Rescue Rangers XN

Beyond Celestia

Episode 3:

The Ocean, Aquanox and All Points South and West

By Carlton Edward “Eddie” Baird II

I. Life In The Big House.

Chip continued to ponder what Yatru Spinga was planning up next. The gentle rains began to fall. The soothing liquids from the sky began to help quench the remaining flames in the city that was once called Shores City. The fire fighters, who had been cowering in fear the whole time began to put out the rest of the smoldering buildings. Wescott stood on the beach, a mortifying scowl covering his usually calm countenance. Tammy was concerned about her boyfriend. She put her arm around him and hugged him tightly. “I know you feel angry, Wescott. We’ll get that pig, I promise you that. We just have to wait and find out his next plan.” She said, the determination to stand by her partner glinting visibly in her eyes. “Well, at least the dragon is gone, the hostages are free, and the city, or what’s left of it, seems to be gathering itself. We just need to collect ourselves and rest up.” Danni suggested. “That’s a good idea, Danni. Maybe we can get your sister Catherine to pick us up and take us to her mansion in the countryside.” Guy suggested. “Hey, you’re right! I remembered her phone number, so all we have to do is find a tele-station that hasn't been burnt and we’re in business.” Danni said. So the group-Chip, Dale, Gadget, Wescott, Tammy, Foxglove, Danni, Guy and Charlotte strolled along the beaches looking for the public phones. Luckily, there were a pair of tele-stations about 500 yards down the beach from where the battle took place. Shielded from the slowly increasing rains by a tall wooden shelter structure, the group waited out the storm while Danni called up her older sister, Catherine. About fifteen miles to the southwest, on a high cliff terrace, over looking Hurter Bay, there was a huge white mansion. In a bedroom on the second floor sat a tall female mouse, almost like Danni. The phone rang. The mouse picked up the receiver and turned on the small screen on her nightstand. “Danni, is that you?” She said. “Yes, Catherine. I need you to pick us up. We are in a shelter on Shores City Beach. Shelter number...” Danni looked up at the ceiling of the shelter. “Ah! Number six. pick us up as fast as you can!” “Be right there!” Catherine said, cut the communication, and put on her jacket, heading for the garage. “There. She’s on her way. Now all we have to do is wait.” Danni said. It was about three minutes of waiting before Catherine arrived in her jet-van. “Sorry I kept you waiting. I had to choose which vehicle to take. Anyway, hop in!” Catherine cheerfully waved from the vehicle. The group promptly fell in, and the jet-van zoomed off without a hitch. “I heard about the whole thing on the newscast. How in the world did you all survive it?” Catherine asked Danni, who was sitting in the backseat. Chip spoke up in her place. “We worked together as a team. It’s what we do best.” He said. “Oh, and who might you be?” Catherine responded. “I am Chip Elmwood, leader of the Rescue Rangers, at your service.” Chip said, an almost gallant tone to his voice. “That reminds me, Catherine. Guy and Charlotte here found their son, and here he is!” Danni said, introducing Wescott. Wescott waved at Catherine, who smiled back. “Alright! The Atticas family has once again been reunited!” Catherine said. “They called me up in a dream and I just followed it here, I guess.” Wescott responded. “Then Yatru Spinga captured my parents and Dale, Tammy and I fought his monsters at Coaxan Temple. Then we came back to New Malacom City, only to find that Yatru had attacked Shores City. We got some weaponry from K.A.R.F. and went after him and destroyed his dragon, only to find that he disappeared again.” “Well, that was some story. From the looks of it, you guys could use a good rest up. My mansion is the perfect place for that.” Catherine said. Up across the distant hill there was the mansion. Wescott took once glance at it and his pupils constricted to two tiny dots in his eyes. He had never really seen such a beautiful house. “Holy chicken-fried monkey legs!” Wescott quirked, to the laughter of his comrades. Catherine flew the jet-van expertly across the grounds to a small green hill to the East of the house. By clicking on a button above the dashboard, the front end of the green hill rolled upward, revealing a secret garage. Moving smoothly into it, Catherine landed the jet-van on a space aptly labeled “Catherine’s jet-van”. Dale looked out the side window. Surrounding the jet-van were at least ten other vehicles, each with a separate label in its space. “Wowzers! Catherine sure likes vehicles!” He said. “Catherine, you never told me you collected vehicles!” Danni told her sister. “I started collecting them in the time between when we last met. It was something to do with some of daddy’s money that was burning a hole in my pocket.” Catherine boasted. “So, are you all ready to relax?” “Ah...That’s what I am aiming to do.” Wescott said stretching his muscular arms to the ceiling of the jet-van. Suddenly, a door opened to the West. a tall squirrel in livery appeared. He had an expression on his face that reminded Wescott of all of those goofy butlers that he saw when he visited the Drake Hotel back in Chicago. The squirrel butler went around the side of the jet-van and opened the door for Catherine. “Good evening, Madame Dunelock. Dinner is waiting in the main banquet hall.” The butler said in what seemed to be a rich Oxford accent. “Thank you Jones. Oh, please be a sweetie and get the door for my sister and her friends.” Catherine ordered Jones. “Very good, Madame.” Jones said, who immediately opened the side door for the others. Once out of the jet-van, she motioned for the group to follow her and the butler, Jones.

The door opened up to the long hallway that led to the main part of the mansion. It in itself was immense. The walls were covered in framed artwork, which accented the long narrow hall, with its hardwood floors and chandeliers. “It was so nice of you to pick us up, sis. You were a lifesaver.” Danni said. “Oh, that’s okay. I hardly ever get visitors, and it has been a while since I last hosted a group of people here. I get very lonely. I was hoping that someday soon you would show up, but I never expected such a large group of people. I hope that you will enjoy your stay at my humble abode.” Catherine said, a warm smile across her gentle countenance. By this time, they had entered the main foyer of the mansion. All across the room was an air of classical taste. There were urns on finished bureaus of exquisite quality. The floors were covered in huge plush rugs with frilly designs on them. Upon the ceiling was a huge painting of Hurter Bay, with the tide waters rushing against the high cliffs. Gadget and Chip were both astounded by the distinctiveness of the mansion. “Wow! This is incredible!” Chip said looking all around him. “How did she get all of this?” Gadget said. “Well actually, our father, Christopher Dunelock, was the chief engineer for Aquanox Labs down south at Aquanox Island. He created a polymer called Evolux, the strongest material ever created. It is light and strong at the same time. He sold his product to the K.L.O.S.E.T. force and they gave him a card for infinite credits to everyone in his immediate family, including Danni and I. However one day, he was murdered in cold blood by Yatru Spinga during the annual Kaeralan Crime Fighters Convention. Everyone there saw it, but no one could stop Yatru, because he vanished so quickly. Ever since then, Danni has been obsessed with ending Yatru’s life.” Catherine said, on the brink of tears. “Golly, I’m sorry, Catherine. I didn’t know that...” Gadget said. “It’s okay. I had to tell someone. I hate Yatru and I am going to help you all in anyway possible to destroy him for good. I have an armory in the second basement, where I can forge you some new weapons.” Catherine said. “But enough about the bad things in life, I just want you all to enjoy yourselves here.” The group arrived at the banquet hall. It was built in a way that reminded Wescott of when he visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina with Tammy last spring. There was a huge chandelier of lit wax candles, and the trophies of the hunt on all sides of the hall. The table in the center was long and was easily able to seat twenty. on the North side of the hall was a huge fireplace, lit for added enjoyment. A huge repast fit for a king was laid out on the banquet table. Huge salads, gigantic loaves of bread, soups in large iron-clad vats, and in the very center of it all, a giant herb roasted fowl. Wescott’s mouth watered at the thought of the luscious food he was about to shovel down his throat. As soon as Catherine sat down everyone else sat down as well. Then the famished crew began to eat. While Tammy, Dale and Wescott had become accustomed to the food, Gadget, Chip and Foxglove were a bit pensive. Wescott spoke between mouthfuls to the nervous Rangers. “Dig in, guys! This is the stuff I was raised on!” He encouraged. Gadget was the first to gain up the courage to try the food. She ladled the soup, which smelled like spicy beef, into her bowl, closed her eyes, and sipped it with her spoon. She winced at first, but then dug right in. “Say! That is pretty good!” She said. With this, Chip and Foxglove did the same. “Reminds me of that minestrone that Tammy fixed last week.” Foxglove said. Chip had finished his bowl of soup and was tasting the bread which tasted like cheesy nachos, strangely enough. “Now I know why Wescott likes THIS food.” Chip said. About two hours later, the group was filled. Guy was picking his teeth and Charlotte was fixing her hair. Danni and Foxglove simultaneously let out a huge belch, Foxglove’s outlasting Danni’s. Wescott patted his stomach. His appetite temporarily suppressed, Wescott spoke to Catherine. “That was a great meal, Catherine. So what do you do for relaxation here?” He asked. “Well, we have a sauna, a steam room, an indoor pool, a rec room, a viewing room, a study with immediate access to the daily news, a wet bar for those who drink, and a piano room.” Catherine replied. “Alright! That’s what I could go for now, a bit of meditation in the steam room.” Wescott said. “I’ll join you, if you wait up, Peanut.” Tammy said. A few minutes later, Wescott and Tammy were cooling their jets in the steam room. Wescott was just tired of all this fighting, but deep in his heart he knew the fight had to go on. He looked Tammy in the eye, and held her tight. Tammy didn’t have to ask Wescott what was wrong, she knew it in her heart. She nuzzled against his chin and knew that Wescott wanted to end the pain. “I know you want all this to end, and it will all be over if we work together and keep love in our hearts. Peanut, I love you, and I will never let anything stand against you. I will stay by your side until my dying breath. We shall win, it is just a matter of time.” She said, hugging him tenderly. Wescott just smiled at her, and they shared a long, passionate kiss. From right then, all of the burdens Wescott carried fell from off of him. Tammy always gave Wescott the strength he needed in his time of weakness, and now was no exception. While Tammy and Wescott were relaxing in the steam room, Chip and Gadget were off in the piano room, a great hall in the Western wing of the mansion. Chip sat down at the piano and cracked his knuckles audibly. He wiggled his paws for a few seconds, and began to play Beethoven’s Sonata 13 in D Minor Pathétique. It was his favorite classical piano piece, ever since he first heard it on a television special when he was a young cub. Gadget listened intently as Chip played the piece from the deaf musician. It was as solemn as the first time Chip had ever heard it, as he played to the candlelight glowing from the candelabra. Across the room from the piano was a huge stained glass window of a beautiful garden of roses and other flowers. The rain tapped gently against it as Chip continued his playing. Chip played with a fervor for the whole five minutes that the piece lasted. He finished, and continued to sit at the piano. Gadget just smiled at him. Everything was alright. Dale and Foxglove were off watching the v-wall in the viewing room. It was a total emersion chamber, with sound outlets all around the hall. The acoustics rivaled that of a Hollywood movie theater. The screen was so large, Dale and Foxglove had to turn their heads to keep up with what was going on on-screen. It seemed like a movie, but every so often a panel appeared on screen that read out a selection of interactive scenes. When Foxglove and Dale were watching a part of the film where an actor was on the edge of a cliff, it read: A: Die, B: Live. Dale noticed the huge buttons marked A and B on his remote. Feeling a bit pacifist, he hit B. The actor climbed back onto the ledge and remained sound. “Let me try, cutie.” Foxglove said, taking the remote from Dale, and switching the channel to what appeared to be an animated cartoon. A few minutes into the cartoon, an ant was being chased by horrible monster. The ant was cornered into a wall by the monster, and the monster laughed as it raised its fist to squash the ant. Just before it struck, the box came up again. This time it read: A: Ant dies, B: Ant fights. Foxglove pressed the B button with her wing, and immediately, the ant socked the monster to the floor with a vicious uppercut. “Wow! Who says technology sucks?” She laughed, and munched on some snacks in a bowl to her left. Guy, Charlotte, Danni and Catherine were in the study, reading the latest tele-news screens, and smoking on imported cigars and cigarettes. Guy, being the cigar aficionado that he was, was smoking a Florasian Sweet with his personalized silver filter, while reading up on Westport Town. Charlotte was content to read the entertainment, while Catherine sat quietly smoking a slim Queen Justine cigarette. Danni puffed furiously at her Sunset Fields stogie as she read the death toll at Shores City. Apparently, 3,495 civilians, young and old, were slain from the evil dictator and his dragon. “Oh, I’m gonna kill that sonovabitch!!!” She bellowed so angrily that she almost choked on her cigar. “We’ll get him, Danni. He can’t hide forever, and if he screws his plan up once, we’ll be on his ass like bugs on Grenston’s red stew.” Guy replied. About ten that night, the Rangers met with Wescott’s elders to say goodnight. “Well thanks for the excellent meal, Catherine.” Chip said. “No problem, Chip. I had been meaning to host a big meal sometime soon, I am just glad you enjoyed it.” Catherine said. Gadget stretched and yawned. “Well, we had best be getting to bed g’night everyone!” She said, and with that, the team separated to their rooms. Chip went off to the Red Room in the West Wing, while Dale decided to sleep on the huge couch in the V-Wall room. By special request, Foxglove had arranged to sleep from the Banquet Hall chandelier. Gadget had made up her mind to sleep in the Zenith Room in the East Wing, and Tammy went up stairs to the White Room, while Wescott decided to sleep in the Great Dome Room on the top floor. Wescott had never really gotten use to the idea of sleeping in beds, so these experiences were altogether new to him. He found a bottle of stress-relieving spray beside his bed, and sprayed some on the sheets, similar to the spearmint spray he used on his net hammock at home. It had a similar soothing effect, and smelled strangely similar. Wescott lay his brown jacket on the nightstand. Wescott undid the sheets and slipped into the huge bed which was incredibly soft. Wescott felt very comfortable in this huge bed, which felt like a downy soft gel cradling him. He slowly but surely drifted off to bed. Wescott woke up suddenly at four A.M. It was as if something were calling him to the cliffs by the ocean. Wescott got up, put on his brown jacket and headed downstairs. He looked all around him and saw the darkness of the house. As he went, he stopped at the White Room to tell Tammy of what was going on. He quietly opened the door and stepped in. Tammy was sleeping peacefully in her bed, with a slight smile on her face. He tapped her gently and she opened her soft green eyes and looked at him. “Tammy, I have a very strong feeling something is going to happen at the cliffs. Can you come with me?” He asked her. Tammy didn’t say a word but got up and got ready to go out to the cliffs. The two squirrels walked out of the house to the cliff edges. Wescott knew that something was about to happen, the only question was, what was it? Tammy looked at Wescott, and Wescott looked back at Tammy. The rain was light enough so that it didn’t bother either of them. In the far northern horizon, the two Rangers could see the remaining lights that had not been scorched in the disaster.

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