Previous | Next
The sky was darkening, and soon it would be too dark to see without artificial light. The other side of the wall felt like a whole new world to them, and now they were sealed off from everything they knew before. They were in enemy territory now. Neither the mountain nor the desert could be seen anymore. Ahead of them were gray shapes and lights glowing eerily. They continued walking toward them.
"Now that we're trespassing in the cogs' land, it is imperative to stay hidden, especially since not all of us have suits. Always be aware of your surroundings at all times," Harry told them.
Within a few minutes, they saw what the gray shapes were. They were buildings. They stepped onto a narrow street. There were hundreds of these cog buildings, or at least they looked like cog buildings. The offices in Toontown were much larger than these ones. Instead, these looked like something else. They were cog houses. There was a large sign on the side of the road. It read:
Welcome to Sparksville!
Another sign past that one read, 'W 223rd St.'
The sky was now almost completely black. Only the streetlights gave them the light to see. They avoided stepping directly into view out of fear of being seen. The street was empty, and only the sound of chirping crickets, and the gentle breeze could be heard.
"Who knew that Cog Nation would be all the way out here?" Goopy said with amazement. "We better find someplace to rest."
"And someplace with food," Rocky added. The other toons had almost forgotten about their hunger from the last few days. They needed to find some nourishment, even if it was more gags.
They walked to the end of the street and passed dozens of nearly identical houses. Then they came to an intersection. There were some unusual looking cars that went by every once in a while. They waited until the coast was clear before dashing across the street.
"Cogs have cars!?" Zany cried. Her voice echoed throughout the street, and the other toons shushed her.
The other side of the street was like the first one. Each house looked identical to its neighbor, except one house had a note on its door. Ricky went up to retrieve it. It said:
Lindsay Chip, Mingler Sellbot 00587432 Level 11 v2.0
I am working overtime tonight and won't be home.
They all got the same idea at once. They excitedly tried to get inside. Simeon happened to have a used trigger box with him and handed it to Catman. Catman disassembled it and pulled out the spring that connected the circuit to the button. He bent it into a hook shape and put it in the keyhole of the front door's knob. After a bit of twisting, there was a tiny click. The door was unlocked, and he swung it wide open.
Most cogs would consider the place to be a little too cozy, but it was probably typical for a Mingler. There were dozens of soft sofas, chairs, and carpets. Anyone could probably sleep anywhere in the house, even the floor, and still be comfortable. To their surprise and delight, Ms. Chip had plenty of fresh food stored in her fridge. They pulled out everything and ate it promptly. Once they had their fill, they noticed their strength and laff points returning.
"I didn't know that the cogs could even digest food," Pink commented.
"Me neither," Evina said while licking his fingers. They sleepily picked up most of the furniture they could find and piled it up to block the door. When they felt safe enough, they tried to go to sleep.
"I really never thought we would make it this far," Ricky admitted. "I feel sorry I didn't trust you guys. I was afraid Harry had gone crazy."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Why is it that everyone thinks that?"
Evina wasn't paying attention. He yawned. "Well, that was hard, but I think now we'll be returning home in no time."
Harry turned to him. "You think that was hard? That was easier than I expected. I'm afraid the hard part is about to begin. It might be months before we get back!"
"Now I remember why I thought he was crazy," muttered Ricky.
"We're not going to get out of this very easily," Harry continued. "It's about time you accept the fact that we're going to have to work to survive."
Evina did his best to not think about Harry's words. Nothing bad had ever happened to him before, except boredom. If they encountered some cogs, then they would fight them. There was no evidence to prove that a cog could do something to permanently hurt a toon.
Ok, sure, I've never seen a version 2.0 Mingler before, but I don't think it would be that hard to fight. We have to be safe. We must.
Evina slept deeply, and he had some unusual dreams of being in the dark and hearing strange noises. For a brief second, he thought he saw something terrible. It looked like a face. Then suddenly he appeared in a room with someone. The words he heard were from the voice of someone he thought he once knew, even though he didn't remember who it was.
They were abruptly awoken by the sound of pounding on the door. It was obviously the Mingler, trying to break in.
"We have no gags!" Simeon began to panic.
"Who's in there?" the Mingler demanded, still trying desperately to open the door.
Nobody answered, but they each picked up some very heavy furniture and carried it upstairs. Pink was the unlucky one chosen for the job of opening the door. She took a deep breath and unlocked it. A frantic looking Mingler immediately came running in. She cringed at the first sight of Pink.
"A TOON IN MY HOUSE???" she shrieked. Before she could attack, some of her heaviest furniture came crashing down on her. She struggled to push it off, but it was too heavy. She exploded into hundreds of pieces. Everyone began to cheer before they remembered she was a version 2.0 cog.
A skelecog emerged from the pile of broken furniture. "You little brats!" she howled while starting a power trip attack on them. She grabbed a hold of Goopy before he got up while the others ran away to get more stuff. "I don't know how you got here, but you'll pay for this!" She lifted him up by his neck. A moment later she let go of him after a very shocking experience. The water pitcher from her fridge had just been emptied onto her. Goopy was too petrified from fear to feel the cold of frozen water splash him. The skelecog had about half her health left.
Evina was trying to figure out what to do while she started chasing the other toons around the house. He looked in the fridge and saw a huge, half-eaten cake from some forgotten party the cog had gone to. He grabbed it and ran to go find them. The toons were hiding behind a large cabinet. It was torn to fragments almost instantly by the furious skelecog. Everyone went fleeing in different directions as Evina quietly snuck up behind her. "I really am sorry about this Ms. Chip," he said smugly.
She spun around and got splattered in the face with cake. The skelecog had taken too much damage and was destroyed. The toons turned to each other with horrified expressions, realizing what they had done. They stood still and silent for a minute staring at the mess they had created. The Sellbot suit was lying against a table. It was dirty and beaten up, but still usable.
"I'll take it," Pink said, handing her Bossbot suit to Evina. Harry was now the only one without a suit. After a quick look around the house, he found a spare suit that he could use for the moment.
Harry looked out the window and saw that the thing they were afraid of had come true. Cogs had woken up after noticing the commotion. They were looking out their windows.
"I am good with explosives," Ricky said as he ran out to the Mingler's convertible, "but I'm also good with electricity." The others were surprised as this was very abnormal for a young toon to know. He used some of the Mingler's old parts to hotwire the car, and they all crammed themselves into it.
"We get trunk!" Rocky said, swinging his arm around Simeon. The monkey didn't look happy with the idea but was tossed inside anyway.
Harry hopped into the driver's seat. "I suggest we go downtown. Perhaps we can get some transportation to help us get to a place that the cogs may come from. It doesn't look like there is anything important to do here, and the longer we stay anywhere, the more dangerous it's going to be." He started the car.
They drove away just as cogs were beginning to step outside for a better view of what was going on. He turned at the intersection that they crossed the night before.
"Why do you get to drive?" Zany asked.
"Because I've seen you guys at the speedway. You drive like complete maniacs. Ricky's special skill tells me he's probably a cheater too. But when you're here, you have to obey the traffic laws."
Harry saw a police car coming with its lights flashing and started panicking. He pulled over to the side of the road. "Maybe I don't know as much as I thought," he murmured.
The police car turned off its sirens and stopped behind Ms. Chip's car. A strange looking cog stepped out with the same dark blue suit that Catman wore. He was tall and looked similar to a Robber Baron but without the mustache. He also had lighter colored skin paint.
He held up an ID, smiled, and said with dignity, "I am Policeman Servicebot level 12 v2.0. 00017342. Please step out of your vehicle."
They stepped out and looked on with terror as he examined the license plate. "Hmmm... how interesting," he said. He appeared to be calculating something. "My records indicate that this car belongs to Mingler Sellbot 00587432, so why is a Bossbot driving?" He paused, and they didn't speak. "Seriously, who are you, anyway?" Everybody was scared stiff and motionless. "You do not have the right to remain silent here! Talk or I'll have to arrest you." Still, nobody moved. The policeman chuckled. "The Chief Justice ought to find this interesting. They're driving double the speed limit, on the wrong side of the street, and now they won't even tell me who they are!"
Harry unexpectedly pulled a paper out of this pocket. "This is who I am," he said.
The policeman took the paper and examined it closely. It was a flyer for a sale at Goofy's Gag Shop.
"Wait a minute, YOU'RE TOONS!"
When he looked up, it was already too late. They were in the car and speeding away. The cog started shooting at them. It barely missed Goopy by inches. Another shot hit Ricky in the ear, and he began howling with pain. The policeman leaped into his car and pursued them. Harry nearly hit a group of cogs walking on the street. He was going as fast as he could. A large moving truck seemed to appear out of nowhere. It hit it so hard that it was knocked over. All the toons were ejected. The car was broken and in flames. Ricky, who was already in pain, went sad and rolled away. The rest of them were barely conscious. They managed to stand up, pick up Ricky, and hide in a nearby alley.
They had caught the attention of every cog in the city. They were at least grateful that they didn't all go sad, or even worse, get permanent damage. Anything could be possible in Cog Nation. Many more police cars soon arrived, and cogs started examining the area. The flaming wreck was evidence enough that their city had been invaded.
"Too bad toons don't leave footprints behind," one of them remarked. "Or... do they?"
Another policeman shrugged.
Fortunately, none of them found footprints, because the toons were wearing cog boots. The toons walked silently to the other side of the alley. The first thing they saw was a group of Sellbots. There were Cog shops all around this area.
"We must have reached the city plaza," whispered Harry. There were cog buildings of all types here. But the toons had miserable luck. It was a very clear and sunny day. They stuck out like a sore thumb in the glimmering metal city. There was nowhere they could think of that would be a good place to hide. They just had to trust that nobody would know their true identity with their suits on.
"Look, an airport!" Simeon said. He pointed to a very large building at the end of the street. They did their best to carry Ricky across the street. A lot of cogs were asking them things such as, "What happened to him?" The toons decided it was best to answer with something generic like "He's malfunctioning." They got to the airport and laid him across several seats.
"How are we going to heal him?" Zany muttered. "We can't leave him like this."
"I have an idea," Catman said. He clanked down the tiled floor up to a cog wearing another dark blue suit.
"Excuse me, sir, but what is the most dangerous place in the airport?"
The other cog was confused. "J-112," he replied. "That's where they hide the confiscated weapons. But you're a Servicebot! Shouldn't you know that already?" He didn't get an answer because the toons quickly ran into J-112 and locked the door behind them.
Previous | Next