There was a delivery from Agway was happening at Pudgy’s house. Stacks of fence posts were being unloaded. The hedgehog was up to something. Survey markers were all over his little property. It was shortly afterwards when Pudgy the hedgehog announced, “operation visit Doomcock is a go!” He put on a mining helmet, with a little light, headed into a small cave nearby. Hours passed, and Pudgy emerged from the mine shaft dirty. He took a long drink of water from the happy little stream that babbled through his property. Dirt and rock had been strategically moved around his property. Reality was starting to settle in quickly as he started to ponder where he was going to put 21 cubic miles worth of dirt and rock?
Cobalt stopped by after work, finding little piles of rock and dirt scattered around. Pudgy had been filling in holes and making bank improvements around the streams that ran along his property. He found the mine opening: ” hello Pudgy.” There was a good echo, but no answer. Cobalt shouted into the mine opening, “Pudgy, you get up here now!” The man’s voice echoed several times, however after several minutes later, a faint response called back confirming he would return. Cobalt checked his phone, and he had to address something from his job, and headed back to his home.
Pudgy exited the mine a couple of hours later and went to his little cabin. He needed to clean up, which he did using the water spilling from the trough that fed his water wheel. The hedgehog entered his home and made a quick supper. He had a busy day, so he went to bed early, and fell fast asleep. Pudgy woke up in a lot of pain. He really overdid it yesterday. Pudgy has respect for miners who do this every day. If you know someone who is a miner, you should hug them today. He added an extra blankie, and went back to sleep muttering, “ow…ow….ow…”
The next day Cobalt found a job elimination notice at Pudgy’s house. The hedgehog used to work at a school. His job was turning the speed limit sign off and on each day. Sadly, his job was replaced with a light timer. Cobalt had received a note earlier from Pudgy that his depth was 100 feet down. Pudgy wondered if there was a coal mine below? To aid the hedge’s plan, Cobalt had found a map of mine systems throughout the united states. As Pudgy studied Cobalt’s map, he determined that he was only 100 feet away from coal mine shaft! If the map was indeed correct, it could go all way to the West Virginia border. The excited critter put on his mining helmet then carefully scampered off as it was raining. The hedgehog disappeared into the mine.
Cobalt stopped by Pudgy’s house and found his house empty. The man walked over to the mine and shouted, “hey Pudgy!” He eased down onto a nearby rock next to the mine opening and waited for his hedgehog friend to return. Some time passed and Pudgy excited the mine, waving happily to his human friend. “Pudgy found the coal mine, it goes on forever and ever!” Cobalt nodded in affirmation, “all right, however we need to keep you safe. You’re going to start using safety ropes, equipment, and nonflammable light sources. Our future ruler of the Earth would be sad if you got hurt.” The hedgehog nodded and bounced happily into his cabin. Cobalt smiled and headed back to his home nearby. Pudgy decided to take a very warm bath. The hedgehog locked his door, then added some pellets to the stove. Climbing into bed, he pulled up his official Cybertronic band blankie. Drifting off to sleep, he dreamed of pleasant things, muttering, “Goodnight twitter land.”
The next day Pudgy woke up, excitedly was packing supplies in a little backpack. The plan for today was to explore the coal mine he discovered. He would probably find nothing in the abandoned coal mine that had been sealed for 50 years. Exiting his house, Pudgy locked the door to proceed to scamper into the mine. After some time to travel down, he reached the huge, dark, and dead silent mine. Calling out hello, his voice didn’t even echo. The antique mining lamp that Cobalt was able to locate for him was not strong due to the size necessary for him to carry it. The light stretched only a foot in front of him, so he proceeded carefully forward. It was not long afterwards that he started to find things left by the miners. The treasures he located ranged from world war one newspapers, and Irish whiskey bottles of various states of usage from the 1920’s.
Pudgy found a newspaper, dirty and ripped in places next to what looked like a bucket of tar. It was oil for the lamps. Pudgy found another newspaper, this one proclaimed world war two was over which he was glad. The hedgehog started to wonder how old this mine was. He continued to explore, eventually he found signs labelled main shaft. Some quiet moments later he peered into the dark abyss below, it was deeper than anything he had ever seen before. Tossing a stone into the shaft, the hedgehog began to count. 400 seconds of counting passed before he heard a faint rattle as the stone hit the floor below. He also found an empty bottle of bourbon nearby during his measurements.
Pudgy was frustrated, as he could not find a safe way down. As the hedgehog was about to turn back, something started to vibrate inside of his pack. Unhooking his back from his back, he sat it gently down onto the ground below him. Upon opening his pack, he found a green crystal. When he touched the crystal, it began to glow and a familiar higher pitched voice called out. “Pudgy, are you receiving me?” Pudgy bounced happily and excited spoke, “Pudgy here, found mine, Pudgy think 800 feet down. Cobalt found mine maps, so Pudgy think can dig tunnels to each. Would see Doomcock and you in couple of months.”
The eldritch God laughed heartily before he spoke again, “are you following the coordinates I gave you?” The hedgehog nodded, though no one could see it as he answered. “Yes, Pudgy promise not to ever reveal where Xanadoom located.” Pudgy was happy to have Harvey to talk to, as it was lonely in the mine. The hedgehog wondered silently if Doomcock could use the crystal too. Pudgy packed the crystal carefully back into his backpack. Then kept exploring, until he found a ladder. The ladder was meant for humans, and it was one Cobalt would use made from wood. Pudgy continued to explore hoping to find an alternative way down. As the hours passed, the hedgehog decided the ladder was the best option. He successfully was able to descend the ladder to the bottom most section of the mine. It was cold and dark, but the discovery of old cans of lamp oil and whiskey, allowed him to refill his lamp. Pudgy had found his staging ground, and a place where he could put 12 cubic miles of dirt and material as he continued his downward travels.
Harvey had been quiet, most likely due to Doomcock being present. But the eldritch God spoke again: “Pudgy, it must be getting late, and your friends are getting worried. Did you leave the big crystal I sent you in your home?” The hedgehog replied, “yes, and mister dinosaur has his too from the communication equipment delivery.” The eldritch spoke again, “good. Once every 24 hours, you can teleport back to the big crystal. They remember position, so you can return.” Pudgy took out crystal and called out, “home please.” Pudgy went poof, and then materialized in front of his darkened house. While the crystal worked, it was not instantaneous. The tired hedgehog unlocked his door, turning the light on. His home was cold, so the first thing to do was to start the wood stove. Once the home started to heat, he made a big supper, though it was cold as he was tired. After taking a warm bath, he locked his door, then tucked in for the night. It had been a very busy day, and quickly fell asleep.
Pudgy woke up late the next day, having overslept it was a later start than he wanted, but he needed it after the day he had yesterday. Plus, he could, as he was not on any specific schedule. Making breakfast, he munched away watching YouTube silly things. Today was going to be a busy day again. The hedgehog busy moving supplies from outside the mine opening, to inside. Due to the size and nature of the job at hand, when he dug his tunnel, he made it 1 foot high by 1 foot wide. The shaft was sloping at an angle. So, as he positioned the supplies, they slid down quickly to the coal mine below. Pudgy looked at the trees, and they all turned orange overnight, so he played too.
Pudgy had a small mountain of supplies now situated in the upper part of the mine. He had rigged a series of ropes to lower the tools and fence posts down to lowest part. There was now a good supply of lamp oil from his Morse code games, so he could afford an extra lamp light. Moving the antique lamp down from above, he fueled and lit it. The light that was cast had a much wider swath of light. It was time to dig once again, so he turned on some downloaded music, and dug away. Given the distance, depth, and angle, Pudgy surmised he should reach Xanadoom in a couple of months.
At a current depth of a thousand feet, Pudgy was past the easy dirt part of digging. It was all hard rock. The slate was not bad, as it could crumble if he found the way it was running. Granite was a real pain, but luckily, he had modified a roto tiller with a corkscrew auger. The auger blades were starting to spark bad as he continued. He stopped drilling letting the motor cool, and with a block and tackle he found in the mine, he hoisted up the drilling rig. As he expected, the auger was mangled. The weekend was coming, so he would ask Cobalt nicely to take him to a tool store to get more blades. Instead of continuing to drill, he started to put into place supports for the second part of the tunnel. He sighed as his little body was starting to ache, “Pudgy really need cookie.”
Many hours later, Pudgy emerged from his mine entrance dirty and tired. As The hedgehog wandered through the fallen leaves, he found a crate of cookies from a fellow follower of the world’s future ruler. There was a note attached to a crate next to his house. 26th Primarch has sent supplies to support his project. Pudgy bounced happily and drug the crate beside his house. Shaking as only a hedgehog could, he was able to get the worst of the dust and debris off. Pudgy ‘s cabin had a water wheel and trough for generating power. He jumped under the water wheel trough and took a cold bath. Then proceeded inside to get dry and have supper and catalog the plethora of cookies in the crate.
The next day quickly came, and Pudgy woke up early to pack supplies. He locked up his cabin and headed into the mine. It would be another day of digging. He was humming a familiar tune about a coal mine with funny men in red hats. Pudgy was down another 40 feet, when he hit something so hard, that nothing could get through it. The rocks were so dense at this depth. So, he walked back up to his staging area in the big mine above. He had noticed a box with these funny sticks, with cords sticking out. Pudgy sounded the word out: “Dyyynnnnnaaaammmiiiitttyyyy…”
Pudgy nodded, and took a long tube, and drug it back with him. Maybe this stuff would work. It twice as high as Pudgy. He took it back down the tunnel and positioned it. The lamp crackled and a spark hit the cord and it started to sparkle. The hedgehog decided maybe he should back up, so he exited the tunnel quickly. An eternity seemed to pass before there erupted a thunderous explosion. BOOM, as rocks shot out everywhere, a sickening crack could be heard below him. The mine floor caved in, and Pudgy started to fall. He had unknowingly tapped into a cavern system that had run below and parallel with the mine system.
Pudgy fell for what seemed like an eternity until he splashed down into an underground lake. He hit the water so hard it dazed him, but luckily his pack had things inside that caused him to roll over and float. It was somehow darker than before. Drifting along floating, he recovered as the hedgehog washed along a rocky shore. Crawling out of the water, he sat on a rocky outcropping. Opening his pack, thankfully Pudgy found the flashlight Cobalt had given him. Shining the beam of light around illuminated the majesty of the underground world. Pudgy sniffed the rocks: and they smelled like sulfur. Packing up his belongings into his backpack, it was time to start to explore deeper into the cavern following the water line. This was far deeper than any hedgehog had been before. Pudgy wondered if Xanadoom was dark like this too?
As he continued to explore, his compass was showing southwest. The secret coordinates for Xanadoom were helpful. However, at cave depth, not so much as it was hard to determine where he was as he did not know the layout of the area. Even still Pudgy couldn’t help feeling he was being watched. What the hedgehog did not know, was the crystal that Harvey had given him was also a way to track him. Far away in Xanadoom, behind the cameras that Doomcock used to film his videos, was a big wall with a map of world. Pudgy’s relative position was a little green dot, which had been south west of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Suddenly, the green dot split positions. One stayed in its original spot, though a smaller dot jumped to western Kentucky. As Harvey stated before, that was the home crystal position.
Pudgy was lost and cold in a dark place. The cavern stretched on and on. He missed his house, and Cobalt. Whimpering, his ears folded down. This wasn’t fun anymore, and the hedgehog wanted to go home. It was then he remembered the crystal the eldritch God gave him. Estimating the time that had elapsed, Pudgy thought it was at least a day. Opening his backpack after moving it to access the contents, he placed a paw on the crystal. “Pudgy wanna go home! ” The crystal glowed green and in a poof of green smoke, he disappeared. After what seemed like an eternity, the hedgehog appeared in front of his house in a cold pitch-black forest.
He didn’t go inside; he ran as fast as his little legs could take him to Cobalt house. Pudgy made it to the back door ringing the bell, and when the door opened, he started to cry. Cobalt picked him up and gave his hedgehog friend a big hug. “There, there Pudgy, it’s all right.” The man shut the door, carrying his upset friend in his arm. After some time had passed, Cobalt bundled Pudgy up on the couch in blankets. The man made a pot of coffee, and opened a pack of mini chocolate donuts, before returning to the couch with food. Watching silly things on tv, Pudgy climbed up onto Cobalt’s lap. The hedgehog continued to hug Cobalt, though pausing to take a donut and nibble. As they watched the television, the human had been talking. Off and on about what happened over the course of the week. The hedgehog at first wouldn’t talk about it, but he opened up. It was a grand story of adventure and horror. After getting some paper and a pen, the two researched and confirmed that Pudgy had reached mammoth cave in Kentucky.
Cobalt spoke quietly, “do you still want to visit Doomcock, Pudgy?” Pudgy nodded at his human friend. The man nodded back and patted his friend on the head, “We are going to have to plan this better.” Thus, the planning began, including Pudgy revealing the secret coordinates for Xanadoom with the all import depth. Pudgy also showed the crystal in his pack to Cobalt. After a brief explanation of the functions of the crystals, the two headed over to Pudgy’s little cabin. Pudgy’s house was fine, but the mine opening had caved in. There was a new series of sink holes leading down the ravine that led towards the dinosaur’s cave. The two friends stopped by mister dinosaur’s cave to check if he was ok. The dinosaur was gone, though the cavern seemed to not have been affected by Pudgy’s foray into explosives.
They returned to Cobalt’s house, where Pudgy began to lay out supplies on the living room floor. Cobalt read off the check list while Pudgy started to itemize and pack. “Harvey crystal, rope, glow sticks, flashlight, lamp, lamp oil, Lorna Doone cookies.” The human had painstakingly made Pudgy sized maps and helped source other supplies. The pack was ready to go for the next phase of the hedgehog’s adventure. Cobalt washed his hedgehog friend, then tucked him into bed at his house. A good night sleep, and breakfast was in order before his adventure would continue tomorrow. “Good night,” was mumbled as Pudgy fell asleep.
The next day Cobalt made Pudgy breakfast before he left for work and gave him a big hug as he left with words to the effect of be careful. The human asked his hedgehog friend to be safe, and no matter what come back in the 24 hours. Since from the explanation given by the eldritch God, the crystal needed to recharge. The hedgehog agreed and hugged back his human friend. Pudgy went poof in a green cloud of smoke. Cobalt turned and left too, heading off to work wondering if one day he could go on an epic adventure too? Just as Harvey said, Pudgy reappeared in the same scary cavern as before, but this time he was well supplied and rested. It was time to go, so he filled his lamp with oil and lit it. The soft amber flame danced on the stalagmites around him.
Meanwhile far below at Xanadoom, the big map of the world centered on the United States, the green dot that represented Pudgy moved back to Kentucky. The eldritch God smiled as only he could, drawing the attention of the future ruler of the world. “Harvey, might I inquire as to why you are interested in the map?” The god chuckled. “Oh no reason Diktor, just something to do as I am imprisoned.” Pudgy started going down a steep ledge, as the cavern unfolded deep and around him. Cobalt had determined he was in an unexplored part of mammoth cave in Kentucky. State and federal reports did not indicate how far it went. The hedgehog slowly maneuvered the narrow ledge as he continued his descent. The light from his little lamp was fading, which meant a refill of oil was needed soon.
There was a strange shape to the ceiling above, almost reflecting the light. It was an iridescent color. The lamp fizzled out, and Pudgy was plunged into total darkness. There was no sound, not even water movement. The lamp was a necessity, so he opened his pack and carefully filled the reservoir. Placing the oil can back into his pack, he started the striker knob, trying to reignite. Pudgy was able to relight the lamp, and when the light began to fill the spot where he stood, he noticed there was a change. The iridescent pattern on the ceiling was gone, and the cave was taller. He shook his head and started carefully walking along the ledge.
Pudgy approached a sharp bend cautiously and peeked around the edge. His lamp reflected off a surface across the chasm on the opposite side, with the same strange coloration as before along the wall. Hugging the side of the cave, he was able to maneuver to the next section. Pudgy was happy when the ledge widened and became a flat section. It stretched on forever. The cave which had been a stagnant air, now had a hot wind, with a foul odor like sulfur. Pudgy turned around, and saw the shadows move, and the light reflected again. He decided to run Pudgy ran as far and as fast as his little legs could take him. Dropping down on all fours panting, the foul smell had gone away. He got out a Lorna Doone cookie and munched hungrily and began looking at his map.
Pudgy’s lamp started to flicker, so he checked the oil. The side gauge showed almost full, but the light kept dimming. The foul odor had returned, and he started to get sleepy. He shook his head and turned around seeing a large mouth with rows of sharp silver teeth. Grabbing the lamp, the hedgehog started to run again. The monster was enormous, filling the cavern. A deafening roar bellowed with a horrendous odor filling the caverns. Ducking down a side path, where the ceiling was low. Crawling on his belly, he looked to the right, and the large eye reflected, as a clawed hand reached in, trying to pull out the scared hedgehog. “Leave Pudgy alone!”
He squeezed into a small chamber only to realize there was no floor, and he started to scream as he fell into the murky abyss below. Pudgy plunging into the dark chasm, screamed though it made no difference. His speed was increasing faster and faster, approaching a row of spiked stalagmites below. Or so he thought, until he realized it was the same mouth from before, and he was being breathed inside. He landed inside, getting wrapped by a long, slimy, foul smelling, forked tongue. The mouth snapped shut, and he got thrown around inside it. The throat opened, started to suck him further inside, so he grabbed between the teeth, grabbing the gum and pulling it back.
The monster roared in pain, blasting Pudgy out. He started to fly, then fall again. He landed hard into a watery pool below. The hedgehog swam for dear life, and crawled up a shoreline, towards another smaller crevice. The water washed away the mess that had covered him. Pudgy gasping for breath, air was thin in the cave, plus he was exhausted as the adrenaline faded. He filled the lamp with oil and hit the striker to relight the lamp. The light started to fill the small cave. Drinking from his canteen, he saw images painted on the walls He sat up, shining the light, and it was a scene depicting running deer and native American hunters. He stood up and started to examine further. He saw the hunters chasing what looked to be…a dragon? The colors were faded but green. Pudgy thought about a book he read at Cobalt’s house.
Red dragons breathe fire, blue dragons breathe ice or lightning, and green dragons breathe poison gas. The foul odor made sense, but how to combat this? He opened his pack, and noticed Cobalt added extra supplies. It was time to prepare counter measures. Pudgy had assembled from items in his pack, the best defense against a dragon. Yes, it looked like a party pooper from a birthday party, but he had two of them with a variety of loads. ROAR And just in the nick of the it seemed. Pudgy stood up taking a deep breath. The hedgehog peeked his head out of his hiding spot and started tiptoeing through the narrow passageway, until it started to widen.
“ROAAAAARRRRRRR,” the dragon was getting closer. He was ready, lamp in one paw and dragon counter measure in the other. He looked up, and saw the dragon hanging Flee or fight? Pudgy was 5 inches tall, and the dragon. Was 24 times bigger, so he decided to be stealthy. He turned down the flame, and slowly moved towards the next chamber. The dragon dropped from the ceiling, “ROARRRR!” Pudgy shouted, “CRAAAPP.” The hedgehog started to run, and it was then when Pudgy realized it was now or never. He turned on his much player, and Pantera’s Cemetery Gates started to play. Taking out the dragon counter measure, “come at Pudgy you aardvark!” The dragon roared and dropped onto the ledge with a loud boom and shook the ground. It got in close, and Pudgy pulled the string, sending as cloud of streamers, black pepper, and chalk powder.
The dragon was taken aback by the actions of its small prey and inhaled out of reflex. The dragon started coughing uncontrollably, streamers wrapping around its nostrils. Pudgy cheered and got out the second counter measure, but before he could pull it, the dragon snatched him up and tossed him in its mouth. The tongue started thrashing him, so he aimed and fired down its throat, another battery of white dust, though this payload was Brioschi and tums powdered. The sodium bicarbonate started foaming. Pudgy grabbed the teeth and pulled the jaw closed forcing a swallow. The dragon overpowered him and spat him out.
Pudgy cheered and grabbed his lamp running like hell as fast as he could go, diving down another ravine, towards a fast-moving stream of water. Pudgy washed ashore a couple miles downstream and crawled up into a narrow ledge of white colored rocks. The roof was low, no way a dragon could get here. Pudgy took off his pack and opened a can with a candle inside. He lit it, and the heat as well as light was welcome. He took out a cookie and nibbled, passing out from exhaustion. He was safe and drying out. No dragon and could recover from a scary day. Meanwhile the eldritch God grinned as the green dot that represented Pudgy had crossed the Tennessee border. He was half the distance to Xanadoom.
Pudgy woke up in the tight cavern and munched on a cookie. There were 3 left, so he had a day of food left. He filled his canteen and tasted the water running beside him: it was fresh. So, he drank from the stream and reflected on yesterday, as he lit another candle. Pudgy having sufficiently rested, filled and lit his lamp. Packed up his pack, put it on and started his exploration again. Based estimation, he was further south, which meant couple thousand feet above him a comic guy was working on a book somewhere. He hoped dragon went away Pudgy squeezed through the passageway that grew more and more narrow. Several times he had to remove his pack and drag it behind him. Finally, he entered a large chamber, with an abyss below. He turned his lamp up and shone the light around. There was no path or ledge to be found, which meant that now he had to climb down.
He gingerly swung his short legs over the edge but lost his grip. He slid off and started falling into the abyss. “ROAR!” Pudgy saw the dragon flying above him, starting a power dive. He tried flailing, but it was of no use. The dragon swooped down and grabbed him in its large claws. The dragon still had an odor, but the foulness was gone. Mumbling he tried, but the beast was not listening, and continued flying deeper and further into the cavern. Pudgy was amazed to see natural light, or so it seemed as the rocks were glowing faintly. The flight lasted for what seemed like an eternity, until it stretched its wings and glided down to a large path of crystalline trees. The claws opened, and Pudgy rolled head over paw several times, in front of the dragon. He froze, looking up at the large jaws with silver teeth, and teal colored faintly glowing eyes studying him.
Pudgy stammered out, “please don’t eat Pudgy.” The dragon grinned, much like his dinosaur friend does, and started to speak to the hedgehog’s amazement. “You taste terrible,” was spoken and to the hedgehog’s surprise, it was a girl’s voice. “What was that powder you shot at me?” Pudgy rubbing his eyes in amazement, “Pudgy used pepper, streamers and chalk powder. Then Brioschi and tums crushed., as the dragon looked confused. The hedgehog continued, “it’s fizzy stuff and upset tummy stuff.” The dragon nodded, “I have had this cold for decades, I finally feel better. Thank you little one.” Pudgy waved at the dragon, “Pudgy glad you feel better miss dragon.” The dragon grinned, “my name is Xylenia.” Pudgy bounced happily, pointed to himself, “Pudgy.” Xylenia grinned, “walk with me….” As the hours had passed, and Pudgy was busy explaining to his new dragon friend many things, she listened intently. Many grins were made at him when the little hedgehog acted out his adventures thus far.
The Dragon had fallen asleep, but not before pulling out fearless hedgehog close. Pudgy tried to wiggle free to no avail. So, he decided to go to sleep. dreaming of mister dinosaur with a top hat and spats on. He was taking Xylenia the dragon on a date. For some reason they shut the door. Pudgy mumbled, “good night.” After a long time, asleep, the two had awoken. Pudgy and Xylenia the dragon was talking again. Pudgy had mentioned having to return to the surface, and she was a tad bit sad he had to go. It had been ages since the dragon had any company. But he was not done explaining surface things, and who that Doomcock guy was. As Pudgy finished his story, and Xylenia grinned. Xylenia spoke, “my word, you had quite an adventure so far. I regret my actions earlier. This Doomcock and Harvey sounds like quite the characters. And vaguely familiar….” Pudgy rubbed his chin with a paw, “do you know where he lives?”
The dragon frowned, “I believe so, but to reach there you will need to cross the chasm of fire. If somehow you were able to pass, then there are the Vril to contend with….” Pudgy looked confused, “you mean shape shifting lizard men? Yeah Doomcock’s friend Gary on Nerdrotics covers them from time to time.” The dragon blinked, “how?” She shook her head, “never mind. The Vril are nothing to trifle with, and extremely territorial. I once flew through there, they chased me 50 caverns away.” Pudgy looked at her, “why did you fly through?” Xylenia looked sad, “that was a long time ago, when I was younger.” The hedgehog hugged her leg, “Pudgy need to go home for a time, but will be back. I’m sure my friend Cobalt is getting worried.” Xylenia the dragon looked sad and nodded, “I can understand. Please come back?”
Pudgy nodded and took out the Harvey crystal, “home please!” As Pudgy started to disappear the dragon inadvertently touched Pudgy, and started to be covered in smoke. Xylenia disappeared as well. Meanwhile, Harvey saw Pudgy’s green dot move from Missouri to Toronto then to Pennsylvania, “what the?” Pudgy appeared in front of his darkened cabin. It was raining and dark again. A voice spoke behind him, “what just happened? The hedgehog turned, and saw Xylenia there, except she was much smaller. Pudgy bounced and hugged her, “oh boy, you came to Pudgy house!” The dragon was a quarter of her normal size. And immediately noticed the size change when she could feel Pudgy’s hug. The eldritch God’s voice called out, “Pudgy are you receiving me?” Pudgy nodded and called out, “yes Harvey. Pudgy back home, and accidentally brought a new friend. “Harvey grumbled, “that explains it, you overloaded to crystalline transmission network. Who did you bring from below?”
Xylenia looked sheepish, but lowered her head towards the talking crystal, “my name is Xylenia.” Harvey grumbled angrily, “you brought a dragon from below to the surface?” Pudgy started to stammer out, “she is much smaller, she is ok, she apologized for almost eating me.” The dragon spoke softly with a contrite tone, “please do not be cross with him, I touched him accidentally.” Harvey sighed, “because of the drain, you cannot travel for a couple days at least. Do you have a place for your dragon?” Pudgy smiled and motioned for his friend to follow. Cobalt had just put the trash out and was settling in to watch mountain monsters later television. His doorbell rang, so he walked to his back door. As he opened the door, he found a tired but intact hedgehog. “Two days Pudgy …. where were you?” Pudgy bounced, “I got in a big adventure, and couldn’t come back till now. “
Cobalt sighed and motioned for his friend to come in, “I’m glad you are ok, umm …” As the human trailed off, he saw a pair of eyes peeking through the hedges behind his home. Pudgy pointed behind him towards the bushes, “I made a new friend, can she come over?” The dragon moved through and spoke sheepishly at the tall human. “Hello, my name is Xylenia.” After inviting in Pudgy’s new friend as well, Cobalt gave his hedgehog and dragon friend a bath. The dragon was hesitant at first but enjoyed it. Now clean and wrapped up in large tiger blanket on the living room floor. Pudgy was wrapped up and laying on a floor pillow. All 3 were watching mountain monsters on Cobalt’s television.
Pudgy bounced in his blanket, “yay, that episode was awesome!” The human nodded and smiled, “they really have done a good job with this season of mountain monsters.” Xylenia looked at the two of them, “how did those large men get put in the rectangle box?” Cobalt’s house was full, but everyone was happy. Pudgy and the Dragon spent the night, and it rained hard. The dragon had trouble falling asleep, as she was in a new place, but the sleep prevailed. She woke up in the living room, with an extra blanket covering her. Pudgy also was tucked in and sleeping on a pillow nearby. Xylenia turned her head and found Cobalt sitting in a large stuffed chair, sipping coffee and looking at a small rectangle device that glowed. Cobalt smiled, Good Morning.” Xylenia smiled back, Good Morning, What’s that?”
It was Halloween, which meant fun, costumes, and candy. Pudgy was wearing a foam orange road cone that said party animal on his head. Cobalt has opened the candy and had sorted it into buckets. “hey Xylenia, want some candy,” the hedgehog asked. The dragon took a lollipop, taking the paper off as Pudgy showed her how to. The refined sugars hit immediately both. Causing much bouncing to ensue. Pudgy and Xylenia were watching Cobalt set up a variety of scary and silly decorations. This also resulted in an explanation of what Halloween was, and why Cobalt was walking around with a scary outfit on. Unfortunately, it was a heavy rain, wind, and cold sort of Halloween so not too many little kids showed up. Cobalt wrapped up trick o’ treating, so it’s time to eat leftover candy, and to watch the Rocky Horror Picture show. Pudgy and Xylenia already got into the candy and fell asleep with silly people starting with a step to the left.
The next morning Cobalt had gone to work early in the morning, which meant leaving a sleeping hedgehog and dragon alone. One might think she would be getting homesick, but that was not the case, as his house was full of wonders she had never seen. That Doomcock guy in the rectangle box was interesting as well. The dragon didn’t know what a last Jedi was, but that Rian guy is not good. Cobalt returned home after work, made supper, and entertained his friends before going to sleep. It was the next day when then man woke up but couldn’t roll over. Sleepily opening his eyes, he found Xylenia and Pudgy in bed with him. They were on top of the bed spread, but under their blankets. He chuckled, and gingerly started to wiggle out of bed as not to wake them.
Later when the two had awoken, and while Cobalt did some running around town, Pudgy showed Xylenia his little cabin. They played in the leaves, and she got a chance to spread her wings and fly. Landing she motioned over to the north west. Pudgy said that’s where Mister Dinosaur lives. The dragon wanted to meet him, so the two wandered through the woods. They made sure to jump in every pile of autumn leaf, till they reached the cave and its big door. Pudgy motioned with his paw, “Cobalt and I put the door on, so he wouldn’t get cold. I hope the wood stove is working.” Pudgy rang a makeshift bell that Cobalt hung up nearby, “hello?” After some time had passed, the two realized the dinosaur was not home. They returned to Cobalt’s house for supper and fun. Cobalt made grilled cheese, which both happily ate.
Cobalt had fallen asleep on the couch last night, which meant Pudgy was sleeping on top of him, and Xylenia in front of the couch. After unwinding the blankies and rewrapping them he went to make coffee. Now that the autumn leaves had fallen off most of the trees, he saw the dinosaur head to Pudgy’s cabin, knock, wait, knock, wait, then head over to Cobalt’s house. When he got close, Cobalt opened his door and waved at the dinosaur. “Good morning. Remember today is daylight savings, then back the clock one hour.” Mister dinosaur then waved his little arm and wandered away. Cobalt left for work, with Xylenia peeking through the curtains of the kitchen bay window. She watched him drive off in the big red box with 4 wheels. She sighed; she was going to have to go home soon. In time, the dragon heard crunching, and saw Pudgy in a box with a green guy, “SUGARRRRR!!!” After the hyper sweetened meal, the two wandered to the deck door and with Xylenia’s help opened the door. Mister dinosaur was out of breath, leaning against Cobalt’s house. Pudgy bounced happily, “hello mister Dinosaur! We stopped by yesterday.” The dragon also came out onto the deck and waved her wings at the dinosaur.
Pudgy motioned, “this is Xylenia, she is a nice dragon I met on my trip underground to see Doomcock.” Xylenia came out onto the deck further and giggled, waving her wings at the dinosaur again. Pudgy explained, “she temporarily shrunk.” The dragon was the size of an English mastiff dog, which is 36 inches tall Pudgy went into detail of his underground travels, acting out scenes, including the almost eating part by the dragon. She apologized and got into the play as well. Pudgy finished his explanation, “and she has been here visiting for 4 days. We hoping to see you before we had to go back down.” Xylenia the dragon and Mister Dinosaur talked for most of the day. Pudgy would wander to and fro as they talked about many subjects. It was as the sun started to set, the dinosaur said his farewells, and Xylenia came back inside to find Cobalt home eating supper.
Pudgy was busy packing supplies. She didn’t want to go yet Pudgy was busy packing supplies. When he would turn around, the pack would go missing. Turns out Xylenia was helping to ensure his return trip would not be so soon. Pudgy caught her and put his paws on his hips, she innocently smiled. Pudgy explained, “I need to get going again soon. Xylenia questioned, “but why, the path forward is so dangerous. It is so nice here, and Cobalt brings all sorts of good things home with him, why would you want to leave him or this place? Maybe you should forget this Doomcock person?” Pudgy smiled, “if Pudgy never went on adventure Would never have met you. Besides, Pudgy knows you don’t wanna go back. Pudgy have plan, look here …” The hedgehog unfurled a tube of map paper. It was a long series of tunnels, caves, and mines. The dragon inspected it. Xylenia smiled, “if I venture this way, I can find the mines under your home?” Pudgy nodded, “you would be back to your normal size, and can even visit mister dinosaur too.” Xylenia nodded, and rubbed her chin with her claws, “if my memory serves correct, this Xanadoom place is a week travel away from my roost.” Pudgy bounced happily, “yay! Pudgy not going to live with Doomcock forever, just want to visit him and Harvey. I would miss Cobalt. So by time Pudgy reach him, you would reach mines under house. Cobalt can help us make you a nice home.”
After another good night’s sleep, Pudgy was all packed up and ate a big breakfast made by Cobalt for Pudgy and Xylenia. Lots of hugs, and requests to be careful were made. After Cobalt left, Pudgy and Xylenia activated the crystal from Harvey and disappeared in a poof of green smoke. An hour or so later, the two appeared in the dragon’s cave. She had returned to normal size and stretched. Her eyes were still acclimating to the darkness and started to lay down. She felt movement underneath her, and Pudgy popped out, “Pudgy certain Xylenia is girl now.”
The hedgehog scampered around and in front of her, then started to fuel and light his lamp. The dragon frowned, now concerned about the next leg of the journey. Meanwhile in Xanadoom, the eldritch God saw Pudgy’s green dot appear in eastern Missouri once more. Pudgy waved as he left Xylenia’s cave and headed towards what she called the path of fire. The cavern narrowed until he had to crawl on his belly dragging his pack behind him. Pudgy saw light coming from in front of him, and carefully poking his head out he saw what Xylenia meant. The cavern was full of lava, fireballs, and gas jets of flames. He swung his body out of the narrow cave, but realizing his error started run wailing, “Crap crap crap…”
Doomcock meanwhile was annoyed and reviewing the large map of the United States. “Why is that dot moving, and why you are so intently watching it?” The eldritch God floated, “I’m trapped in a containment chamber, what else do you want me to do? I was just looking at the map.” Doomcock put down the script he had been working on for his next video, “I know about the crystals. I know about the communication equipment missing, and your actions regarding a certain Hedgehog and Dinosaur up above…” Harvey shrieked, and then defeatedly spoke, “oh nuts …. well…” So the eldritch one explained about Pudgy’s adventure so far. Doomcock’s helmet started to buckle and he bellowed, “YOU DID WHAT?!?!” Meanwhile far away Pudgy was tired, pack burnt, fur smoking, but he made it through the path of fire. The next cave was smooth anthracite walls that sparkled. He plopped down and ate 2 cookies, he needed it.
It was then when our fearless hedgehog noticed pipes running as long the walls of the cavern, and down into the fiery mess behind him. The pipes sizzled and hissed, as the odd puff of steam came out. Pudgy bounced, recognizing them from a book he saw. Cobalt had told him about geo something power, which used pipes like these. Pudgy put his pack back on, and filled his lamp, and followed the pipes. Hours passed, and the pipes continued and on. It was once he turned a bend, they went straight down. Pudgy started to carefully descend a pipe that was not red hot. After descending for what seemed like forever, he reached a platform of sorts. It was a connection point for several pipes. Some were cool, others were red hot. Pudgy remember Cobalt said geo whatsit power had a cool water pipe and a hot water pipe. He grabbed a cool pipe, and slid down like a fire person, shooting down quickly, “wheeeee!”
On the map at Doomcock’s lair, Pudgy’s green dot quickly moved to the eastern Texas border. He was watching, working on a script. The future ruler had calmed down, after a therapeutic release of frustration: Harvey’s containment pod was now laying in a corner. Pudgy had gone far deeper than any hedgehog had gone before into the ground. The vertical pipes had taken a 90-degree turn. Having fallen asleep on the pipe out of exhaustion, his lamp was out of oil. Thankfully due to Cobalt’s planning, a switch to yellow glow sticks was in effect. The space was tight as he maneuvered, when his pack Started to crackle. “Greetings Pudgy!” Pudgy blinked, it was Doomcock talking. Pudgy kept crawling, “hello mister Doomcock! Is Harvey ok, not expect to talk so soon.” The future ruler laughed; his subterfuge has been found out. I understand you’re coming to visit?”
Pudgy, “yes, Harvey told me where you are, and Pudgy crawling through pipe shaft.” Doomcock, “yes, my geothermal backup power grid. You should see a number on the pipe?” Pudgy looked around and located the number, “number 4.” Doomcock affirmed his response, “ahh yes, you have a couple miles to go then. Would you do me a favor?” Pudgy nodded and excitedly responded, “sure!” Doomcock spoke again, “check the junctions for leaks. Number 4 has been losing pressure for some reason.” Pudgy bounced, “okie dokie!” Hours had passed, and the pipes were heading downwards at a 45-degree angle, so Pudgy could slide again. Eventually he landed on a flat section of pipe, with a faint light in front of him. Quickly he crawled and peeked out. There was a huge cavern here, larger than any other he had seen.
The pipes ran into the center of it, and went down to a metal shed of sorts, labelled: JUNCTION 4-6. Pudgy had found one of the main connection points to Doomcock ‘s power plants. It was then he noticed something. There were figures milling about around the shed they looked reptilian, and wore cloaks stained with various dark colors. Several were using tools to cut an opening in pipe #4, causing steam to escape. Pudgy touched his pack, “mister Doomcock, Pudgy found out what going on.” What the hedgehog saw were figures about five feet tall and covered with scales. They had short tails, and beady black eyes, almost resembling lizards.
The figures looked scary, but so did Xylenia when Pudgy first met the dragon. He looked up and saw where the source of the lights were. Large glowing orbs that dotted the cavern’s ceiling above, drawing gas from the various pockets. The lights were similar in color to a sodium vapor light on a barn. Pudgy saw a steam jet burst, and he didn’t know what to do. Thinking of his dragon defense preparations, he knew he had to keep trying to reach Xanadoom. As the hedgehog was checking his dwindling supplies, he fell asleep. So, when he woke, he was still squished in the pipe opening. Doomcock had never responded, or if he had, it was when he had passed out from exhaustion. It was up to him to figure out how to fix things. The metal structure that was the junction of all the pipes was still being damaged by the reptile figures.
Pudgy checked his pack, and had only half a cookie left, so he decided to eat it now. He had 2 glow sticks, rope, Brioschi, an Allen wrench, crazy glue, wd40, and an empty lamp. The hedgehog pondered and then got to work. He had to make a throw the go boom thing. After some time passed, he had his device ready to go, and a much skinnier pack. He crawled out along the pipe and scampered along until he was over the reptile people, to his amazement, he could sort of understand. While he knew they most likely had names, he was not about to ask them and decided to make a note of their cloak colors. One had red cloak, other green cloak.
Green cloak reptile, “steam for queen.” Red cloak reptile, “stop doom chicken.” Green, “need more steam.” Red, “steam for queen.” Pudgy peeked over the pipe and whispered trying to throw his voice, “why queen need steam?” It didn’t work, and Red looked up, “INTRUDER!!!!!” Green started throwing spears at Pudgy. Pudgy knew they were meanies, so he shook the lamp causing a reaction. Throwing it at the reptilians, and it went pow like a balloon popping. They started sliding all over the place. And then the glue caused the weapons to stick to their claws. Pudgy laughed and scurried to the top of the junction shack and dropped down looking for a hatch. The attackers then started to climb the shack and throw open the valves. The steam rushed forth, scalding everyone and everything. Pudgy felt claws on him, and he was dragged off the shack. Beady black eyes unblinking stared at him.
Red, “take intruder queen.” Green, “intruder pay.” Pudgy, “Pudgy say stealing bad.” Red, “steam for queen.” Pudgy, “who queen?” The reptiles repeated this again and again, so Pudgy was not able to get any more information. They made certain to pick up the hedgehog and slam him into rocks along the way. He started to whimper as their punishments started to hurt. The reptiles were about the height of Cobalt which was over 6 feet, though they were curved spines, and short stubby tails. Green, “looks fuzzy.” Red, “skin eat it.” Pudgy was thrown roughly into a dark pit, his pack taken away, and the hedgehog laid whimpering. He sobbed, “I’m never going to get back to see Cobalt, or Xylenia, Mister Dinosaur, or Doomcock.” A reptilian with a black cloak peered down, and threw a stone at Pudgy’s head. Pudgy blacked out.
After an undetermined amount of time had passed, Pudgy started to hear a hissing noise. He looked up and saw the reptile queen. Unlike the others, she was taller, and dressed in regal red attire with golden feathers.
He blinked and rubbed his head, “Pudgy head hurts.” He looked around and noticed that he had been brought to the throne chamber of the queen. Dressed in regal attire, she was looking at the strange objects in Pudgy’s pack. Queen, “ahh you are awake strange little one.” Pudgy rolled over and sat down. The lizard queen stared at him with unblinking eyes. The queen hissed, “why have you trespassed here?” Pudgy whimpered, “Pudgy sorry, travelling to meet a friend further down.” The Queen nodded and pointed at him, “a friend? You mean the fiend in Xanadoom?” Pudgy looked confused, “Doomcock isn’t a fiend.” The queen hissed, and rushed over, grabbing and throwing him hard against a wall. He started to whimper. The queen’s eyes narrowed, “do not say that friend’s name in my presence!” Pudgy looked at her, as she sat down and tossed him aside. She found the crystal, and narrowed her eyes again, “what is this? Answer me you bastard!”
The crystal began to glow green, and Harvey’s voice called out in a worried tone, “who is this? pudgy are you ok?” The Queen hissed, “I will ask the questions, or your friend will suffer.” Pudgy was picked up by a guard and thrown at the clawed feet of the queen. She stepped on him and pressed down. He started to wail Harvey with concern in his voice, “what do you want?” The queen hissed, “tell your lord, his trespass into my realm will not be forgiven nor forgotten. Your friend belongs to me now.” The queen smashed the crystal and tossed Pudgy’s pack into a small fire pit nearby. Pudgy cried out, “NO!” The green dot disappeared from Doomcock’s map. The queen laughed menacingly, “throw him in chains and lock him away. I’m not done with this one yet.”
Pudgy woke up, in bronze chains and leather bindings. He recognized the pattern; he had seen it on mister dinosaur’s leg. These bad reptilians were hunting dinosaurs. He wiggled, and noticed the clasps were not tight. The hedgehog was alone, so he wiggled and stretched. Until his bindings started to break free and slide off. He was hurting, hungry, and scared. The crystal was smashed, so there was no way to teleport back. Pudgy’s only hope was to get to Xanadoom. So, he took a deep breath, and started to stealthily scamper. He maneuvered through the tunnels and peeked his head around an opening. He saw the queen sleeping on a bed made from dinosaur bones. She was not wearing any clothes, and if he had time and was a bit older, he might have been interested in the scene. Pudgy shook his head, he had to get out.
So, he scampered, till he found the exit from what served as the palace. Noticing the guards sleeping, he slowly crept on all fours, scurrying towards the junction shed. The caverns lights had dimmed, so that was working to his advantage. The guards had left the shed, and steam was escaping bad from the pipe rupture. He maneuvered around looking for an opening, when he found one. Pudgy squeezed through, though the metal had a sharp edge which cut him. He gritted his teeth and slid through. Hedgehogs were soft, so squeezing into places were a specialty. The junction had a tiny space between the pipes, and he had to locate the cold pipe to shimmy down.” THE INTRUDER HAS ESCAPED!” Pudgy heard the Queen’s voice booming in the distance. He had to go, grabbing a pipe he slid down fast. Then he blacked out and let go falling into the darkness below.
Pudgy woke up some time later and was still falling. Looking to his left and right, the pipes were branching off again. Though the main pipe was still beside him. Light coming from below, and it was bright. The frightened hedgehog started to scream, and then rushed through to see it was another cavern. It was vast, with long metal buildings that stretched far. Foundries belching black acrid smoke, giant robots in varying stages of completion, and a huge fortress in the distance. Pudgy realized that he had finally made it to Xanadoom! He saw a large building below quickly approaching, with an exposed water tower. Aiming for the water and made a Pudgy ball splash. He floated to the surface in the extremely hot water, swam to the edge, and scurried over the side. He fell onto the ground below with a thud. Seeing Doomcock’s fortress in the distance, he passed out exhausted.
Pudgy stirred awake with his belly rumbling. His small frame hurt all over and struggled to sit up. He was in Xanadoom, after so many crazy adventures and dangerous travels. High above, huge sodium vapor lights glowed a dull orange color, lining the cavern ceiling. Huge supports of steel and concrete were seen everywhere with pipes going above and below. There was what Pudgy surmised to be Doomcock’s fortress. On the outside, there did not appear to be many defenses, but Pudgy was far away. He started to slowly scamper along the roof of the building he landed on. There were more pipes coming from the cavern above, this time labelled 1,2,3. The pipes were red hot, and he realized that this must be the geo what’s it power station. Running still, until the small hedgehog ran out of roof, he had to jump onto the next eerily close roof. Xanadoom was big, but the cavern was packed full of things. Pudgy wondered if he would find Harvey’s containment system in this mess of structures. It was also the first time he pondered sincerely that if he did find the button that Doomcock spoke of, should he press it?
Pudgy pondered this as he continued to scamper along the tops of the roofs in the robot assembly area of Xanadoom. All sorts of robots inspired on various anime designs stood at varying states of attention. It was as he was running along, he saw Doomcock fortress coming clearer and clearer into view. There were large gates in front of a courtyard of sorts. Before the large doors that led inside, walked guard robots that were patrolling the perimeter. Pudgy had no way to contact the Lord, since the Reptilians’ queen destroyed his crystal. So, he had to continue his stealth maneuvering, and after some time had passed, he had not found a way through the fence. The hedgehog sat down looking defeated as his tummy rumbled loudly. However, as he looked up, he saw a large wire running from the roof line of a shred, up to the fortress. If he could shimmy up the line, he could get inside perhaps?
So Pudgy maneuvered over to the shed and touched the wire. His teeth started to wiggle, so there was some current. This was his only chance, so he started to shimmy up and across the robot guard patrolled perimeter. The robots were not programmed to look up and guarded their designated patrol areas. Quickly the hedgehog traversed the line and landed on a very narrow platform. But he lost his balance and fell off, plunging into a vent pipe of some sort. He fell for an eternity it seemed, until he saw a pipe too large for him to grasp. It was a large room and he landed with a thud on a bed of thick purple pillows. He rubbed his eyes, as he had not seen normal light in a long time. As the small one acclimated to his new surroundings, he noticed that everything was labelled. Pudgy wandered around reading aloud,” bat computer, bat phone, bat coffee maker.” There was even a large black car, with wings, red oscillating light and siren, and a turbine in the back. Pudgy thought it really looked like a Lincoln Futura in a magazine that Cobalt had shown him, but he was not certain.
Hanging nearby on a series of pegs, he found a costume with pointy years, pastel blue, with darker blue mask/hood. Suddenly as Pudgy was still exploring the cave, with its blinking lights and neat things, the alarm started to go off, and Doomcock slid down a pole. He took off his helmet, and quickly changed into the pale blue outfit, and put the mask/cowl on. He was dressed as the 1960’s Adam West Batman. He swirled his cape behind him and sat down at the Bat Computer. “Bat Computer, let us search for the latest….” It was then when Bat Doomcock noticed the computer was not as he left it and looked around. He saw Pudgy peeking from behind a metal shelving rack. “You must be Pudgy, come.” Pudgy slowly approached, and waved, “Pudgy wanted to come visit, since Pudgy love your shows.” Pudgy only came to the Lord’s ankle, and he smiled warmly. Gently he picked up the hedgehog, who was dirty and had a gash on his head that had clotted. The trip was more dangerous than Harvey or Pudgy had let on.
The Bat Lord gave a concerned look to his furry visitor now staring up at him. Doomcock picked him up gently, and sat Pudgy on the space beside the bat computer. “Pudgy, you are hurt, and that is not good. Come with me, and I will get you patched up.” Pudgy nodded, and started to scamper along the tops of the shelves, and found the official Bat Bathroom. Doomcock helped her over to the stink and filled the bowl with warm water. “I will be back Pudgy.” He placed a small first aid kit on the sink as well, and slowly shut the door. Pudgy first drank deeply, as he had not had any water in a long time. The water was fresh, though had a metallic taste to it. After quenching his thirst, he started to wash himself, then using the kit to patch himself up. Pudgy chuckled, even the bathroom was labeled bat toilet, bat sink, bat towel. After several minutes had passed, the door opened once again, with Doomcock in his regal attire, the eloquent robe, and the golden mask.
The future ruler of the Earth inspected the hedgehog: “Yes, much better now. Do you feel better?” Pudgy nodded and jumped down from the sink to scamper up beside his foot. “I am glad Pudgy. I believe you are the first to ever come visit me here in Xanadoom proper. Walk with me.” Pudgy scampered along beside him, and the future ruler narrated, “I always loved the 1960’s era Batman show, so I made a prefect replica of the bat cave. It was very hard to get an intact Lincoln Futura down here, but with kind support of my Patreon followers, I was able to source all of the parts.” Pudgy nodded, “car run?” Doomcock laughed, “not yet, as I still need some gasoline.” He continued to act as the tour guide pointing various things out in the bat cave, before reaching a set of elevator doors. He pressed the elevator button, and the up triangle lit up. As the doors opened, he scampered in as the lord walked in and turned. Doomcock pressed the button labeled hall.
The other buttons in the elevator were labeled: bat cave, command, broadcast, laboratory 1, laboratory 2, laboratory 3, living, and throne. Pudgy noticed the ruler was inspecting him as well, though it was hard to see eye movements beneath the black welding glass eye sockets. The elevator stopped ascending, and the doors opened to reveal a long hallway, with dark velvet carpets. They were so soft and after all the rock and sharp edges Pudgy has had to deal with lately, it was so nice on his paws. He scampered along until they reached a large oak door. Doomcock opened it, and as the two entered, Pudgy saw it was a living room of sorts. Unlike Cobalt’s where windows opened and showed a forest, the walls were stone, and lined with shadowboxes of movie posters. He had a projector set up with the largest movie screen he had ever seen. Doomcock picked him up and set him gently into an overstuffed green chair. “Now stay right there Pudgy, I will be back.” Pudgy nodded and squished into the chair. It was so comfy, he started to fall asleep.
Doomcock returned with a tray that had a variety of treats and a pot of tea. He sat it on a small table that was between the green chair with the sleeping hedgehog, and another large overstuffed chair. He also set up a tablet with a camera, and set it nearby. Removing his helmet, he switched to a half helmet / mask, with his mouth exposed. It was the one he would use for live streams and get togethers online. Pudgy woke up, and bounced. As he poured tea, Pudgy started telling him all about his trip. Pudgy had accepted the offer of tea and cookies from Doomcock. The cookies were delicious, and wickedly sweet. The refined sugar hit, which resulted in energetic acting of the story. Even Harvey had joined the tea party via a tablet computer. The ruler and the eldritch God listened and watched. Pudgy’s description of Xylenia the dragon drew the Doomcock’s attention, as well the reptilian queen. He sipped tea from a fine porcelain teacup, as Harvey spoke, “well that explains what is causing the steam pressure fluctuations Diktor.”
Doomcock nodded, “indeed, I have turned a blind eye to the reptilian Vril antics.” Pudgy looked up confused, “why do they need steam?” Harvey nodded, “the reptiles prefer a warm humid environment, so that is why they access the pipes.” Doomcock laughed menacingly, “I will need to remind her later of my goodwill.” Pudgy munched on a chocolate pirouline. Pudgy continued his stories and told the two about his little cabin far above on the surface. Topics also included the nice dinosaur the lives nearby. Doomcock nodded, and motioned to Pudgy, “do you think you could make a map of how you got here.” Pudgy nodded as Doomcock put paper and pen on the table beside the tray. He narrated, showing the path from cabin to mine, to caverns to Xylenia, to path of fire, to reptilian Vri,l to Xanadoom. The Lord Doomcock also asked questions of how Pudgy got past the guards. As Pudgy explained, he made a mental note that he would need to fix his defenses. Doomcock watched and asked questions about the route, which Pudgy explained as only a hedgehog could, he laughed.
Harvey spoke up, “what happened to the crystal I sent you?” Pudgy looked sad, “the reptile queen smashed it.” Doomcock rubbed his chin, “hmm, I guess that means you will be here forever.” He had started a small laugh when he noticed that Pudgy’s ears folded down, started to whimper, then outright sobbing. Harvey was laughing at first also but started to stammer, “Diktor is joking Pudgy!” Doomcock reached over and put his hand on his head. “Hey now, dry your tears. I was kidding. I can send you back home. Pudgy calmed down and made hopeful hedgehog eyes at him, “pwomise?” Doomcock nodded, “yes, I have a variety of means. It’s too bad the crystal was smashed, I could have recharged it and sent you home instantly.” Harvey looked hopeful, “Diktor, I told him to split the crystal and leave one at his cabin.” Pudgy nodded, and the future Ruler nodded, ” Hmm, if that is the case, I can retune another to match its signature. That would take time, and you will need to spend some time here though.” Pudgy bounced happily. Pudgy was snuggled into the green chair and was turned to watch the big movie screen. Since the hedgehog was the guest, he got to pick the movie. It was time for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Doomcock and Harvey at first were not fully aware of the scope of the movie selected, but soon thereafter were laughing at how silly it was.
Doomcock picked the Expanse next to watch, so Pudgy watched as long as he could, but his eyes were heavy. He was safe, and belly full, so he fell fast asleep. The lord looked over and grinned. It had been far too long since a visitor came to Xanadoom. Many hours passed, and Pudgy rubbed his eyes, sleepily looking around. Doomcock had left a thin blanket and a note on the chair where the hedgehog had fallen asleep. The note read, “had to leave, broadcast to do.” He would be back later. Pudgy curled up under the doom blankie, and fell asleep again mumbling, “Night … night.”
The next day, or what Pudgy thought was a day as it was hard to tell time, he explored the theater room. There were all sorts of memorabilia, movie posters in shadow boxes, and really comfy chairs and couches. He wondered where Doomcock went, so he started to scamper towards the door, when the tablet lit up with Harvey waving. Harvey spoke happily, “greetings Pudgy!” Pudgy waved, “hi Harvey!” Harvey grinned, “so while you’re here in Xanadoom, might I inquire about something?” Pudgy nodded, “ok?” Harvey rubbed his tentacles together, “you’re one of my Harvey Cthuhlu operatives, so it’s time.” Pudgy frowned a bit, “button time?” The eldritch God grinned as only he could. Pudgy rubbed chin with his paw, “Cobalt said we said shouldn’t do it. If Harvey free, destroy world, and everyone sad.” Harvey stammered not realizing his plan had started to fade, “I would not destroy your part of the world, just the bad parts.” Pudgy frowned, “but good people live there too.” Harvey plotted and smiled, “ok, you don’t have to push the button tm. How about you visit me, directly? Several levels down is Doomcock’s laboratory. You can access it, then find the containment chamber. These tv screens do not do my magnificence justice. “
Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy would like to visit you too. Ok, time to explore, “he said as the hedgehog scampered to the theater doors. The oak doors were locked, and Pudgy wandered back saying to Harvey, “doors locked.” Harvey blinked, “but, surely a resourceful hedgehog such as yourself can defeat Diktor’s simple defenses?” Pudgy turned the tablet and pointed at a model train set that was parked on a long stretch of track. Harvey nodded, “that’s Diktor’s steam train. It works on electric. Hey, you could ride the flat bed log car.” Pudgy nodded, and scampered up the short wall, and located the transformer controls. Cobalt had the same control set, so he set it to full, and watched the train start to chug along the track. With careful timing he slid onto the log car belly down. The train headed towards a dark tunnel. Pudgy called out, “see you soon Harvey!” Harvey disappeared from the screen cackling, and soon the movie room grew very quiet.
Time passed, and the door opened up, “Pudgy, are you awake? Doomcock said as he searched the room. There were less cookies, and an empty tea pot, but no Hedgehog. The future ruler searched around, but could not find him. Rubbing his back slightly, he turned toward the bar. It was then he noticed no train. Looking at the tunnel he remarked, “uh oh….” Meanwhile, Pudgy was causing quite a bit of dust and cob webs to be knocked free. The last time Doomcock cleaned these train tunnels, jar jar was helping Anakin with a pod race.
Pudgy also kept singing quad city DJ’s train song, “Come on ride the train, choo choo ride!” The tracks had taken Pudgy through the Xanadoom’s kitchen, then hall, then the lord’s bedroom. Pudgy thought the one picture with a lady making kissy lips with the butterfly mask looked familiar, but he couldn’t study it long before he entered another tunnel. Pudgy was sure of one thing today, the tunnels would be clean. The hedgehog was the swifter duster of DOOM! As Doomcock the future ruler of the world was following and noticed small dust clouds at the tunnel openings. He was very glad his helmet had a respirator today.
Doomcock knew something Pudgy did not, so he went back to the theater room. He went behind the wet bar and poured himself of something strong and Irish. He saw the train tunnel to his right light up, and the engine emerging. Car after car emerged, and then Pudgy on the log car popped out. His normally brown fur was jet white, and a confused spider was clinging to him. The lord ramped down the transformer, and the train stopped. Pudgy sat up and put his paws in the air, “Pudgy wanna go again!” Doomcock laughed heartily, “no my hedgehog friend, it is time to get you cleaned up, and supper.”
Pudgy got off the train and waved as the spider crawled back into the tunnel. He bounced off the bar top and scampered over to the attached powder room. Harvey appeared on the tablet, “Pudgy, where are you?” Doomcock frowned, “he’s here with me, you mischievous miscreant. You put him up to leaving this room?” Harvey stammered, “no I did not.” Doomcock pushes a transcript button on the tablet, and Harvey saw he was being recorded, “darn you Diktor!” Pudgy exited the powder room clean and scampered back to the overstuffed green chair he sat in yesterday. Doomcock maneuvered around the bar, then sat back down in the chair, “Pudgy, had you have made it to Harvey, would you have pushed the button to free him?” Harvey looked at Pudgy via his tablet. Pudgy shook head, “no, Cobalt said Pudgy listen to Doomcock. Pudgy just wanted to say hi.”
Harvey was not pleased and started a tirade of words that Pudgy had never heard of. Doomcock reached over and pushed a button on the tablet, which converted the obscenities to beeping sounds. The tablet went dark, and Harvey disappeared. Doomcock nodded, “ahh good, because if you did free him, I would be very cross with you.” Pudgy frowned, ears folded, starting to whimper, “Pudgy sowwyy….” Doomcock nodded, “apology accepted. Now, please promise me to not do that again.” Pudgy nodded and sniffed, “Pudgy pwomise” It was hard to be cross at the hedgehog, and Doomcock nodded while he uncovered a tray of assorted goodies. Many were Pudgy sized. Pudgy began to nibble on a piece of cheese. The lord worked the remote controls and turned on Nerdrotics to watch one of his videos. Pudgy, “Aw man, not Nerdrotic, turn Doomcock on! Oh wait.” Pudgy and the lord laughed heartily. Doomcock fell asleep while watching silly YouTube shows. Pudgy located a bigger blanket, and with many tries, was able to cover him. Pudgy figured out how to turn the shows off, then got back into his chair and wrapped up. Pudgy started to drift off to sleep mumbling, “night …. night … every…”
Meanwhile far above and later that day, Cobalt pondered that he had not seen or heard from Pudgy for a long time now. It was a bit of a shock that at the same time he pondered, received a twitter direct message out of the blue from Doomcock. The ruler advised Pudgy had made it safely to Xanadoom. Pudgy’s crystal had been broken, but he could synchronize another to the one in Pudgy. The ruler would be in touch with instructions on surface preparations that would need to be done to coordinate the return trip. Cobalt messaged back that he was glad he got there. He hoped the Lord had hedgehog proofed his home and would stop over at the cabin later since he was at work.
Almost around the same time, Pudgy had been very busy exploring the large theater room after he woke up earlier. Doomcock had left before he woke, so he decided to ride the train again. He found the train above the bar in a glass case. So Pudgy decided to go into the tunnel. Both entrances had little barrels, and tape saying tunnel under construction. Inside was a model train wall, with stone painted on it. He pressed and it did not move. Pudgy rubbed chin, then looked at all the big bottles on the glass shelves behind the bar. It was all the icky stuff Cobalt said never drink. So Pudgy bounced off the bar and got back into his chair with the 14 remotes laid out before him. So, he started pressing buttons. The speakers loudly said: this movie is rated R. Pudgy settled in and hoped this was a good movie. The title of Blade Runner appeared on the screen.
Pudgy was all alone, but he was fine. Doomcock’s theater had everything. After the runner movie had ended, he continued to play with the remotes. The controls even had on demand: AEW PPV for $59.99 in UHD. A large password box popped up. Pudgy wondered what the password was? As he was about to hit cancel, Harvey’ tablet lit up, “do it …. order PPV!” Pudgy had just wisely decided to hit cancel, much to the chagrin of Harvey, and turned on Star Trek 2 Wrath of Khan. The theater doors opened, and in walked lord Doomcock. He went straight to the bar, and poured a drink grumbling about YouTube. Pudgy learned some new words too, and unlike Harvey, the lord did not have a beep button. Or if he did, he couldn’t push it to reach it as the lord was quite tall. Pudgy decided to stay out of sight, and let him vent and recover from whatever had made him upset. In time, the lord left, and Pudgy got back in his chair to fall asleep.
With all the insanity of yesterday, Doomcock forgot he had a visiting hedgehog, and had left certain doors ajar. His first clue of his minor mistake was when he woke up and found a little note on his bed table to look down first. On the floor was a tray of waffles and coffee. He couldn’t help but smile, and happily partook of the offered breakfast. He also messaged his human friend Cobalt who had advised he was at work. They stayed in semi-regular contact throughout the day regarding surface matters. Cobalt had found the crystal in Pudgy’s cabin and had rigged a series of lantern batteries to it, which boosted its output. The lord using his laboratory equipment, was able to re-establish contact with the crystal located at Pudgy’s little cabin. The green dot that represented the main crystal reappeared on the map in his lair.
While Cobalt was at work, he was not able to be there during testing. A couple test teleportation’s were in order, and the results were promising as Diktor documented his findings in a tablet nearby. Doomcock made mental note that he was in his laboratory several levels down, and behind security doors. There was no chance of Pudgy getting down there. He locked things up, and then left to go on an important meeting. While Doomcock was off on business far away, Pudgy returned to the theater room in Xanadoom. He turned on the Masked Singer. Plus, Mountain Monsters was coming on later. Harvey’s tablet lit up, so he was watching too. Harvey was done being mad at him, so he was talkative. Another pleasant night passed, and a quiet sleep in the fortress’s movie room.
Though it was now that Pudgy missed Cobalt. He was getting homesick. Xanadoom was wonderful, Doomcock was awesome, and Harvey was ok. But he missed running around, trees, skies, and going places with Cobalt. It was time for Pudgy to go home, the hedgehog decided. Pudgy decided to try to find the laboratory, as that may have things useful for going home. He scampered around, until he found the elevator. The call button was high, but he was able to climb a metal trim piece to push it. As the elevator doors opened, Pudgy bounced in, and started to climb to the floor panel.
Pudgy found the lab buttons 1,2,3. So he pushed lab 1, and the doors closed. The elevator went up a couple of floors, then the doors opened. The hedgehog scampered out into a long hallway. It was cold grey stone, and LED work lights. Down the hall, there was a sizable bank of computers and diagnostic equipment. Climbing up, he began to search for anything that could get him home. After some time had passed searching, Pudgy found a promising lead: a tablet of notes. The handwriting was bad, but not Cobalt level bad, so he could read it, “Crystal detected western Pennsylvania, Power amplification 80%, Pad modification complete, Test 1-4 failure, Test 5 successful, Pudgy go home?”
Pudgy bounced, Doomcock had figured out how to send him home. He looked around, and the pad was on a table beside the station. Harvey appeared on a monitor, “Pudgy, what are you doing?” Pudgy looked at the monitor, “hi Harvey. Pudgy wanna go home. Miss cobalt…” Harvey blinked, “I can understand that. Maybe you should wait for Diktor to return?” Pudgy strapped on a little cloth vest with a crystal sewn into it, then pushed the keyboard buttons to set the power to 5, and set the coordinates to n 29, w 94. He jumped on the pad. The teleporter fired up and boom Pudgy disappeared. Harvey blinked and spoke quietly, “uh oh.” Unbeknownst to Pudgy, Harvey inside his containment field had a communicator, and sent Doomcock a message, “Pudgy found the teleporter.” The future ruler was off on business, so he did not respond.
Meanwhile, Pudgy appeared in a kitchen with dark chocolate brown cabinets. Pudgy rubbed head, “oh Pudgy head hurts …. but … not Cobalt house?” He looked around, and saw a pretty lady sitting at a table sipping coffee from a large porcelain cup. The woman looked up, and was a bit startled, as the fuzzy brown hedgehog was now sitting on her kitchen countertop. “And who might you be?” Pudgy waved, “hi pretty lady, my name is Pudgy. Is this Pennsylvania?” She shook her head no, “no, I’m outside of Galveston …. Texas.” Pudgy frowned, Pudgy must set computer wrong.” The crystal started to glow green on his vest, and Harvey’s voice called out, “Pudgy, you are off. Tap the crystal to return.” The woman looked and recognized the voice. “Is that Harvey Cthulu?” Harvey: “yes, it is I Harvey Cthulu mortal! And who might you be?” She smiled, “Samantha. “Pudgy waved, “bye Samantha, it was nice to meet you.” Pudgy tapped the crystal and teleported back to Xanadoom. Samantha smiled, but was confused.
Pudgy rematerialized on the pad In Xanadoom. He rubbed his head; it was just like wrinkle in time. Though he didn’t see Oprah. Harvey blinked, “I really think you should wait for Doomcock.“ The computer said recharge in progress: 12%. He watched as the numbers started to climb, and his head began to clear. It was not very long before Pudgy noticed the computer screen reading out 100% recharge. Power 80% Pudgy worked the dials and set the coordinates to 51 North, 75 West. He jumped on the pad: and called out, “home!” Whoosh he teleported again, and this time materialized on a brown leather couch. He grabbed his head, “ow ow ow.. …Pudgy head hurts!” He looked up as the light dimmed, and a woman with brown hair started to sit down and scoot back. Before he could say as anything, he got squished.
The woman was home from work. And was checking twitter, when she saw a strange message from Samantha. “You are not going to believe this, a little hedgehog appeared in my kitchen earlier today. He was talking to Harvey, and then disappeared in a green poof.” The dark-haired woman laughed and commented “perhaps she should cut back on the coffee.” It was about the time she pressed send when she also felt movement behind her. Reaching back, she found a soft pillow, so she pulled it out and brought it into view. The woman shrieked when she saw Pudgy, tossed him away onto the floor in front of her. The hedgehog scampered quickly away and peeked at her from beneath the tv stand. Pudgy gave her a look, “you sat on Pudgy!” The woman blinked and adjusted her glasses. Pudgy recognized her, “umm, are you Starry Eyed Gir11 on twitter?” She nodded, “ah …. yes?”
Pudgy stomped his little foot: dang it, pudgy went too far. Overshot Pennsylvania. Is Pudgy in England?” The woman nodded, and the hedgehog waved at her, “sowwy to bother you, Pudgy trying to go home to Cobalt.” Pudgy tapped the crystal, and in a green poof he returned to Xanadoom. The woman was left in disbelief, then commented back to Samantha, “I believe you now.” Pudgy materialized not in Xanadoom, but on top of a white Hotpoint washing machine. It was making thumping noises. Pudgy knew that meant it was off balance, and something was wrong with the teleportation crystal. Cobalt’s machine did that when he tried to wash 6 pair of blue jeans. Pudgy grabbed the lid and put his right paw up, “yee haw!” An exasperated woman in a purple sweatshirt ran in, “dang it! Stupid machine … is ….off ….balance ….again.” She blinked as Pudgy was riding her washing machine like a bucking bronco. She reached over and hit pause, which after a couple more thumps.
“Aww… Pudgy wanna ride again!” The woman gently picked him up and sat the fuzzy hedgehog on top of her dryer. Then started to rebalance the washing machine. She blinked and started it up again, hoping when she turned there would be no talking hedgehog beside her. She turned and saw him looking at her. He bounced happily and started looking around the laundry room. Pudgy pointed, “what was in the washer?” The woman blinked, “it was a bed spread. Um, who are you?” Pudgy pointed at himself, “my name Pudgy.” The woman smiled and giggled, “oh! You’re with Cobalt right? I’m Purple Lady on twitter. I’m glad to finally to meet you. “ Pudgy waved and bounced happily, “Pudgy glad to meet you too!” She walked beside him and took out her cell phone. She took a selfie with Pudgy and posted it on twitter. Almost immediately Starry Eyed Gir11 and Samantha commented about Pudgy visiting them too.
Doomcock’s voice boomed out of the crystal, “PUDGY!!!!!!!” Pudgy immediately vanished in a poof of green smoke. Purple Lady commented she just heard Doomcock, “Pudgy might be in trouble.” As soon as He materialized on the teleportation pad the expletive tirade began. An hour passed, and Doomcock was still yelling at Pudgy. The helmet was starting to buckle, and even Harvey was looking scared. The lord had returned to find the teleportation grid active, and a missing hedgehog. He turned Pudgy over and spanked him. Pudgy was whimpering as the ruler put Pudgy on a table behind him and pointed and yelled stay there. Turning the grid off, Doomcock reviewed the computer logs. Many dead quiet minutes passed. The hedgehog felt terrible, he should have listened to Harvey. The only noises were a creaking chair, and keyboard noises.
Doomcock breathed hard and started to calm down. He turned around and looked at the whimpering Hedgehog. Ears folded down and crying, the ruler spoke haltingly at first, “I did not want you to try this yet. Especially all alone. What would happen if God forbid you teleported inside of a person or object? People would get hurt. There is only one Pudgy. What would Cobalt say if I had to tell him You passed away?” Pudgy was wailing and kept saying, “Pudgy sowwy.” The future ruler rolled his chair over, and picked up Pudgy, then carefully hugged him. Many minutes passed with no talking, until Doomcock spoke, “promise me you will not do this again.” Pudgy looked up, “Pudgy pwomise to not use teleporter again.” Doomcock put Pudgy next to the computer and rolled back to the keyboard. “Ok, let’s see where you went. Hmm Samantha, Starry Eyed Gir11 , and Purple Lady . Oh boy, Harvey will be quite mad you visited the darlings…” He stood up, and motioned for Pudgy to stay put, then walked away leaving the hedge alone and feeling terrible.
Time passed, and Doomcock slept in after a fun night of get together and YouTube live streams. After a small breakfast, he returned to the laboratory to find Pudgy still sitting next to the computer. The hedgehog was still asleep, but the lord couldn’t help but smile under his mask, because he told him to not move and he didn’t. Pudgy stirred awake and looked up at him. He patted his head: “ok get on the teleporter pad. We’re going to try again to send you home. ” Pudgy still had not taken off the vest with the crystal sewn in, so he scampered over. Doomcock set the power level, coordinates, and pressed execute. Pudgy went poof in a green smoke cloud. Pudgy materialized in a bedroom that again was not Cobalt’s house. The hedgehog found a large white bed spread, with a padded gray fabric headboard. Pudgy held his head, as the room was spinning. Pudgy heard footsteps, and suddenly without warning a bed spread flung up and covered him. A woman with long dark hair was making the bed and noticed a little bump. She bent down to straighten it out, but the bump moved. She giggled and called back, “ok boys, who put a toy on my bed?”
It was when the bump started moving quickly underneath the covers, that she stopped giggling, and gently tapped at the bump. Pudgy grunted, “ow!” The woman jumped back with a small shriek and watched as a brown furry hedgehog emerged from under her bed spread. Pudgy waved, “Pudgy glad you didn’t hit hard.” The woman blinked, “did you say Pudgy?” The hedgehog bounced happily. The crystal lit up, and Doomcock’s voice rang out, “Pudgy, do you read me?” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy made it safe to nice lady house, but she tapped me while making bed.” Doomcock, “nice lady house? Hmm, coordinates must be off still. I am sorry for Interrupting your day Ma’am, I am trying to send my hedgehog friend home to Pennsylvania.” She smiled ear to ear, and gently picked up Pudgy. Speaking to the crystal, “Hail Doomcock, it’s Bionic Belly Button.” Doomcock laughed heartily, “hail Bionic Belly Button, how are you today?
A pleasant conversation was had between the Lord, the lady, and the hedgehog. The delay was also due to the teleportation system having to recharge. Luckily it was quick, because Pudgy was 1 cubic foot. When Doomcock transported, he was 25 cubic feet. “Bionic, can you please place Pudgy back onto the bed?” Bionic hugged Pudgy, gently before placing him back on the bed. The hedgehog waved as he bounced happily, as he went poof in a green smoke cloud, back to Xanadoom. Bionic excitedly started to send twitter messages, which were liked by several individuals who had recent hedgehog visits also. Pudgy appeared back on the transporter pad, as Doomcock was texting someone in his tablet. Pudgy fell over, “room spinning.” Doomcock rubbed Pudgy gently on his belly, “I believe the reason I can’t lock on to your home crystal is that there is not enough power. I messaged Cobalt to increase the power. He says he knows what to do, but he is still at work.”
The hedgehog wiggled while he was on his back, “Pudgy understand, need Brioschi.” Pudgy rolled over and ducked to edge of table over trash can. He was sick and vomited into the trash can below. Doomcock patted his back, causing a loud belch to erupt from the little critter. Meanwhile far above, Cobalt had left work a little early and stopped at a battery place to pick up a deep cycle boat battery. Travelling quickly home, He ran over with the battery and his toolbox. The man rewired the crystal at Pudgy’s cabin to the battery. Far away in Xanadoom, Pudgy’s cabin appeared on the map with a yellow dot. Doomcock saw on his terminal: Power 440%. The lord smiled, “Pudgy, time to go home.” The hedgehog jumped off the pad and into his lap and started hugging him. “Pudgy very glad to have met you. Can Pudgy come back?”
The lord smiled and nodded, “yes you may return, though it Will be at my discretion. The teleportation crystal only works if I summon you. Do you understand?” Pudgy nodded and hugged again, before scampering to the teleportation pad. Doomcock set the coordinates and poof Pudgy disappeared. The hedgehog reappeared in front of his cabin. This time he was not sick and turned to see Cobalt waving. Pudgy ran up and started hugging him. Cobalt hugged back; it was good for his hedgehog friend to be finally home.