A Candychan Beginning
Author's Note: Androcles and his "sidekick" are from stories like Another Candychan Tale, A Merry Candychan Tale and others.
Something had been bothering me, ever since our Christmas party. Androcles, my Snow Candychan pal, had invited every Candychan he could find to the party, except for Maraquan Candychans, since they didn't like being out of water.
But he hadn't found any more Chocolate Candychans. I took a peek at myself in the oddly reflective walls of the Ice Caves. With rich chocolate stripes and fluffy whipped cream wings, I was one of a kind. But why? Why weren't there any other Chocolate Candychans?
I remembered the day I had come to Terror Mountain very clearly. Waking up in the snow with Androcles yelling "hello" at me, having some adventures with him, and making the decision to stay here. That, I remembered quite plainly. I just don't know what happened to me before then. How I got here.
These thoughts had been haunting me for a while now, and since the Christmas party, when I saw all the other Candychans, they had become unbearable. I just had to know where I came from.
Androcles was, for once, sleeping later than I did. I decided to take the opportunity to slink away and see our Negg Faerie friend, Moon. Maybe she'd know a little something about where I could start my search.
It was early in the morning, and sure enough, she was standing in the Neggery, cleaning glass cases featuring Neggs, dusting and generally getting ready for the day.
"Ms. Negg Faerie..." I started.
"I'm sorry, Sidekick," she interrupted, "but I woke up late, and don't have time to entertain you. I really need to finish getting the Neggery for all the customers."
I sighed inwardly. Yeah, no one even knows my real name. Of course, this was a direct result of being friends with Androcles, as he had a terrible habit of simply introducing me as his "sidekick." Still, what does it matter who I am, if these people can't even perceive me as being real enough to have a name?
I flew up and landed on her just cleaned glass cases. She looked surprised, but I needed her attention. I told her quickly what I wanted and why. When I finished, I looked up at her with big eyes, and hoped she could see how badly I needed these answers.
She smiled sadly, and went over to a cabinet. Out of it, she pulled two maps.
"Follow this one first," she said handing me the larger of the two. "Once you're there, follow this one. I've heard that strange creations have come from there."
I flinched at the words, and she quickly corrected herself. "Not that you're a creation, dear." She put her hand on the side of my face and smiled kindly.
Clutching the maps to my chest, I nodded, whimpered a "thanks, Moon," and left as quickly as I could. What did this all mean?
I flew quickly back to my spot in the Caves and kicked a sleeping Androcles. "Wake up," I said firmly. Normally, he would argue, but I must have looked determined... or upset, either or.
"What's up?" he mumbled sleepily, with a hint of concern creeping into his voice.
"Moon gave me some maps. I want to explore where they go," I said simply.
He nodded. He liked bugging the Negg Faerie, for she was typically patient enough to put up with his antics. "Well, if she gave them to you, then let's go," he said. With that, he stood up, stretched, scratched his belly, and then finally smiled. "You know how I like exploring things."
I smiled sadly, as I unrolled the first map. Androcles gasped loudly. "I totally know where that is!" he said excitedly. "Oh, why are we going there?"
I unrolled the second map and gestured widely. "Once we go to the location on the first map, we have to find this place," I said. "How do you know where the place is?"
Androcles waved vaguely. "Oh, you know, I like to explore. Well, come on then! Let's go."
I tightly rolled up both maps, tucked them under my right arm, and with that, we left the Ice Caves, unsure of what we'd find.
We flew out over the crystal clear waters in the oceans, and Androcles waved cheerfully down at the pets we spotted there. He liked the residents of Maraqua, since this was all the closer we would ever get to them.
They waved back, and Androcles got bored with them.
"There!" He pointed toward a small island.
I followed him there. It was surprising how close it was to everything, and yet, it was easy to not notice. We dove down and landed on a small corner of it. I unrolled the larger map again, and sure enough, this was it. Androcles was right. I gave him a thumbs-up and he shrugged; he knew he had led me to the correct place.
I pointed toward the building. "When we get in there, we have to find this place," I said as I unrolled the second map. Androcles peered over the shoulder, to get a better look at the map.
"Sure thing," he said. "We'll find it easily."
We approached the building at a quick run, and easily found a way inside. It was a funny thing that we'd need a map to find such an easily accessible place. Once inside, we saw a line of pets waiting around. I looked at Androcles, surprised to see them, and he looked equally surprised.
"Look," he whispered and he pointed.
In front of the line of pets was a crazy looking Yellow Scorchio strapping a frightened Baby Lupe into a chair. "You sure this won't hurt?" the Lupe inquired, and the Scorchio just laughed. The scientist, as I presumed him to be from his lab coat, went and fiddled with some machines. A bright light came out, and the Lupe was gone. In his place, was a snarling purple Lupe with wings and red eyes. It was vaguely reminiscent of the Baby Lupe, but in a larger, much more frightening way.
"A Darigan Lupe..." Androcles whispered.
"So this is what Moon meant when she said 'creations,'" I whispered back to him.
His eyes were wide.
"Hey, gimme the other map. Let's find this other place and then get out of here," he shuddered. "I don't like this."
I handed it to him shakily. He unrolled it, peered at it, then glanced around. "There," he whispered.
I took the map back from him. I didn't care if we were going the right way anymore. I just wanted to get away from the scary pets.
The other map led us through this building to another door. We approached the small door and quickly snuck inside. Closing it tightly, we leaned back and sighed. I opened my eyes, quickly though. No time to rest. Here, there were a line of petpets. They were glancing fearfully over at pets that were too large to fit into this small room. Unlike us, they were owned.
As in the previous room, a scientist, this time a creepy Kookith in a lab coat, was at the front of this line, shoving a Slorg into a chair connected to Achyfi cans. The Slorg cried while the Kookith laughed maniacally. And as with the machine for the pets, this one emitted a flash of light and a boom. The Slorg was gone and a pile of soot remained there. The Kookith swept it up, shoved it at a pet who looked sadly down at what was left of his petpet, and he proceeded with the next petpet.
This time, a Babaa ended up in the chair. Another flash of light and a Chocolate version of the petpet appeared. A Chocolate Babaa...
So the Negg Faerie was right, I was just a creation of a poorly constructed machine.
I felt a pain in my chest and fled the building as quickly as I could.
Running across the island, I collapsed by the shore. I curled up, pulling my legs close to my body and burying my head into my knees. Hot chocolate tears escaped my eyes. Manufactured chocolate tears, actually, would be more accurate.
I felt a cool pair of arms wrap around me, and Androcles leaned his head against mine.
"Who cares?" he whispered sadly. "You're my sidekick. This doesn't change anything."
"Always?" I choked back.
I hugged his arms back, and just let myself cry. For now, I would let myself express my hurt.
"Always and forever. You and me, kid."