Crimson Dawn: Chapter 6: Henka Suru


A stately black Rolls Royce Phantom with heavily tinted windows was driving on the highway through Tokyo.  Armor plated, bullet-proof windows, puncture proof tires, and many other features were included with this means of transport.  The hum of the engine was soft, with nary a vibration felt inside by the occupants of the vehicle.  There were two Japanese men dressed in black suits up front, hidden away by a dark privacy glass that came up out of the bulkhead which divided the passengers from the driver and associate.  The man sitting in the passenger seat was typing away at a laptop, and working on a rather intensive speech, making edits and corrections.  While the occasional small talk was head between the two men up front, in the rear of the vehicle was a different story.

An uncomfortable silence was hanging in the air, asides from the occasional rustle of the paper newspaper.  There was an elderly man in his eighties, dressed impeccably in a black business suit, with white tie and crisp silk red tie.  Dark brown eyes would occasionally stare down at his expensive gold Rolex watch, only to squint and raise it closer so he could see it.  The vehicle was making good time, so he returned his gaze back to the paper.  Orderly rows of kanji characters were neatly arranged, telling tales of financial and political repercussions of the latest trade deal as negotiated by the prime minister.  Japan was facing crisis upon crisis on too many fronts from all sides.  It was the usual doom and gloom stories, about the fall of the empire, and why everyone should worry. 

The story of the day was the latest discussion about the country’s population decline.  It was a weekly story, which never seemed to go away.  There was always a new spin, with a new twist to sell newspapers.  It was true that their country was aging, but with age came wisdom.  Learned gentlemen studied the causes of the population decline, and wrote papers to discuss their findings.  It was litigated on television, radio, and newspapers.  While it was true that eventually there would be not enough young people, it would not cause the destruction of the country.  Eventually there would be a need to raise taxes, and the people would have to pay.  Or conversely, services would need to be cut.  The parliament was already taking steps to ensure the conversion process would be timely and fair. 

Rolling his eyes at the latest hysterical take about the matter, he turned the page and began to read the financial section.  There was excited talk of crypto-currencies, whatever those were?  The man glanced up from his paper and to his left to catch a glance of an angry woman in her early forties.  She was dressed in a business formal black dress, which ran below her knees.  Dark beige pantyhose covered her legs, and a set of black heels adorned her feet from the finest of fashionable stores.   “I don’t understand why I need to go with you on this trip Father,” and exasperated female tone pierced the silence of the vehicle.  “This is just a trade ceremony between China and Japan, you do not need me there.”    

The elderly man sighed, “we have been over this many times Chinatsu.  It’s only half an hour to the airport, the flight is four, and the dignitary event in Taiwan is perhaps 3 hours at most.  We meet the delegation from the mainland, try not to spark an international incident, and then return home.  It will be a long day, but you will be home by midnight.  Besides, what else did you have planned for today, I reviewed your schedule, and you had nothing planned.”  The woman glared in response, and lowered her eyes back to her smart phone.  The familiar clicking noises could be heard, as she was messaging with someone far away.  She looked up for a split second, and noticed that her father’s expression had changed to the negative while reading the paper.  Smirking to herself, she returned to her electronic conversation.        

The man scanned the pages of the newspaper, a section caught his eye about the emperor’s trip to Taiwan was highly critical.  The reporter had been a thorn in his side over the decades, and in every article that he wrote about him, the same opening paragraph was written: “The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the ceremonial head of state. He is defined by the Constitution to be “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people”.[7] However, he is not the nominal Chief Executive and he possesses only certain ceremonially important powers. He has no real powers related to the Government as stated clearly in article 4 of the Constitution.[23] Article 6 of the Constitution of Japan delegates the emperor the following ceremonial roles: Appointment of the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet.  Appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet. 

While the Cabinet is the source of executive power and most of its power is exercised directly by the Prime Minister, several of its powers are exercised by the emperor. The powers exercised via the emperor, as stipulated by Article 7 of the Constitution, are: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties. Dissolution of the House of Representatives. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet.  Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights. Awarding of honors. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. Performance of ceremonial functions.”

The reason those paragraphs were included was that there had been several defamation lawsuits against the newspaper and the reporter.  The earlier articles were much harsher, so now the required legal disclaimers were added before each attack article.  The man cleared his throat, and rolled his eyes while he read aloud.  “Emperor Akio has chosen to go on a diplomatic function in Taiwan, which will not only anger our Chinese trading partners … it will cost our nation too much financially to pay for the trip.”  Sighing with an annoyed tone, he continued to speak, “if this were my grandfather’s time, I could have this reporter executed.  Alas …. that is not the case anymore … the emperor has to be above it all.”  Chinatsu giggled softly, “can you imagine if Emperor Akio started a twitter account?  You could start a flame war against him, like the American politicians do all the time against their detractors.  Maybe tag him on an embarrassing story, like the time he crashed his car into a noodle cart in Hokkaido.” 

Emperor Akio started to laugh, and noticed for the first time his daughter was smiling at him.  Reaching out with a gnarled arthritic hand, he patted her knee and smiled in response.  “I have no idea what you just said.  If you are referring to social messaging, those things are the ruination of our society.  Maybe I should ban it.  I could issue an edict, which the populace would roll their eyes and move on with their eyes glued to their smartphones.”  The father and daughter laughed in unison softly, and then resumed their activities as the world sped by outside of their windows.  A soft hum started to fill the air, as the privacy glass started to lower and reveal the driver and passenger in the front seats.  The driver spoke as he faced forward while driving, watching a police officer on a motorcycle ride ahead of them with lights flashing.  “Emperor Akio, you should hear this, the radio stations are all playing a version of this.”

Turning up the volume, a scared sounding Japanese woman was talking very fast.  “If you just joined our special coverage, people all over the city have started to disappear.  The police are at their breaking point, with hundreds of missing person cases coming in every hour.”  The driver lowered the volume, “this started about an hour ago, apparently people just fade away and vanish into thin air.”  The emperor frowned, and folded his newspaper.  “This is not good … perhaps I should refrain from leaving the country?”  The man with the laptop shook his head, “we should not cancel this trip Emperor Akio, the Chinese delegation will take great offense if you do not go.”  The driver immediately cursed, and the car veered hard to the left.  As all occupants were thrown to the left, the seat belts held them in place, until the car veered hard to the right.  The emperor watched as the police motorcycle crashed into a concrete barrier without a driver. 

Princess Chinatsu shrieked, “what just happened?”  The driver kept cursing, and the vehicle was having to dodge traffic as driverless cars started veering off to each side.  “Whatever is going on, it is getting worse,” the driver said loudly.  We should be at the airport in ten minutes,” he said while the car accelerated way past the legal speed limit.  The vehicle started to drive down a ramp, approaching a large tunnel.  There was 7 lanes for traffic, and a series of electronic plate scanners that would assess a toll on the vehicle as it passed by.  The emperor and princess could see that there were large trucks that had flipped over and crashed which blocked several lanes.  The second police officer at the rear of the vehicle quickly sped past to check on the crashed vehicles.  Confused Japanese construction workers were trying to figure out why they had crashed into a freight truck.  As the phantom passed by, Princess Chinatsu watched as the men started to fade away.

Emperor Akio watched from his side as the police officer faded away as he stepped off of his motorcycle.  Turning forward, “Akira … darn the Chinese … this is an emergency!”  The driver was still there, but the speech writer / liaison was not.”  The driver was from the Japanese self defense force, and was clenching the steering wheel tightly.  “I concur, this is an emergency.  Emperor, I need to get to the airport, and sequester the you in a safe place.”  The emperor shot the driver an angry look, “and what of my daughter the Princess?”  The man’s face remained stoic, as he adjusted his black mirrored sunglasses.  “Look to your left …”  The driver trailed off, and continued to dodge crashed vehicles as he drove at a high rate of speed.  Turning to his left, Emperor Akio saw only a red Gucci purse and a cell phone.  “Chinatsu….” He trailed off, as he saw the light of day starting to brighten the tunnel exit ahead. 

As the phantom exited the tunnel, the terminal was clearly on fire.  Airplanes had started to fall out of the skies above, and crash into the structures.  More vehicles had crashed, and exploded into flames as their gasoline filled fuel tanks began to leak.  The vehicle began to shake, as it was covered by a gigantic black shadow.  A self defense force cargo plane was starting to crash, and it sped by quickly overhead and striking the series of overpasses that directed the traffic to the various terminals and sections of the airport property.  The plane crashed through electrical wires, and exploded into flames.  Akio cried out in Japanese, but was not intelligible as the loading ramp at the rear of the plane dropped open.  Large pallets of cargo began to drop out and land hard on the road.  A pallet weighing over a thousand pounds crashed onto the hood of the phantom, causing the vehicle to flip forward.   Everything went black, and suddenly grew quiet. 

Akio awoke, feeling as if his body was floating in a bathtub full of warm water.  There was no color, other than gray.  “Am I dead,” he attempted to speak, but found he could not.  There was no sound, no air movement, nothing at all.  He was in a gray void, which was not at all what the Shinto or Buddhist priests promised would happen when one passed away.  There was no sense of time, so it was unclear how long he had been here?  He worried about his daughter, and his subjects within Japan and its surrounding territories.  He could still think, and thus the emperor pondered his status.  Keeping his mind sharp, he chose to occupy his free time, with rehearsing the speech that had been prepared to deliver to the Chinese delegation.  Although, Chinatsu did have a point, why did the emperor need to make an appearance anyway?  The Chinese would be polite, and then stab him in the back at the reception.    He would get his digs in, and trade barbs politically, thus maintaining face and provoking a response at home as people overreacted. 

As the elderly man was cursing the reporter again, suddenly the gray void disappeared, and the night sky appeared overhead.  The warmth of the void was replaced with the chill of winter, as the cold air blew past.  The stars were clearly visible, so much brighter than back home in Tokyo.  Taking a deep breath in, the air was fresh, with the smell of pine lingering in his nostrils.  When he opened his mouth, “honnnnkkkkk……”  the sound of a bird came out.  Panic set in, finding that his body was not responding as he tried to move.  But just as the stars had appeared, soon they faded away to darkness.  Unlike the void, he had fallen asleep.  However, just as quickly as the dark came, so did the light, and once more he was awake.  Snow had fallen, covering the ground with a light dusting of fine powder.  Trying once more to speak, the bird noise came out once again, “honnnk …… honk…..”  Although, this time, he could feel his legs.  Gingerly he took a step, and found it exceptionally difficult.  It was as if he was walking on stilts.  He had to think exceptionally hard, focus on each part of his body, to allow forward movement. 

As he looked forward, a long dark gray needle like beak struck out from his face. It was extremely slow going, but eventually Akio got the hang of walking, and continued forward.  The area was high up in the mountains of the country, and given how cold it was, he must have arrived somewhere far to the north of Tokyo.  The leaf bearing trees had all lost their foliage, and the empty branches swayed in the cold winter air.  The only green were tall pines that towered into the skies above.  There was no sound at all, only the wind blowing.  While he did feel the cold, he was not shivering for some reason.  It was as if his body was wrapped in a warm blanket.  Stopping a moment, the man decided to turn around, and when he did the strangest sight, he had ever seen was on full display.  There were no human foot prints behind him, only three toed markings in the snow.   “hONNNNNkkkk…. what …. the….”

Blinking, it was the first time he started to hear words come out of his mouth.  They had a much higher pitch than his normally gravelly toned voice.  Turning around again, he quickened his gait, heading towards a lake.  The surface of the lake had frozen over in spots, but ahead of him there was still a patch of open water.  Perhaps he could get a glance at himself to see what was going on?  It did not take long, as his stride was quite far, and soon the man leaned down towards the water.  Staring back at him from the water’s surface was a red crowned crane.  His body was covered with white feathers, although his tail was covered with long black feathers.  Black feathers also adorned his long neck, and the place around his eyes.  There was a red plume of feathers atop his head.  Long spindly gray legs were allowing him to stand.  “Honnnnkkk…. what is going on?  Why am I a crane?”

Extending his wings out, the chill of winter appeared, but the realization that his childhood dream was soon to be realized.  When he was a young boy, Akio dreamed of being able to fly.  This body would offer him the chance to do just that.  “First things first Akio …master walking first …then perhaps find something to eat.  What do cranes eat anyway?”  Bending down, he dipped his beak into the water and drew water into his mouth.  It was cold, and tasted clean, so he swallowed.  It was a unique experience drinking this way, it was almost as if a straw had been glued to his face.  Taking several more draws of water into his mouth, the former human stood up and looked around.  There were no other people present, nor animals for that matter.  “They all have the better sense to bed down somewhere warm.  If I remember, cranes are solitary animals.  I will most likely not find any here.”

As the days passed, the emperor learned how to maneuver with his body, as well as what to eat by trial and error.  It seemed his body would work on both plant and animal foods, so that was a feather in his cap … err …head.  He even learned how to fly, though the landing was the hardest part, which he crashed a lot.  Taking flight, he started to fly towards the setting sun, as that was the best course of action for now.  The region was heavily forested, with no signs of human life anywhere.  As he flew overhead, he started to see black bears and other large animals moving about slowly.  Though their numbers were few, as the snows started to deepen.  Unlike smaller birds, who could sleep in the safety of the tall trees, he had to sleep standing up on the ground at night.  This meant picking a safe spot to rest was of the utmost importance.  Although thus far, he had not run into any predators. 

His trip down the mountain progressed until he reached the ocean, which then resulted in him banking to the left and start to follow the coastline as he progressed south by south west.  The beaches that ran along the ocean were lightly dusted with snow, and he watched as the various sea birds began to increase in number as he flew.  Many more days passed, until he reached the outskirts of a human city.   The white sign was starting to rust badly, and the kanji were written in a fine black paint.  “Sapporo … no wonder it is cold up here, I’m on Hokkaido.  I wonder if I should stop by that reporter’s home?  I have had address.  I should relieve myself on his car.  No …wait …that is not the dignified actions of the Emperor of Japan.  Still, it would be funny, no one would know it was me.  I look like a random crane, just another bird, nothing to see here.”     

Deciding to skip the sightseeing trip to the stupid reporter’s home, the former human noticed a gathering of sea birds excitedly chirping as they sat on a Fence that surrounded a tennis court. Akio decided to come in for a landing, and coasted down with his wings outstretched.  He extended his legs, and started to come in for a landing, then promptly fell face first onto the ground.  As he started to stand back up, the sea birds started chirping and laughing at him.  To his astonishment, he started to understand their words.  “Would you take a look at that crane?  He can’t even land!  Oh yeah, all the females know who to avoid.”  The former human cocked his head to the left and narrowed his black eyes at the white sea birds as he approached them.  “Hey, I’m still learning how to land, cut me some slack.  I spent eighty years as a human, it’s only been a couple weeks as a bird!”  The former human said angrily, with an annoyed honk at the end.  The white sea birds got quiet, and stared at him with beady black eyes 

Pausing a moment, Akio spoke again, “do you know where we are?”  One bird nodded, “sorry about that, we were just having a bit of fun.  This is Sapporo, I think this used to be a school where the humans went.  We haven’t seen any humans for months.  All of their buildings are collapsing, and falling down.  Nobody knows why they left …”  Another sea bird angrily called out, “and good riddance to them. I hope they never come back.”  The emperor looked at the flock with a confused look, “were the humans that bad?”  The sea birds started to angrily vent out a long list of grievances.  Everything from destroying their homelands, to stealing their food, and killing their young … the list of complaints was endless.  It was a point of view the elderly man had never considered in all of his life. 

After allowing time for the birds to calm down, the former human asked them several questions.  Which they answered, with an increasing angry tone, until they flew off in a huff.  It had been a couple of months since he had departed, with it being mid-winter at this point of the year.  The human cities had been collapsing, and disintegrating before the animals’ eyes.  There was no sign of any animal named Chinatsu that they had come across.  The emperor took flight once again, and as the weeks passed, he spoke with several more animals.  They all told the same story, and when he revealed he was a former human, they would wander off in a huff.  The human race had a poor reputation, which only confused the former human even more.  Every good thing mentioned, was followed by a laundry list of bad things.  The various animals’ conversations were had with were in agreement that the human cities crumbling was a boon to their kind.  It allowed the remigration to their native lands, and work was being undertaken by the various herds and flocks towards that end. 

Days turned into weeks, and with each flight, he was getting better at landing.  He found his body was able to sustain longer and longer flight time, which was useful when he needed to fly over the open ocean to cross the channel between Hokkaido and the mainland.  He just barely made it, and landed hard with his wing muscles burning.  He had pushed himself just up to his limit, and needed a couple days to rest.  A large sign written in Kanji letters read Cape Oma.  The area used to be a haven for tourists, with stone statues of fish jumping out of the water, and various souvenir shops nearby.  Various competing patterns of colored bricks would direct walking tours around the coastline areas.  As the waves washed ashore onto a narrow beach, the former human sighed.  “HONNNNKKKKK!”  Lifting his head, he turned to face towards the sound.  It was not his voice, but it did sound like another crane. 

Striding as quick as he could muster, the sound repeated every so often, coming from underneath a rectangular building that was sitting on top of about 6 tall concrete support columns.  The windows had been broken by a typhoon, but still offered some protection from the elements.  “Honnnnkkkk!”  The sound was very close, and sounded a tad angry.  Cautiously he slowed, and bent his neck in such a way that he could sneak a glance around the white support column.  He saw another crane, with a red narrow plume on its head.  The crane looked almost the same as he did, though where his feathers were black, this one was pearly gray.  Taking a step out to reveal himself, “are you all right?”  As he was able to see a better view, the bird had fallen onto its back, and the long spindly legs were thrashing, trying to maneuver back up to a standing position.  The fellow crane’s head snapped in his direction, “honnnk … can you help me … please?”

The fellow bird had a female sounding voice tone.  It took a bit of effort on both of their parts, but soon the female was back to a standing position.  She waved her left-wing tip at the male bird, “thank you.  I tripped, and could not get back up no matter how hard I tried.”  Akio nodded, “it was the same for me as well.  Becoming a bird is so much more difficult than being a human,” he trailed off as he waved his right-wing tip back at her.  The female bird bounced a bit, “you were a human once also?  My name is Chinatsu …”  The emperor blinked and honked happily, “Chinatsu …it’s your father … Akio.”  She walked over slowly, and wrapped her wings around him, and twisted her neck around his.  She started sobbing, which resulted in more of the distinct sounds coming from both of their beaks as they embraced. After many minutes passed, both watched as the light begin to fade as the sunset hour approached. 

Chinatsu released the embrace, “come with me.  There’s a store nearby, which has many things inside.”  The male crane nodded, and followed behind his daughter.  It had been many years, but he was able to keep up with her.  That fact was not lost upon her as well, which made both of them call out happily to each other.  In no time at all, they crossed the road, and up to a beige metal building, with an oddly slanted red roof.  It was a Japanese convenience store, and the automatic door was jammed at the one quarter open position on each side.    As the male bird followed his daughter inside, the found the store was dark and had an odd smell to it.  However, inside was full of various products hanging on the shelves.  While inside, Akio for the first time got a sense of proportion.  The counter where the human clerk once stood and processed payment transactions was mirrored.  As he stretched out, he could see his reflection and estimated his body was almost 158 centimeters long.  Standing back in an upright position, he was quite tall. 

There was a sign on the counter that had measurements listed, which was meant for accurate descriptions if a criminal was present.  He was almost five feet tall, based on American measurements.  There was resulting noise behind a cardboard display of a giant robot holding a carbonated drink.  The emperor laughed, “drink robot cola and honor your ancestors … only in my country …”  The show was not that good, but the drink was well regarded.  2 out of 3 evil aliens approve or robot cola, warning contains epic fizziness, do not sell to children under 13.  As he walked around the cardboard cutout, he found his daughter snipping with her beak at a foil pouch on the ground.  To his amazement, it was open, and she was pulling out a long cookie stick that was coated in chocolate.  Sighing, he could see the pack and read it out loud, “I haven’t had a pokki in so long.  Doctors said it would aggravate my diabetes, and I was already at maximum on my insulin.”        

His daughter spun the package around on the ground with her foot, and motioned towards it.  Deciding to chance fate, the male bird bent his neck down and after a few tries, was able to grasp the long treat into his beak.  Eating it was something else entirely, which made for a very unique experience.  He had been eating snails, fish, plants … so when the refined sugar hit his palette, he bounced happily.  Night came, and soon it was time to rest.  The two cranes stayed close to each other, for warmth and safety.  It was not long until they both fell asleep, as the cardboard robot stared towards the door guarding it against intruders. 

The next day, as they worked diligently to open white cans of Sapporo beer, Akio told his daughter the store of what happened after she disappeared in the car.  She honked sadly, and listened as the tail continued about the gray void.  She too had been in such a place, and apparently been there much longer than her father.  It had been months, and he had flown the whole way from Hokkaido to the northern tip of Aomori.   As the story concluded, Chinatsu heard a hiss as the top of the can popped open.  The white foam started to escape from the open portion of the can.  She immediately plunged her long beak inside and took a long draw of the warm liquid inside.  Swallowing it, she started to ruddle her feathers, “its warm …but that’s the best beer I ever had!”  Akio looked a bit cross, as he was still working at his can, but soon too was able to open it.  As he took a long draw, the alcohol hit almost immediately. 

The room started to get fuzzy, and he felt like laughing.  It had been such a long time since he had been intoxicated.  The diabetes had taken away most of the fun things of life, so he would savor this feeling as the carbonation tickled something in his mouth he did not have as a human.  His daughter was laughing too, and staggered as she walked up the aisle towards a refrigerated case that was not working.  “Heyf …. father …. Why …donf…you think …. power out?”  Akio looked up at her, as the room started to turn black and white, “Chinatsu … something …. Is in that …. Beer.”  His daughter turned back, and watched her father staggering and leaning against a shelf with magazines on it.  Of course, it was the magazines that elderly hentai would buy.  A voluptuous woman was wrapped in a green tentacle, but the most problematic part of the cover was blocked by a couple of small mice looking confused at them. 

Chinatsu waved, “hello …my name is Chinatsu.  Hey, I got a pokki open, it’s on the floor if you want some?”  The two brown mice nodded, and quickly scampered through spaces in the racks, towards the open foil pouch of treats.  Of course, Akio turned and looked at the magazine, and remarked.  “Hmm … that sort of looks like your aunt when she was alive … “The female bird honked sharply at him, “eww!”  The emperor turned and looked down as the two mice were having a fun time nibbling on the cookie sticks.  “Why hello there, my name is Akio, what are your names?”  The two mice looked up at the tall bird, and immediately dropped to their bellies and bowed towards him.  The male mouse spoke timidly, “hail emperor!” Before either crane could react, the mice backed away while still facing him, and then quickly scurried off. 

The day passed, with the father and daughter catching up, and eating all sorts of junk foods from the store.  However, it was not too long until they heard a commotion outside.  Akio turned and walked up the aisle, and towards the partially open glass doors.  He found an assembled group of mice, rabbits, and sea birds all bowing when he appeared.  “What is all this?”  Akio said, watching as the group continued to bow, and not look at him.  Motioning with his wings, “please … please … everyone …you can stop that.  Are you all former humans, such as Chinatsu and myself?”  The animals slowly stopped bowing, and looked up at him while nodding their heads.  One by one they told a similar tale, about the gray void, and then returning to the world in animal bodies. 

Chinatsu also joined the conversation, but clearly was still drunk as she staggered up behind her father.  They compared stories, and confirmed that the existing animals were not pleased with the former humans.  They had approached them, only to be rebuked and cast out.  Akio nodded, “that confirm what I have been told as well.  It would seem that we are on our own in this world.”  A small white rabbit looked up at him, “but we have you Emperor.  You can fix this!”  The other animals nodded, and looked up expectantly at him.  The male crane rubbed his beak with his wing, getting a contemplative look.  How would he fix it?  Could he fix things?  More importantly, if these were humans as well, how many more of the citizens of Japan were out there?  Nodding and speaking with an authoritative tone, “yes … you are right.  I can fix this, but I will need help. Will you help my daughter and I?”  The animals looked up and cheered. 

The female crane honked happily, “there is food inside the store.  Everyone, please come in, and we can have a feast.  But, go easy on the beer, it really does a number on a bird.”  The various animals bounced inside, and started to spread through the store, making a terrific racket as they located their favorite treats.  Chinatsu looked at her father, “you can fix this?”  The emperor nodded, “we must learn more about our status.  What is in the surrounding area?  What are our resources?  Who is friendly, versus who is a threat?  We need intelligence, and once obtained we can proceed.  I wonder if any of my staff have returned?”  The princess strode up to her father, and giggled as she saw that look in his eye.  The male bird honked happily, “as of today, I will reassert my control over this nation.  I hereby decree the diet has been dissolved.”      

By Cobalt

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

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