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 the 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 the 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 so 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 leaves, 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 is not going to live with Doomcock forever, just wants to visit him and Harvey. I would miss Cobalt. So by time Pudgy reaches 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 are you 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 along 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 remembers 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 had been found out. I understand you’re coming to visit?”
Pudgy, “yes, Harvey told me where you are, and Pudgy crawling through the 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 was 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 a red cloak, the other a 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 does the 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 says stealing is 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 eats 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 came 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 the 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 a 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 loves 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 perfect 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 shadow boxes 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 the 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 that 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 Vril 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 shouldn’t do it. If Harvey is free, destroy the world, and everyone will be 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 electricity. 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 cobwebs 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 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 pushed 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 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 listened to Doomcock. Pudgy just wanted to say hi.”