Warf Rescue Team: The Warf That Could
"Coffee, Rezki?" asked a red female Warf, holding a steaming
"What? Oh -- no thanks -- " I felt my face burn
as I blushed. She just shrugged, smoothed out her frilly, white skirt with one
hand, and hurried off, back to the counter.
It was a busy spring day -- one of my least favorite
seasons, mainly because the Kadoaties wander around outside without their foolish
master's supervision, and get themselves stuck in a tree. And that's where the
Warf Rescue Team comes in.
I watched the Warf with the frilly dress as she
handed a mug of coffee to a large green Warf at the counter. Her name was Lissa,
and I couldn't help gazing longingly at her, until I realized my jaw was hanging
open and snapped it shut, jerking back to reality. I had a fork in hand, and
I surveyed my reflection in the plate in front of me that had once held sausages.
Breakfast was done; we'd be getting a call anytime now. Kadoaties always seemed
to get themselves caught in a tree after or in the middle of breakfast, to my
The Warf Rescue Team headquarters was a fairly
large cabin hidden in the depths of a forest. I'd joined the team years ago,
though now I halfheartedly regretted it; besides seeing Lissa, the waitress,
at every meal, my time here was dull and rather irritating. I hate the bustling
and cheeriness everyone else shows to one another. What's there to be so happy
A large window stretched from where I sat to
the other side of the headquarters. The building was buzzing with the chattering
of my fellow Warfs. I had a table to myself, as usual, and as I stared into
my plate, a grim-looking plain Warf stared back.
All of a sudden, a breathless blue Warf halted
at my table, clutching a stitch in his side. "Rez-ki -- " he panted. "Jaunters
-- wants you -- "
My face fell, I dropped my fork with a clatter
out of surprise, and I asked (a little more harshly than I meant to), "What
"Dunno -- he wants you -- in his -- office --
With a gulp, I gave him a nod which he returned.
The blue Warf disappeared into the crowd, and I set off across the room. It
was packed this morning, and I had to weave carefully through the sea of Warfs.
As I past the counter, I spotted Lissa and she gave me a friendly wink. My knees
felt like jelly and I forced a smile, blushing furiously but turning away as
quickly as I could.
Finally, I came to a door that read JAUNTERS'
OFFICE. Jaunters was the head Warf; or, in other words, the boss. I uneasily
pushed the door open and let it close behind me. The cheerful sounds of chattering
Warfs died instantly, and I nervously faced the back of Jaunters' chair.
There was a white-hot light hanging above him;
I could feel the heat from where I stood and I felt beads of sweat on my forehead.
His office was fairly small, but there was one small window and a large desk
littered with pencils and paper. He swirled around in his chair to face me.
"You wanted me, Mr. Jaunters?" I asked in a would-be
Jaunters was a porky little Warf with a mustache.
He raised his eyebrows at me, and consulted a nearby paper. For a moment, he
merely considered me.
"Rezki," he said slowly, settling his gaze on
the paper once more. "You'll be the instructor of Team Three?"
"Yes, sir, I am," I replied. Yes, that was me.
I never did any of actual saving; I was the instructor, I told Warfs
when to go and what to do, organizing them in lines and such. Truth be told,
I hated heights. I was terrified of them! But why was Jaunters bringing this
up? Had I done something wrong?
"You see," said Jaunters, wearing an odd, tired
expression, "Ryan's recovered from that little incident -- "
"Ryan?" I interrupted quickly. "Ryan who?"
"Ryan, the instructor of Team Three before
you," explained Jaunters with the air of explaining one plus one equals two,
waving an impatient hand. "Anyway, after a little incident with an angry Kadoatie,
he was put out of action a year or two ago, remember? Luckily, he's made a full
recovery -- "
I was pretty sure I knew where this conversation
was going. I twiddled my paws absently and felt my spirits fall.
" -- yes, very fortunate indeed. Anywho, I promised
him his position back once he's recovered, and I am truly hoping you'll understand."
My shoulders sagged. They were kicking me out?
Just like that? Though I didn't fully enjoy working here, I didn't exactly
want to leave... where would I go? How would I see Lissa again? My insides squirmed
uncomfortably at that thought. I had nowhere else to go -- I didn't want to
leave -- I never really complained about it that much, did I? What had I done
to deserve this? My thoughts swirled around in my head and I swayed on the spot.
"I understand, sir," I mumbled, and turned to
leave his office with a grave sigh; any serene feeling I had felt five minutes
ago vanished and sank into the depths of -- well, despair.
I heard him stand up from his chair. "Where are
you going?" Jaunters asked me.
"I'm -- I'm being fired, aren't I?" I asked as
I twisted around to face him again, puzzled.
"No, no, of course not!" said the Warf, looking
taken aback. "You're moving into a new position!"
"Yes!" He looked eager. "You are going to be
a Savior for Team Two!"
There was an awkward pause in which I merely
gaped at him. A Savior? I couldn't be a Savior! Saviors were launched high into
the air, where they hopefully landed upon the shoulders of the Warf beneath
them, with nothing but a parachute! A parachute that seemed like nothing but
a plastic bag tied to a string!
"C-Can't I be a Launcher, sir?" I asked, hoping
I didn't sound too ungrateful.
"No, no, Launcher spaces are full," Jaunters
replied, shaking his head.
I had barely opened my mouth to reply when a
loud buzzing noise was heard. It filled the office, and I froze, numb with fear.
It was the Kadoatie call; a Kadoatie was in trouble. BBBZZZZZ!
"Unless I am much mistaken," Jaunters said thoughtfully,
snatching up another paper and holding it up to the light, "it is Team Two's
turn, as Team Six is still in Terror Mountain with that -- er, minor situation."
He gave me a smile with his twitching mustache and ushered me out the door,
looking as though I were in for the treat of a lifetime.
I gulped. I, Rezki, would be saving a Kadoatie
as a Savior. I felt the color drain from my face.
"Let's move!" roared the instructor of Team Two,
somewhere near the head of the single file line. I jogged quietly in the back;
perhaps I wouldn't be needed! Maybe the Kadoatie was stuck up in a small tree,
one that would take less Warfs to reach. Stupid Kadoaties, I mused grumpily.
We paraded through the forest in an orderly fashion;
the Launchers (who, evidently, launched the Saviors into the air) were in the
front. There were four of them, each struggling to support one huge catapult.
Behind them were two dozen Saviors, me among them. All of them looked determined,
excited, or perhaps a bit grateful that they had something to do. I was trembling
from head to paw, stroking the parachute backpack on my back nervously.
We were guided through the thick forest of trees,
and were soon flooded with bright sun rays. I shielded my eyes for a moment,
but instantly straightened out my paws at my side like I was supposed to. We
were streaking across a grassy field, and in what seemed like no time at all,
the instructor for Team Two was bellowing, "SET UP!"
I leaned to the side and observed as the four
Launchers began to set up the catapult in front of a tree. With a gasp, I almost
felt as though I would pass out. It was the tallest tree I'd ever seen in my
life; there were branches sticking out at odd angles, and up at the very top,
nestled in the green, bushy leaves, was a blurry but unmistakable image of a
pink Kadoatie. How thick could you get? How could that stupid Kadoatie possibly
get that high up before he actually looked down!?
"Forward!" cried the instructor.
I watched, amazed and horrified, as a Warf at
the front of the line trotted forward, and stood in the perfect position, directly
beneath where the Kadoatie sat much farther up. I'd expected him to get launched,
but that was a stupid thought; he was in the front of the line! He didn't have
to get launched. With a pang in the pit of my stomach, I thought sullenly, I
should have tried to get first in line! "Forward!" he shouted again, and
another Warf moved forward.
This time, the Warf seated himself quickly in
the catapult, and the Launchers set it off. With a bang, the Warf was sent a
few feet in the air, and smoothly landed on the shoulders of the other as he
pulled a strap on the side of his parachute backpack.
On and on it went, as the line became shorter
and shorter. I gulped, stumbled, and furiously wiped sweat from my forehead.
Suddenly, when there were only two Warfs in front
of me, I caught a glimpse of two figures sprinting across the field.
Apparently, the first one -- a blue Cybunny --
was the owner of the pink Kadoatie, judging by how she continued to shriek and
squeal from fright the closer she got, not taking her eyes off the sight of
the Kadoatie up ahead. Next to her was a red Cybunny, and trotted alongside
her was obviously her Petpet. It was a Warf.
The Warf was Lissa. My heart hammered madly against
my chest, and I stood there, frozen with fear. Any contentness I'd been feeling
(and mind, that was very little) plummeted and left me.
Lissa's face was tearstained, but she looked
confident in our ability to save her friend as she worriedly looked up at the
towering Warfs and glanced back at the very small line of Warfs that included
me. Her gaze, miraculously, settled on me, but instantly darted to where the
Kadoatie was mewing in the tree. I stood there, paralyzed with terror.
There was no bang. I was the only remaining Warf
and, as I nervously gazed up ahead -- only one more Warf was needed.
My eyes wide, I opened my mouth, but no sound
came out; just a gagging noise and my throat felt dry. I knew I looked pretty
stupid, standing there, doing nothing.
But then I heard her voice.
"Rezki," begged Lissa softly, looked concerned.
Her voice was strangely high-pitched. "Please, Rezki. Please, please
save her! You can do it. I know you can!"
Suddenly, I chanced half a glance at her, and
it was as though I'd meant to do it all along, as though I were following orders;
I strode ahead (to the surprise of everyone, by the look on the instructor's
face) and took a seat on the catapult.
I had no time to consider it. I had no time to
stop and think. All I knew was that in the next five seconds, I had been launched
forward with that only too familiar bang, and I let out a yelp as I flew, higher
and higher -- ten feet -- twenty feet -- thirty -- Fear was flooding through
me and I felt like screaming, which I did, but it sounded like a muffled yelp.
My eyes were wide as dinner plates, I'm assure you.
I flew higher than the towering Warfs, higher
than the Kadoatie, who was eyeing me with interest. I gulped and yelped, and
I did the only thing that made sense. Though I was petrified, I closed my eyes
and pulled the strap on my back with a shaking paw.
It was like a dream; floating carelessly back
down, I felt myself land on the shoulders of a furry Warf who gave a loud grunt,
but was otherwise silent. My eyes popped open, and I spotted four pairs of clawed
paws before the pink Kadoatie began to climb cautiously down our Warf ladder.
I knew what I was supposed to do next, but I
couldn't bring myself to do so. I heard chorusing Warfs beneath me crying, "JUMP!"
I had my parachute. I turned around, and looked
down; Lissa and the two Cybunnies looked like Mootixes in a vast field and I
let out a wail of fright as I teetered on my bottom paws like a diver about
to dive into a pool.
"JUMP!" boomed several Warfs in unison.
I did. At last, I did. Coming to my senses, I
leapt off of the towering Warfs, and the air was soon thick with Warfs as we
descended from our spots. It was a nice, slow ride down, and as soon as my paws
hit solid ground I fell to me knees, breathing rapidly and shuddering. "Land!"
I cried, and pounded the ground with my fists out of relief, unaware of how
dumb I looked.
"Rezki, you were fantastic!" exclaimed Lissa,
hurrying forward; a moment ago she'd been cooing over the Kadoatie with the
Cybunnies, but she'd hurried forward and gave me a sweet smile, although the
rest of the Warfs just shot me disgusted looks at my stupidity when I refused
to get on the catapult, and refused to jump.
I couldn't help it. I smiled back.
Sipping some coffee, I grinned at Lissa, who
was stirring a cup of coffee for a Warf, adding sugar. When she glanced my way,
I shook my head a little and quickly focused on my coffee; it was a moment before
I realized my gaze had darted back to her.
Finally, she turned her attention towards me,
leaning on the counter. "Were you afraid?" she asked with wide eyes. "When you
I was about to question the name of that pink
Kadoatie (Fluffles?) but I thought better of it. "Not at all," I said
casually, and she beamed.
Who could have said I hated this job? Lost in
my musings, I blinked to clear my thoughts.
BZZZ! The Kadoatie call.
"Team two!" I heard Jaunters roar from somewhere
in the crowd. "TEAM TWO! YOU'RE UP! GET MOVING!"
"Yes, sir!" cried several Warfs in unison, and
there was a sudden movement in the crowd as my fellow Warfs of Team Two pushed
their way to the door.
My coffee mug hit the table with a thud, and
a little sloshed over the edge. I gulped and felt my jaw drop.
Here we go again...