlings started to appear in little squares.  Bionic Belly Button and Stellar Heather waved excitedly. Bionic excitedly spoke, “hi Pudgy, how did you get to Britain?” So, the hedgehog started his grand tale, though he couldn’t act out scenes as he easily got winded.  The gathering was fun, and Pudgy learned all sorts of things.  As he started to explain about the moon, their eyes went wide.   Blood honey 78 raised her hand, in her little box on the tablet, “so Harvey is gone now?” Pudgy nodded, and the gathering got quiet.  Purple lady filled a little cup of tea for the hedgehog.  He started to sip it and listened to the Darlings talk amongst themselves.  Pudgy settled in and smiled.  Starry patted his head, and he started to fall asleep again until she shook him gently. He looked up as she smiled, “Pudgy, are you all right?” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy ok, can’t believe it over now. Pudgy visit Doomcock. Saved Santa, flew to moon, fought eldritch god, met moon dinosaurs.  Pudgy don’t know what to do now?”  The women laughed, and Lynn waved, “I’m sure you will find a new adventure soon.” As the hours passed, one by one people left the chat.  Starry had to leave, early day tomorrow at work.  She got a hug from Pudgy before she left.  Pudgy also hugged Purple lady several times as she cleaned up from the get together.  She hummed a tune that Pudgy didn’t recognize.  Pudgy’s crystal began to hiss, “Pudgy, are you reading me?” Pudgy waved at the curiously watching woman. “Hail Doomcock!”  She walked over and could hear his voice coming out from Pudgy’s space suit. “Hail Purple lady!” She giggled and leaned in closer. “Hail Doomcock! Pudgy is doing much better, tea and biscuits helped.”  The lord laughed heartily, “thank you my dear friend for taking good care of our hedgehog legionnaire. I need to bring him to Xanadoom.  I am sure he spoke of his travels.”  She nodded, “yes, starry was here earlier too, along with a conference of darlings.”  Doomcock laughed, “too bad I missed that.”  the hedgehog hugged her arm, looking up at her.  She smiled and hugged back. 

Watching him scamper back, he slung on the pack and helmet, “Pudgy ready for transport.  Bye Purple lady.” He waved, vanishing in a gray shimmering mist.  She smiled and giggled at the events of today.  She also wondered about where Xanadoom was.  As she pondered these things, the hedgehog appeared on Doomcock’s teleporter grid chamber.  The lord was standing by a computer terminal and waved. “Greetings Pudgy, welcome back to Xanadoom.” The hedgehog dropped onto his rear again, and weakly waved. As Diktor walked over, he knelt to pick up the hedgehog.  “Time to get you out of that suit, a hot bath, and supper.” He stood up and walked over to a nearby counter with stainless steel sink.  Setting Pudgy down on the black counters, the hedgehog started to remove his pack and helmet.  Diktor took a moment to examine what Pudgy was using. “These look like air tanks for a bi-pap machine, with a scuba regulator?”   The critter struggled to get the suit off, looking sad up at him.  The lord laughed and helped him out of the outer layer of suit.  It was then when the smell hit his nose. The interior layers were stained, and stunk.  A mixture of sweat, urine, excrement, had marinated for many weeks.  It was times like these, when having oxygen and filters in his helmet were very helpful. Switching them on, he helped Pudgy to the sink, and turned on the warm water.  He soaped him up good and scrubbed gently.  Pudgy was so weak, he couldn’t resist.  The warm water felt so good. As Diktor put the space suit into a metal box and sealed it, he washed his hands.  Then retrieved Pudgy to dry him off. Placing the hedgehog into a tray, he weighed him. “10 ounces…” Pudgy had lost over half his weight, so Doomcock knew his recovery would be lengthy.  He fell asleep in the tray, shivering as the lord smiled beneath his mask, picking up the furry critter carefully. “Dinner can wait, time to put you to bed.” Turning, the future ruler walked out of the laboratory to the residence floor of his fortress.  “You have had a busy half year Pudgy, time for a rest.”

Pudgy woke up in a big bed, swaddled in several blankets.  As he rubbed his eyes with his paws, he saw he was in a bedroom.  The furnishings were sparse, but he was warm and breathing much easier now.  As the hedgehog started to roll over, he found a tablet computer with the Xanadoom crest on it.  Pudgy touched it, and Doomcock’s picture appeared, then a word document loaded. “Dear Pudgy.  Please stay here, you need to recover.  I will stop by later.  Doomcock.”  As the little critter read aloud, he noticed twitter load.  Pudgy could message people, with the first message he contacted Cobalt.  His friend immediately responded and was relieved that his friend was ok and safe in Xanadoom. Pudgy also contacted several others, though his dinosaur friend was not responding for some reason.  Pudgy also found the video app, and noticed that the lord was subscribed to CBS, so he queued up Picard and started watching.  He watched all the episodes, and was on 4, when Diktor opened the dark wooden door. He was carrying a metal tray and smiled. Diktor had his cloth mask on, so his lower jaw was exposed.  As he walked over to set the tray on a small night st as and beside the twin bed he laughed, “I see you are up my hedgehog friend.  What do you think of Picard?”  Pudgy looked up and waved, “Pudgy think show ok. Don’t wanna watch again.” The lord laughed and started to examine Pudgy.  Taking notes, he checked his vitals, then nodded.  “You are much better now.  I was worried, my friend.”  Pudgy nodded and looked up at Lord Doomcock.  “Where Pudgy?”  Diktor nodded, “this is in my fortress, a guest room.  I know it is not decorated, but … I don’t get many visitors.” He laughed and Pudgy smiled, “Pudgy think wonderful.”

The bed had red blankets, and there was a soft red plush chair beside the golden oak nightstand.  Across the room was a golden oak small table and chair as well.  Diktor handed him a pouch of water, like the space food pouches that he used prior, and after undoing the cap, took a long sip of water.  Pudgy bounced slightly, as he looked up at him. “Pudgy, what happened…. please start from when Harvey first attacked.” The hedgehog nodded and started to tell his story.   Hours passed, and Doomcock took many notes, asking questions along the way. After the story was over, the two sat quietly in the softly lit doom.  There were no lamps, the room had upward directed light sources recessed into the walls. The light illuminated the ceiling as and dispersed through the room. “It will not be the same without Harvey Cthulhu.  I got used to his banter.”  Pudgy frowned, “Pudgy liked Harvey, but he was going to hurt everyone…. Pudgy….” he started to whimper. Diktor patted his head softly, “there, my friend. It’s over. We’re all safe, thanks to you. Just rest, you earned it.”  The hedgehog snuggled back into his blankets and sipped from the water pouch. Changing the subject to calm him down, Diktor filled him in on what had happened since Pudgy left. The hedgehog smiled and listened. The two talked for hours, until Pudgy fell asleep.  Diktor arranged a couple small plates around Pudgy, with food. Then quietly excused himself from the room.  As the door shut, the lord sighed. “It would seem….” Harvey’s voice filled the stone hall. “Do you think you have won Diktor?”  The lord laughed, “no my friend, I know it is only a matter of time till you free yourself from the void my hedgehog legionnaire sent you to. Though this time, I will not be so foolish to welcome you.”  The eldritch god hissed, “don’t forget it was your arrogance that summoned me to your world, Diktor.” The lord sighed, “Yes, I am aware of that. I am in full knowledge of my mistakes.” Harvey’s voice laughed with demonic tones and faded away.  Doomcock nodded, “but next time we meet, I will handle things myself.” Making a fist, he slammed it against the wall scowling.

As the days passed Pudgy became stronger, and soon was able to scamper around.  He stayed primarily in his guest room. He bounced and laughed with Doomcock.  On Friday night he sat quietly, and watched the lord do his frolics stream, but fell asleep when he hit the 3-hour mark.  So, as Saturday morning quickly arrived, Doomcock entered Pudgy’s room.  “Pudgy, while I would love for you to stay here, I think it is time you should head home to Cobalt.”  Pudgy looked up and nodded. “Can Pudgy still come back to Xanadoom?”  The lord nodded, “yes, certainly.  But, one thing is for certain, I want you to rest.  There will be no more adventures for a long time, my hedgehog friend.” Diktor smiled and walked over to pick up Pudgy.  The hedgehog bounced and snuggled up against him as he carried him through the fortress. “Harvey has been talking to me, occasionally.”  Pudgy looked up, “do not listen to him. If we all forget, Harvey will go away forever.”  The lord laughed, “it doesn’t work that way my friend.  Cthulhu will return one day, our victory is fleeting, and in time he will return.  When that day happens, I will be ready and waiting.”  Pudgy wiggled, “and Pudgy and Cobalt will help too.”  The lord laughed heartily.  As they reached the elevator, Diktor looked down. “Pudgy, I will be sending you back to Cobalt.  He let me know, your cabin was destroyed during the rocket lift off.” Pudgy started to look sad, and the ruler hugged gently, “it will be all right. I suspect you two will have a plan ready shortly.” Pudgy looked thoughtful, “well, Pudgy does like hobbit.”  As the elevator door opened, Diktor laughed. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hedgehog.  Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

Pudgy bounced happily, “but need room for Cobalt and Doomcock to sit in.” Diktor laughed, “yes, and a patio so we can host your mister Dino friend.  Oh, we should let the moon know you are safe.”  Pudgy bounced, and watched as Doomcock exited the elevator, heading down the hallway towards the laboratory. As the frosted glass door swung open, the lights turned on, one by one.  Doomcock sat down at his computer and placed Pudgy beside him on a metal table.  Quickly, he started typing, using the mouse to launch the communication systems.  A telephone sound started, “pudgy hope you have unlimited minutes.”  The two laughed, until the computer screen clicked, then a window screen appeared, and the Daedlus appeared. “Greetings Lord Doomcock, do you have news?”  Diktor nodded, “yes Daedlus.”  The lord reached over and picked up Pudgy to hold him in view of the camera. Pudgy waved, “hello Daedlus. Pudgy make it safely back to earth. Pudgy got sick, but all better now.” Soon many dinosaurs crowded the window, all talking excitedly. An hour passed quickly, which would have gone on for long, had the Daedlus not stepped in. All the dinosaurs wished Pudgy well, and soon the transmission ended.  Doomcock sat Pudgy on his station teleporter pad beside the terminal. As Pudgy put on his little vest, he checked that the crystal was tucked safely away in its tight pocket, he also found his legionnaire card. “Pudgy, the transporter is warming up.”  The hedgehog bounced off the pad, and into Doomcock’s lap and started hugging him. The lord hugged back gently, and after a long quiet moment, placed the hedgehog back upon the teleportation pad. “Goodbye for now, Pudgy.  I know we will see each other again soon.  I will check upon you occasionally.” Pudgy waved, “Goodbye Lord Doomcock.  Pudgy can’t wait to see you again too.” As Diktor worked the controls, pudgy started to shimmer, and then poof he disappeared.  Xanadoom grew quiet once more, and the future ruler of the earth sat alone in the lab.  When Pudgy appeared, he was in Cobalt’s basement. The little hedgehog rubbed his eyes with his paws and saw all of his cabin belongings tucked away in the corner. The home crystal which had been under the cabin was glowing brightly, as Cobalt had it connected to a power strip plugged into an electrical outlet.  Pudgy scampered quickly to the basement steps and started to climb them as quick as he could muster. “COBALTTTT…PUDGY HOME!” The excited hedgehog shouted, as he made it to the top of the stairs panting.  Cobalt ran over and knelt picking up his friend and hugged they didn’t speak for a long time, and Cobalt carried him over to the couch, still hugging gently. Cobalt smiled as the hedgehog curled up in his lap looking up at him.  “You’re home Pudgy.  Your adventure is over, “the man said quietly as his hedgehog friend fell asleep.

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

One reply on “Cthulhu Protocol”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s