Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 193,997,709 Issue: 731 | 6th day of Hunting, Y18
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Cordilion's Big Adventure: Part One


by 77thbigby

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      Cordilion the plushie Noil was perched on the balcony railing, eyes slit as he basked in the sun. In the cool shade of the garden sprawled around the mansion that Cordilion lived in with his owner, Jani, Petpets lived and played. It was a world that Cordilion knew little about. Other than his brief forays onto the balcony, the pampered plushie Noil never went outside. He idly licked a paw and flicked his small round ears as two Beekadoodles flew by.

      Cordilion was bored and lonely. He didn’t have a very good imagination. His only form of entertainment was on the balcony and that was only when Jani left the balcony door open on accident. His owner wasn’t home a lot and she thought it was enough that her beloved Cordie had a big home, a soft bed and all the food he could eat. She was wrong.

      Cordie sometimes managed to hear the murmur of conversations that the wild Petpets had. They were all so interesting to the deprived Noil. He had once listened to a pair of Urchulls debate over which berry to eat first…for fifteen minutes! The sun was starting to lull him but his amber button eyes popped open as he realized that he was no longer alone. The pair of Beekadoodles from earlier had perched on either side of him.

      “Hello,” the Beekadoodle on the right said.

      “Hello,” Cordie replied.

      “We couldn’t help but noticing that you come out rarely,” the green Beekadoodle on the left said.

      “When you do come out, you lord it over the rest of us,” the Beekadoodle on the right said.

      “What?!” Shocked at this false accusation, Cordie rose to his paws.

      “Yes, in your mansion with your rich owner,” the green Beekadoodle said.

      “With not a care in the world,” the Beekadoodle on the right said.

      “That’s not true! I want to be free, like you! Doing whatever you want, whenever you want,” Cordie exclaimed, tail lashing.

      Here, the Beekadoodles exchanged a glance. They sensed an opportunity.

      “You want to be free, do you?” the green Beekadoodle asked, cocking his head and fixing the plushie Noil with his beady gaze.

      At Cordie’s enthusiastic nod, the Beekadoodle on the right picked up where his companion left off.

      “Then leave,” the Beekadoodle suggested simply.

      The pair of Beekadoodles flew off then. They left the plushie Noil sitting on the balcony railing, thinking. He wasn’t happy at home but he had never thought to leave. So, what was stopping him? Nothing!

      Excited by this new idea, Cordie didn’t hesitate to leap from the balcony and back inside. He padded through the empty halls and stopped at the front door. He had seen Jani open the door and he knew his first task was to do the same. Cordie happened to be a rather plump plushie. His easy life meant his athleticism was non-existent.

      Cordie’s bid for freedom may have stopped right there but he was determined to leave. He could not stay shut in another moment! With a few moderate hops from a potted plant (which he knocked over) to a chest of drawers, he was able to reach the handle. With a firm push of one broad soft paw, the door swung open! Cordie let out a purr of delight and dashed out.

      Disoriented, the plushie Noil came to a halt, taking in his surroundings with wide eyes. After a moment, he began moving, passing under the dappled shade of the trees, feeling the cool earth and grass beneath his paws. He brushed against a sweet smelling shrub, purple petals falling across his pale plush pelt. Once more he stopped to just enjoy his surroundings. Finally, he was a part of the scene, rather than just observing it!

      Cordie’s ears picked up the sound of movement. Another Petpet! Eager to have someone to spend time with, the plushie Noil ran forward with his heavy, lumbering gait, not recognizing the amount of noise he was making. He barreled around a tree trunk and skidded to a halt as a Doglefox whirled to face him. This stranger was bigger and leaner than Cordie and did not seem eager to make friends.

      With a terrifying snarl, the Doglefox leaped forward. Cordie turned tail and ran, feeling the hot breath of his pursuer on his tail. The only sounds Cordie could hear were the pounding of his paws, the frantic beating of his own heart, the ragged breaths he struggled to draw and the snap of the Doglefox’s jaws. Blind with terror, the plushie Noil only stopped when he realized he couldn’t move. He was stuck fast in a thorn bush!

      The plushie Noil struggled fiercely but stopped quickly, worn out from his mad dash. He shed a few tears, sniffing and feeling sorry for himself. This had been a bad idea! He was still alone but now he didn’t have a nice, safe mansion to live in. He realized that he still had only himself to depend on.

      Cordie gathered all his strength, gave one mighty wrench and literally tore himself free. He groaned as he saw a long, jagged tear on one of his hind legs. He also noticed he left some of the yarn that made up his mane tangled in the bush. He had had enough of living free! He was going back home!

      Then Cordie realized that he didn’t know where home was because he didn’t know where he was. At a loss, the plushie Noil began to wander aimlessly. He finally stopped when he grew too tired to move another step. He decided to find some shelter and literally stumbled into a shallow dip under the space of two fallen trees. He couldn’t get comfortable, cold and hungry as he was.

      It only got worse when a storm broke during the night. Cordie soaked through. The sky cleared as the sun rose and Cordie, hungrier than ever, was on the move. As he walked, he slowly dried out. He flicked his round ears as he began to pick up sounds of life.

      More cautious, Cordie moved forward. He saw a busy scene, Neopets and Petpets rushing about. Trying to dodge the Neopets-who seemed oblivious to his presence-he stumbled and felt the ground begin to rumble. He looked and saw a Uni carriage barreling towards him. He gave a cry of alarm and raced out of the way.

      Cordie found himself in a quiet alley and began to walk through it. Suddenly, before him, a door slammed open. Startled, the plushie Noil crouched where he was and watched a checkered Cybunny run out with a burlap sack thrown over one shoulder. The Cybunny took no notice of the Petpet, rac9ing down the alley and rounding the corner within seconds. Cordie flicked his rounded ears, his own predicament forgotten in the moment.

      Drawn forward by his own curiosity, Cordie’s broad paws pounded down the alley, following the Cybunny’s trail. He slowed and peeked around the corner. The checkered Cybunny was hanging by his ears in the firm grip of a shadow Usul.

      “You’re going to lead me to your partner. Double the catch, double the pay,” the shadow Usul said in a voice as soft as night.

      “N-no! You-you’ve got it all wrong. I-I’m working alone. I have no p-partner,” the checkered Cybunny stuttered, kicking vainly to free himself.

      Cordie didn’t understand what was going on but he was fascinated all the same. So caught up in the scene playing out before him, he didn’t realize he had taken a few steps into the open. He heard a loud caw and saw a huge Crokabek with ice blue eyes swooping down on him. He let out a cry of alarm at this attack and he felt the Crokabek’s sharp claws dig uncomfortably in his back. The Crokabek pinned him against the wall.

      “You’re too soft and fat to be a thief but you could be a spy. Tell us who you work for!” the Crokabek hissed.

      “I’m not a spy! I don’t work for anyone!” Cordie squeaked in terror, too afraid to struggle.

      This exchange caught the shadow Usul’s attention. Her own ice blue eyes narrowed.

      “Caw, good work. Bring that along. I’ve persuaded this one to cooperate,” the shadow Usul said with a very slight curve of her mouth, pleased.

      Caw lifted off and carried Cordie as the shadow Usul began to walk, still keeping a firm grip on the checkered Cybunny. They followed where the Cybunny led and Cordie was more lost than ever. They finally stopped.

      “In there,” the Cybunny said, pointing to a door in the side of a building.

      The shadow Usul tied the Cybunny’s hands and feet before heading inside. There were brief sounds of a struggle before the Usul came back out, dragging a subdued Darigan Grarrl.

      “Now to claim my pay. Triple the earnings this time,” the shadow Usul said.

      The Darigan Grarrl and checkered Cybunny exchanged a glance. “Triple? You can’t count? There are only two of us.”

      “Then who is that?” the shadow Usul pointed at Cordie.

      The plushie Noil cowered as the Darigan Grarrl and checkered Cybunny shrugged their shoulders. At this, Caw released Cordie.

      “You’re free to go,” Caw said.

      In shock, Cordie crouched, uncomprehending.

      “Go,” Caw hissed, flaring out his black wings.

      Cordie ran, not knowing where he was going. His nose pulled him to an abrupt halt, sniffing the air madly. He had stopped next to a garbage can. He was so hungry that he gnawed on a crusty loaf of bread. It was so hard that he had to do some heavy duty chewing for ten minutes before he could swallow a bite.

      So absorbed was he that Cordie didn’t hear the rustling behind him, the pattering of tiny, quick paws or the high pitched chittering of voices until it was too late. Two Tigermice hemmed Cordie in. One tweaked his tail while the other pulled at his corded mane. The plushie Noil tried to bat them away but was too slow. In a moment, the pair took off…with the loaf of bread!

      Cordie had only managed to eat half and his belly still rumbled. It had been a long day and the plushie Noil was defeated. He dragged his paws and saw an opening big enough for him to squeeze through. He found himself in a dark building that smelled dusty. He found some smelly rags to sleep on and sneezed before finally managing to fall into a fitful sleep.

      The plushie Noil’s broad paws twitched and he let out small cries. He was caught in a nightmare. A rumbling spread through his body and the building began to fall down around him! He awoke to find his nightmare was real. Cordie just made it out before the building became rubble thanks to a demolition crew.

      Cordie moved quickly and soon found an open window to slip through. He was surrounded by books and realized he was in a library. It was calm and quiet and immediately the plushie Noil felt soothed. He padded over the dark wood floors until he found a comfy looking chair. He jumped up, made himself comfortable and fell into a sound sleep.

      To be continued…

 
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