The skype call grew quiet, until an older voice cried out, “This is awesome, just what the league of villains’ need, an epic quest!” Comix nodded, “Yes, I agree.” Pudgy bounced happily, “Yay, Pudgy wanna go to the moon and save everyone!” Snicklefritz coughed, “wait, why save the world, shouldn’t we work with Harvey to take it over?” Comix shook his head, “No Snickle, what good is taking over a destroyed world? You know what Harvey says during those videos, he’s going to destroy the universe. We have to help but let’s vote. Villains signal your vote in the chat. Do we help Cobalt and Pudgy?” The chat started to vote one by one, and all were in favor. “The league of villains will support you. What do you need us to do?” Cobalt nodded, “for now, we need intelligence. Anyone with access to a higher power telescope, we need good shots of the moon. Also, anyone that can line up parts, or plans for a Saturn 1 rocket. I don’t need to build a Saturn 4, because Pudgy does not weigh that much. But we must factor in the rocket, thrust, payload, etc in the weight and velocity calculations.” Snicklefritz laughed, “you look rather dirty their Cobalt?” The man nodded, “aye, been putting in fence posts. Going to camouflage the area for assembly. Gentleman, there is one other concern. Harvey was working with the gray aliens, the ones with the heady black eyes. They may still be around, so I have a concern about security.”
Comix nodded, “got it, we will keep our eyes and ears outs, and send you updates about strange atmospheric phenomena in the Pennsylvania region.” The skype call ended, and Cobalt patted his hedgehog friend on his head, and let him lock up the cabin. The tired man headed back to his car, to back out of the forest. He drove up to his house, which was nearby. He needed a snack, a hot shower, and 4 extra strength aspirins for his aching back. He was glad for his newfound friends’ help. He couldn’t help but worry about Doomcock. If Xanadoom was hit hard, then Pudgy might have to do this solo with minimal support. He wondered how much a tig welder cost to buy, and operate, as well as how he would get the necessary fuel. Questions for tomorrow, as he shut the door and turned on the water full blast hot. It was time for bed, and a good sleep. Tomorrow was another day of planning and work. Pudgy was already asleep.
Cobalt had woken up early and left for work before the little hedgehog had woken up the next day. Pudgy saw his friend’s house dark, but he had work to do. Scampering back and forth all day, he assembled the rigging for the camouflage blinds to be installed later that day. Hedgehog told his dinosaur friend what they were going to do, he made a big grin of sharp teeth. Roared playfully, and then shot back to his Cave. Pudgy wondered what that meant? He also noticed Hecate was standing far away occasionally, not approaching. He kept a wary eye on her. As the hours passed, Pudgy watched as Cobalt came over in his car once more, driving into the forest, and pulling up below Pudgy’s cabin. He started unloading another full carload of supplies. The man hugged his friend, and then got to work stringing brown leafy camouflage, the kind used for duck blinds, and fall deep blinds. He had bought out the entire store, so he had enough netting to cover the soon to be work area. As he strung the netting, his little friend scampered to and fro telling him and showing all he did. Cobalt patted his head and complimented the amount of work done. Cobalt noticed the tyrannosaurus was heading over the hill, carrying something in his mouth.
Cobalt waved, and as the dinosaur strode up, he noticed the netting. “Camouflage netting?” The man nodded, “yes, once we start building the rocket, this will be visible from the air. While Harvey’s alien allies will most likely be able to see us, we don’t want any other extraneous persons stopping this project.” The dinosaur nodded, and pointed with his snout, as Pudgy scampered up. “What is this mister dinosaur?” Grumpasaurus beamed with pride, “It’s my ion drive. I’ve been working on it for months.” Cobalt stopped, and walked over, “A functional ion drive? Mister Dino, you really are serious about going to Mars?” The dinosaur nodded, “Yes, my kin are there, and I need to get back eventually.” Cobalt looked at him, “Why are they on Mars?” The dinosaur nodded, “My kind was much more advanced back in our day. We detected the incoming asteroid and started planetary evacuation. The young were sent there, as the trip would be too hard on the elderly.” Pudgy bounced, and Cobalt shook his head, “No Pudgy, you are not going to Mars. The moon is hard enough.” Cobalt started to inspect the drive and looked up at the grinning dinosaur. “This looks great, what does it run on?” Pudgy sniffed at the strange device, “what is an ion drive?”
The man motioning at the various parts, “An ion drive energizes particles as a means of propulsion. Nasa has been working on these for decades. Supposedly they have a functional drive on the Cassini probe that went to Saturn. It needs power though, and the probe has a nuclear core.” Grumpasaurus nodded, “Yes that is a good summary. Mine runs on tungsten and an alkaline core. I just need a better power source to start the initial fusion.” Cobalt nodded, “I know where to get solar panels. Once we’re in space, the panels should provide the power for space flight. So, this eliminates one variable, but the main issue is primary lift off. Pudgy’s crystal started to glow in his little vest, “Greetings Pudgy, this is Doomcock.” Pudgy bounced, “Hail Lord Doomcock, are you ok?” The lord laughed, “Yes I am, Xanadoom is back in working order. How are the moon preparations going?” Cobalt looked at the dinosaur and spoke loud enough for Doomcock to hear through the crystal. “I have been spending a lot of money, but we have the build site fairly camouflaged. I contacted the league of villains who are starting to provide intelligence and reconnaissance support. I have plans for a Saturn 1 rocket and will start construction as soon as I can order some materials.”
Doomcock laughed heartily, “A Saturn 1? Do you think you need that much lift capability?” Cobalt laughed, “If I was trying to life Grumpy here, I need a Saturn 4.” The dinosaur snorted, “I do not weigh that much. And besides, my ion drive should be more than sufficient.” The future ruler coughed, “An ion drive?” The dinosaur beamed, “Yes Lord Doomcock, I have been building one for my trip to Mars.” The crystal hissed a bit, as the dinosaur was talking, and Pudgy felt his body floating. Doomcock had activated the crystal and was moving the hedgehog away from the two. Pudgy wiggled his feet, “Why Pudgy floating?” Diktor laughed, “I am teleporting materials, and you need to move away from your friends. “Pudgy nodded, and Cobalt watched as long crates started to materialize around the hedgehog. Long Cylindrical tubes started to drop onto the ground. Doomcock narrated, “I have been doing the thrust calculations, and based on my research, a Saturn 1 is overkill, I believe a delta class rocket is more in order. I will be available for assistance should you run into issues during assembly. With the ion drive, Pudgy can make a round trip to and from the moon. Cobalt, you need to research landers.”
The man had already been taking notes and moving the ion drive to a more secure location beside Pudgy’s cabin. The dinosaur watched in amazement as boxes all around him. The lord was not messing around. “Lord Doomcock, if I may have a moment of your time?” The dinosaur asked, “Harvey also sent to me a crystal, like the one Pudgy has. Does that mean I can come to Xanadoom as well?” The lord grew silent, “I am unsure, you will need to bring the crystal to Pudgy’s cabin. It is not showing on my list of active crystals. My friends, this is an extraordinarily dangerous mission.” Pudgy bounced happily once he was set back down on the ground. “Pudgy can’t wait to go to the moon!” Cobalt laughed, “yes, but then you will have to locate Harvey and deal with him. This is yet another thing to worry about. Hopefully the LOV will have information soon.” The dinosaur blinked, “LOV?” Cobalt nodded, “League of Villains.” The dinosaur nodded, “Ahh.” Doomcock chuckled, “I am aware of these so-called Villains, so I will be the judge of their trustworthiness. For now, start inventorying the supplies sent, and contact me when you need assistance. Doomcock out.” The crystal stopped glowing, and Pudgy scampered between the stacks of crates. Cobalt and the dinosaur moved the crates to form a long wall around Pudgy’s cabin.
“My word, this hath been a busy day.” A feminine voice spoke behind Cobalt. As the man turned, he saw a woman standing there, leaning on a white oak staff, and a sparkly blue and silver outfit. Her green eyes were striking, and Pudgy screeched, “It’s her again!” Cobalt shot her an angry look and grabbed a pry bar. “What are you doing back here?” She raised her hands, “Wait, Cobalt … please. let me explain?” The man kept eyes on her, as the Dinosaur grimaced as well. Pudgy scampered up to Cobalt’s mud-covered boots, peeking around his leg. “Pudgy scared, tell the lady to go home.” The woman sighed, “Pudgy Hedgehog, I mean thee no harm I admit I overdid it, with the glowing blue eyes and blue makeup. I wanted only to test thine resolve, not scare you. I am sorry.” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy accept apology, pwease don’t do it again.” Cobalt dropped the pry bar down to his leg, “If Pudgy says it’s ok, then I guess you are ok. If you scare Pudgy again, I will be very annoyed with you.” He laughed, and sat the pry bar on the crate, and extended his hand to shake hers. She took his hand, and then looked at the assembled supplies. The netting above, and throughout the trees. “Is our faithful hedgehog going on a trip to Luna?”
Cobalt nodded, “yes, we are building a rocket to go into space. Hecate, do you have any more information as to what Harvey is up to?” The woman laughed, “no, I only know what my mother has shown via visions.” Pudgy looked confused, “your mom?” The woman nodded, “yes, I am the daughter of Hecate. Part of what you saw, and caused much fright, was my mother channeling my body. She is a goddess of magic, along with other manners of things.” Cobalt, “So what is your name?” The woman smiled, “Hecate as well.” The dinosaur muttered, “humans using the same name again. confusing.” The woman giggled, “I heard thee Dinosaur. Pudgy, you would not happen to have tea made?” The hedgehog nodded and scampered off. As Cobalt walked beside the magical woman, he watched the dinosaur poke around the boxes. As she sat down on the bench beside Pudgy’s cabin. Cobalt investigated the skies as they were clear but darkening quickly. “Why did Harvey pick winter to do this? If this was summer, we would have light till almost 9.” Hecate nodded, “The winter solstice was the weakest time of year for ley lines. Lord Doomcock’s prison tapped into those ley lines to power the eldritch god’s prison. Once the weakness was at its peak, he contacted his allies. They originate from his home, but I have been unable to attain further knowledge.”
The hedgehog scampered out with cups of hot tea for Cobalt and Hecate. He scampered back and returned with his small official Doomcock mug. As the trio sipped, the Dinosaur yawned, “I am going to head back. I will be taking the Ion drive back. I need to make adjustments.” The dinosaur picked up the unit in his mouth, wiggled his tail, and strode off towards his cave north of the cabin. Cobalt and Pudgy waved, then turned back to Hecate who had glowing blue eyes again. “Is this Hecate mom now?” The woman nodded, then her eyes faded and returned to green once more. “My mother does that from time to time. I am sorry it scared you Pudgy.” Pudgy frowned, and sipped his tea trying to suppress a yawn.” The man nodded, “ahh, I think it is bedtime for Pudgy soon. I need to further hide the crates.” He started to rake the fallen leaves, covering the supplies. He also had brought tarps and started to cover the metallic tubes after propping them up on rocks in case of rain. Hecate finished her tea and helped Pudgy tidy things up around the cabin. She soon disappeared; thankful she had straightened out the misunderstanding.
Cobalt hugged his hedgehog friend, and after he watched him lock up the cabin. He headed over to the car and drove home for the night. The hedgehog watched as Cobalt drove through the forest, got into bed when he lost sight of the taillights. Pudgy immediately fell asleep. Pudgy slept in late the next day. Laying in his bed, every muscle hurt. He had overdone it and couldn’t move. So, the little hedgehog stayed in bed till lunch time, then with the blanket still on, ate a small lunch. Pudgy wondered if Cobalt hurt like this too. He would ask later when his friend would stop by. A couple days passed like this, with a flurry of activity at night when Cobalt would get home from work. He would leave late, and Pudgy would fall asleep. Mister Dino stopped by occasionally, watching as the long metal tubes were being assembled. Blowing snow at night, led to interesting morning conditions, with Pudgy sweeping snow off of materials. Doomcock had left instructions, which Cobalt was at page 100 of 4,000. The little hedgehog didn’t know who Allen was, nor why he had a wrench named after him.
As he maneuvered the tables built by his Friend, pudgy could not believe how big this rocket was going to be. The League of Villains had sent information, and the best time for launch would be in mid to late February. It was as Pudgy was examining the rocket he heard a familiar voice. “So, this is what you are up to?” Pudgy turned to see someone poking his nose into an open box labelled tools. The large brown bear waved a paw, and Pudgy waved back. “Hello mister bear. Yes, Pudgy going to the moon!” The bear blinked, “you are? So that is what all the fuss is about?” Pudgy nodded and the two headed to the cabin. As the older bear sat onto his rear, and looked around, his head extended over the roof line. Pudgy had scampered in to make tea. The bear laughed, “I need to check on you more often, my hedgehog friend.” Pudgy came out with a mug of tea, which his guest gratefully took, sipping. “Clover honey I take it?” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy out of wildflower. Need to buy more.” As the hedgehog went in and out, he sipped his tea from his Doomcock mug. The two sat quietly in the calm forest. The bear looked at him, “Pudgy …The moon is very far away. What if you can’t return?”
Pudgy frowned, “Pudgy needs to stop Harvey, no matter the cost.” The hedgehog started to explain what had been going on, and his bear friend listened intently. After he was done, the bear rubbed his chin. “Hmm…I see.” Pudgy nodded, and mister bear pondered. The tree branches moved with the wind gently, as the errant bird fluttered through above. The bear watched as a bird flew, and went bang against something, and fell to the ground. Squinting his eyes, the skies looked clear. “Pudgy, that bird flew into something invisible.” Pudgy squinted too, looking at the sky where his bear friend was viewing. Another bird hit something and fell to the ground. “Uh oh, they’re back.” The hedgehog whispered. Mister bear nodded, “your aliens are still here, watching.” As the day passed, Mister bear took his leave, heading home to his cabin that was across the valley, and on the opposite distant hills. Pudgy was glad his friend stopped by. The hedgehog kept a wary eye on the skies, and the birds were no longer smacking into the invisible object. Cobalt soon stopped by after work with these strange cornmeal taco things called tamales. Pudgy told him about the visit from mister bear, and the aliens above. Cobalt nodded, ” right now we are not a threat. I suspect they will become more active the closer we get to launch.”
Shortly after supper was done, Cobalt set up large work lights, and fired up a generator he had bought. With the proper amount of light available, he started to work once again on the rocket motor assembly. Pudgy continued his scampering, looking around the boxes. He located one that was easily opened by a hedgehog and found a tiny by human standards sewing machine and all variety of fabrics. There was a note, written in Doomcock’s handwriting. Pudgy read it aloud, “As the availability of space suits for hedgehogs are virtually non-existent, I have provided you with the means to produce one. Please follow the instructions and ask me for assistance should you need it. I will admit my sewing skills are passable, I rely on the professionals for some things.” Cobalt chuckled, “I can’t sew worth beans, so you are on your own there Pudgy.” Pudgy started to carry the materials into his cabin, and set up the sewing machine, which thankfully also included a stand. The two friends worked well into the wee hours of the morning. It started to snow hard which caused a further chill to the air to sweep through the camp site and assembly area. Cobalt was yawning badly, so he turned off the generator. As the lights dimmed, he went up to the cabin and found a sleeping hedgehog. “Good Night Pudgy.” he whispered, as he walked to his car, and drove out of the forest.
Hours passed and when Pudgy woke up, he found ice everywhere. The snow had changed to freezing rain. He also found a fire going, and Cobalt working again. He scampered out and slid on the ice landing in a pile of leaves. “Cobalt, did you work all night?” The little critter asked and watched his human friend wave back. “Good Morning Pudgy, I worked till about 3, then left when it started to snow. Today is snow, then freezing rain, then rain, then back to snow.” Pudgy nodded, “Typical.” It was then when he spied a large blue cooler on wheels beside his home. Pudgy scampered carefully over and pointed, “Goodies?” Cobalt nodded, and the hedgehog bounced. He knew Cobalt was here all day when he brought food. The critter scampered and saw that there were now three 10-foot empty rocket sections sitting beside one another on heavy wood blocks. Each rocket section was so complicated, and he was amazed what his human friend could do. Cobalt had a leather apron on, with thick leather gloves on, working something with a long cord. He had a long metal rod in his left hand, and a sparking rod in a big red box hummed that said Milwaukee on it. Cobalt even had a Doomcock style mask on, though a rectangle piece of dark glass was where the eyes should be. The light hurt his eyes, so he looked away.
The instruction manual was open, with two stones holding it open to page 993. Pudgy read out loud, “second stage release assembly.” The rocket that the lord sent was a two-stage delta class rocket. It allowed for extended flight. What drew Pudgy’s attention quickly was the start of the crew module. He scampered over quickly, sliding on the wet leaves. The tarps above were catching the heavy rains, diverting the water beside the camp. The critter looked back and saw his water wheel was flying fast from the rain waters. Then returning his focus, he found a small chair inside a hollow cone shaped section. Crawling inside, he marveled at how much room was inside. He would be able to walk around. Cobalt laughed when he noticed his friend had found the flight module. “Pudgy, that is not done yet, it will be full of things soon. But you can imagine about a foot of clearance in a circle.” Pudgy peeked out of the back, “really? Pudgy will be smashed inside.” Cobalt nodded, “Once I put the electronics in, the supplies, and a hedgehog in space suit, there will be virtually no extra space.” Pudgy made a face, but he trusted Cobalt. Climbing back out, he scampered out and back up to the cabin. He too had work to do.
Space suits consisted of three layers. The interior layer, a thick insulating layer, and then the external layer. Space was a vacuum, with extreme temperature conditions. Nasa also had temperature regulators inside This suit would resemble that of the Apollo era missions. That meant less work to do, but it all needed to be done accurately with triple stitching, and rubber seals. As the hedgehog worked at the sewing machine, his friend continued outside. Hours passed, and as the light started to fade, Cobalt called out. “Pudgy, you want supper?” The hedgehog peeked out and bounced happily. His friend had already started roasting hot dogs and had a pot of water boiling hard. Pudgy smelled coffee and scooted beside his friend who was tending the fire. Yummy smells of roasting meat filled the air and wafted up through the forest. Cobalt laughed, “I suspect we may have a large visitor soon.” Pudgy nodded, “probably, but that’s ok. Cobalt, have you heard anything from the league of villains?” As Cobalt cut a small piece off a hot dog, and handed it to his friend, he spoke.
“Comix has been sending me updates. The moon has been unusually active. The various space agencies have all planted seismometers on the moon to record ground movements. Normally they do not pick up anything. The two prior days have had massive quakes that are shaking the moon. It appears that Harvey is trying to do something. The moon is important to the earth and can cause much damage to it if it were to be harmed. What I wonder though, is why is Harvey in two parts?” The hedgehog nodded as his friend talked and munched on the salty chunk of hot dog. Pudgy’s crystal started to glow in his vest, “Hail Cobalt and Pudgy!” Doomcock was speaking, and the two friends called out, “Hail Doomcock.” The lord laughed heartily, “Cobalt, what stage of assembly are you at?” Cobalt stopped eating, “Primary stage engines are done. I am almost complete on the secondary stage. The Ion drive is being enhanced by Grumpasaurus. He should have it back here in a day or so I believe. The League of Villains sent word that the moon has become seismically active, with massive 5 and 6 magnitude quakes shaking the moon.” The lord sighed, “He really is trying to break free then. My friends let me tell you a story.”
Pudgy nodded, “Ok, we are having hot dogs.” Diktor laughed, “Oh boy, maybe I should come up then?” Pudgy bounced excitedly, “Please do!” The lord grew quiet, and soon a yellow shimmer of light started to appear next to Pudgy’s cabin. A figure started to appear, dressed in regal attire. His long coat was that of fine leather, with golden braids that ran horizontal across his chest. His mask was that of a pale gold, and he looked around at the rustic cabin. Pudgy scampered up and waved at the lord, “Hi Lord Doomcock, welcome to Pudgy’s home!” The lord turned and waved, “Hail Pudgy, thank you for inviting me. Well I must say you do have a nice cabin. I admit, I was hoping it would be a tad bigger, as I cannot fit inside.” He laughed, noticing the water wheel flying fast and the alternator humming. The little cabin was perfect for the hedgehog: nicely decorated with various fabrics, and little windows. The lord turned and saw Cobalt standing next to a large fire. The man waved, and Doomcock walked over. Shaking hands, Cobalt motioned for him to sit on the bench beside the campsite. The smell of strong coffee and roasted foods wafting in the air.
As Doomcock sat down, Cobalt sat as well. Pudgy scampered to get cups, and then sat on a nearby flat rock near the fire so he could see both of his friends. Doomcock watched as Cobalt poured the coffee out of its large pot and into a serving pot. “Cowboy coffee, good for long nights and big groups.” The lord laughed as he was handed the cup. “Milk or sugar, ” Cobalt asked. The lord shook his head no. The man poured himself a cup, and then added some milk out of the cooler. The lord opened the face plate and revealed his mouth. Taking a sip, “Um Cobalt, some milk please.” Cobalt nodded and opened the cooler, then pulled out and handed over a small jug of milk. As Doomcock lightened his coffee, he smiled. “It has been far too long since I was on the surface, during a rainstorm.” The rains were still heavy, and hit the tarps cascading water around the camp.
As Diktor handed back the milk, Cobalt placed it into the cooler. The lord nodded, “Now, let me tell you that story I spoke of.” As he took a sip of the coffee, he smiled. “Mmm … that is better. My friends. years … and years ago … I had a chance encounter with the gray aliens. They had become known to my father, during his various envoys to the surface world. They in turn became aware of Xanadoom, and the power it held. Their visits were at first benign, looking at things. When my father caught them, they would quickly teleport away. However, over time, their trespasses into our realm became more pronounced. When we captured one, and began to interrogate it, their leader appeared. He was a green floating creature with tentacles. A supremely arrogant fellow, my father disliked him greatly. The creature said the grays were his followers, and they acted his will accordingly. We released the captured gray, and they disappeared for many years. When my father passed, and I assumed command of Xanadoom, the green creature returned. I could never pronounce his name right, so we settled on Harvey Cthulhu.
As he resembled the character from the HP Lovecraft novels, it made sense. His arrogance had only grown, in the time that had transpired. It was then when the visits resumed, as I increased the capabilities of my land. They began to directly interfere in my plans, so I made a wager. Harvey was intrigued and accepted my wager.” Cobalt nodded, and handed Doomcock a hot dog, which he took and munched. “Thank you, mmm…this is quite good.” Pudgy was nibbling on a small potato that was wrapped in aluminum foil. “How’s the potato Pudgy?” The critter peeked up, “Crunchy.” Cobalt nodded, “Ok, not done yet.” The lord ate and smiled, as it had been far too long since someone invited him for a visit. The meal was not fancy but was appreciated.
Doomcock nodded, ” I wagered that I could beat Harvey to the moon. The eldritch god laughed, saying his followers could get him there and back. I wagered he could not do it, if it was just himself. The god laughed and accepted the bet. I added a stipulation, that he could not use magic, nor his entire body. Again, so prideful Harvey was, he agreed. So, Harvey divided his body, and left his consciousness within a small shell that would remain in Xanadoom. He could still control his body, which was much larger, from afar. As preparations were made, Harvey decided to cheat, and fly his body to the moon. What he did not realize was, I was planning on double crossing him. As the body flew towards the moon, I fired my only rocket towards the moon. A V2 rocket design from the second surface world war. My great grandfather had acquired the plans from a man who sought refuge. That man was not what he said to be, and thus grandfather dispatched him…. “
The lord trailed off. Cobalt nodded, and so did Pudgy. After the lord finished another hot dog, and a sip of coffee, “So Harvey’s body reached the moon, with the rocket barreling towards it. I detonated the rocket, which caused the capture system to engage, and it strapped Harvey’s body to the back side of the moon. Harvey in Xanadoom grew enraged and started to lash out. I left him in a chamber within my reactor room and sealed him inside. Flooding the room with tetrazene gas, I incapacitated him, and then proceeded to imprison him. His followers in turn started to approach, and I commanded that if any came forth, I would dispatch the form I had imprisoned. They backed off, and left Xanadoom alone for decades, till just fairly recently.” The lord watched as Cobalt retrieved a foil wrapped potato out of the fire and cut it open. “Taters are ready. Hey, do you want butter?” The lord nodded, and watched Cobalt get the fixings out of the cooler. Handing a foam plate with a plastic fork to the lord, the man began to retrieve his potato. Diktor munched and laughed while Pudgy scampered about doing hedgehog things. The critter kept checking on the two men sitting next to the campfire. As Cobalt began to eat, he pointed across the forest. The rain had started to switch back to freezing rain.
“Looks like the weathermen were right, it is switching back.” Doomcock nodded, and turned to Cobalt, “If the moon is having quakes, it means the body is stirring. The consciousness kept apart from the body resulted in Harvey’s body going dormant.” Cobalt nodded, “I see, and how big is Harvey normally?” The lord nodded, “Well, he is about 200 feet tall. Though I suspect perhaps a tad bigger, he had to duck in Xanadoom.” Cobalt rubbed his chin, “Um, what hope do we have to stop Harvey then?” Diktor nodded, “I researched what was stolen from me. Harvey’s followers were able to get various parts from Xanadoom to send to Pudgy and his dinosaur friend. The dinosaur’s crystal is not a teleportation crystal. It is a containment crystal. With the proper application of energy, the crystal can trap the creature inside of it. Once we get Harvey inside, I can shatter the crystal. Harvey will be trapped forever, and the shards can in turn be scattered throughout the universe.” Cobalt nodded, “till the forces of evil seek out said shards, reassemble them, and put them in a spiffy gauntlet. Hmm, that sounds familiar…” The lord laughed as Cobalt did, but Pudgy frowned.
“You aren’t going to hurt Harvey? Maybe grays are controlling him?” Doomcock shook his head, “No my friend, that is not the case. I suspect once freed; the grays would leave us alone as their leader may not speak for all of them.” The campfire meal was excellent, and as the trio sat there, Pudgy began to relay all of the strange things happening on the surface. Doomcock was on his second cup of coffee, watching as the ice changed back over to snow. He was glad he brought the coat, as it was becoming quite cold. Pondering, “Cobalt, if I may inquire, do you have any Irish in that cooler? To warm my coffee up?” Cobalt chuckled, “I do not drink spirits usually, does bad stuff to me. But I do have this…” He opened the cooler, and produced a tiny bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey, and handed it over. The bottle was still sealed, and the price tag said $9 fine wines and spirits 10/4/2005. The lord laughed, “still sealed no less?” Cobalt nodded laughing also, “a case of beer lasts me three years.” As Diktor broke the seal, he proceeded to Irish up his coffee. Cobalt stood up, and his hip popped loudly, “Sucks getting old.” Diktor laughed, “tell me about it.” As Doomcock also stood up, he walked over to inspect the rockets. Cobalt motioned, “Thank you for sending all of this. I do not have the funds to finance my own space operation. Just all of this has been a couple thousand dollars. But to save the world, I think it is worth it. Plus, I can still use all of this for the next Pudgy adventure. But Please, Lord Doomcock….can we wait on the next one for a while?”
The two men laughed and returned to the fire. Pudgy had already got the cookies out and was nibbling. He was sipping tea from a Doomcock mug, which drew a smile from the lord. Diktor nodded, “I believe we can stop Harvey, and Pudgy will get to the moon safely.” Cobalt looked at him, “and what of the return trip? I want Pudgy home safe and sound after this.” The lord nodded, “yes, I believe the ion drive the dinosaur spoke of will be instrumental in the round trip. Should there be an emergency, I will have the power of Xanadoom focused on Pudgy, so I can teleport him back. The furthest I have teleported was in high earth orbit. I tried my luck at a satellite. Got up there safe, though it didn’t work out. Turns out, nobody wanted to watch classic Dr Who in 1990.” Cobalt laughed, “yeah that is on Pluto now 24×7.” The trio of friends sat next to the fire, and as the spirits kicked in, various tunes were sung. Cobalt was not a singer, which the lord quickly saw. Pudgy did hedgehog things, scampering to and fro, and bouncing happily.
As the visit grew late into the night, Doomcock felt Pudgy snuggle up beside him, and watched him fall asleep. It was hard being an evil future ruler of the world, with a snuggling sleeping hedgehog. Nodded, “I believe it is time for me to head back.” Cobalt nodded, yawning a bit, “perhaps that is for the best. You can always come back. My house is over there,” he pointed towards the eastern side of the forest. “Goodbye for now then, my friends.” Diktor said while patting Pudgy, and slowly teleporting back to Xanadoom. Pudgy was still asleep, and Cobalt walked over to gently scoop him up. The man carried him back to the cabin, he reached inside and put Pudgy to bed. Shutting the cabin door, the man returned to work on the rocket assembly. It would be another long night of work, though it was fun to meet Doomcock and listen to the story. He now knew what happened.