The Ida Story

The Ida Story was originally designed for the official AJ blog, the Daily Explorer. It’s sort of “Beta Testing” for my ideas, so I would appreciate any comments you may have.

– DXplorergirl

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The cast of characters

CHAPTER ONE

Okay… Today… was crazy.  I jumped off a waterfall, fought ten Phantoms at once, and I missed lunch on top of that!

I, being me: Ida.  Well, Infinity Daisyanimal, but it’s Ida for short.  Maybe you’ve seen me around Jamaa; I wear Rare Ram Horns, carry a Rare Longbow and I’m magenta with a darker underbelly and light pink leopard print. And… oh, right! I’m a Snow Leopard. 😛

I live in Jamaa Township with Explorer Firstmoon.  “Who is he?” I here you asking.  Well, he’s my dad. ‘Cept he’s an Artic Wolf.  I think it’s kinda obvious now that I’m adopted. 😛

He found me about two years ago.  I had no memory of anything that had happened to me before and was scared out of my spots!  It’s a long story.  Suffice it to say, Bigfoot was involved.

Nobody could really figure out what to do with me, so in the meantime I became a bit of an apprentice to him.  It took time, like most things do.  After many adventures together, we realized that we were family and always would be.  Life’s been pretty great since.  😀

We are special agents.  The Alphas call him when there’s  trouble.  Needless to say, we spend a lot of time fighting Phantoms.  Chapter two will be about a particular time… I remember it like it was yesterday… mostly because it was today!

TBC   (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWO

It was this morning when I woke up to the smell of breakfast. I wasn’t in my room. Where was I? Oh yeah. The middle of nowhere in the woods. Explorer was making breakfast over a campfire.

I haven’t really described him, have I? He’s two shades of caramel, and he wears Rare Dual Samurai Swords. It’s hard to describe his personality in words. He’s brave and tough, but not cold or hard. He’s kind and gentle, but still so strong. I guess that’s what it means when they say someone has a heart of gold. 🙂 He has a smile that makes you want to laugh, and he gives the best hugs in the universe. I love him more than anything in Jamaa. Is it any wonder? 😛

Well, back to breakfast. I stretched and yawned.  “Morning.”

As we ate, we discussed our plans to locate the Phantom Compass, the object that combines with the Phantom Beacon to show the Phantom Fortress’ exact location. Just when we had finished, guess what came through the bushes? Yup. Phantoms.

We put up a fight, but there were many. I heard a grunt, and my heart skipped a beat as I saw Explorer fall, shocked from behind. ZAP!! That was the last thing I heard. Then everything went black.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER THREE

Everything was black. I felt strange. There was rustling all around me. I opened my eyes, then immediately shut them again. I was fifteen feet off the ground! And the weird sensation? That would be hanging in midair by the Rare Ram Horns I was wearing.
Did I know why I was in a tree? No. Did I stop, calm my acrophobia, and try to figure it out? No!
HEEELP! HEEEEELP!!
“Hey, what’s the racket?”
HEEEERE! IN THE TREEE!
It was a boy’s voice, and close. A red Falcon flew up to me. Flew. Above the giant. Dizzying. Sickening. Drop. I wanted to throw up. “Please get me down,” I said, in little more than a whisper.
“Yeah, alright, hold your horseshoes.”
“Horses.”
“Eh?”
“Hold your horses.”
“Why? I thought you wanted down.”
“I do!”
“Fine, then!”
His talons yanked at my horns and the branches around them. Finally they came loose.
Slowly I went lower… twelve feet… ten feet… eight…
He dropped me!
 “YaaaahhUNNHH!” For the second time, I conked out.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER FOUR

 Gasping, I tried to get back some of the air that had been knocked out of my lungs when my “rescuer” dropped me on my stomach.
“You okay?”
“Fine,” I grunted.
“Sorry about that,” the red Falcon said. “You really oughta cut back on the ice cream.”
I let that slide. I had a better question. “Why was I in a tree?”
“Phantoms,” he replied.
“‘Scuse me?”
“Phantoms. They were carrying you, and some Arctic Wolf. When they flew up through the trees, your head got stuck. Serves you right for wearing that awful hat.”
My blood turned to ice as he said ‘Arctic Wolf’.
“Explorer? They took him?”
“Yeah. Saw ’em go that way,” he pointed north.
“You saw?” I was half incredulous. He nodded. “And you did nothing?!?!” A yell burst from my throat as I swiped at him with my paw.
“Hey!” the Falcon screeched, as he took off through the forest canopy.
I stood for a moment, not really knowing what to do, then I just… ran. After a short distance, I found myself at our campsite. I stood in the middle of it, panting. I thought of my father, alone with those Phantoms. Tears filled my eyes as I whispered,
“I’ll find you. I promise you. I’ll find you.”
TBC DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER FIVE

 I had a new mission. Forget the silly Phantom Compass. The rude Falcon was gone, but he had given me a direction. North.
Salvaging what I could from our ruined campsite – a sleeping bag, some provisions – I packed a satchel. At a steady pace, I set out in the direction he had pointed.
As I walked, I began to regret my anger against the Falcon boy. I was glad I missed when I whacked at him with my paw… but he had watched Phantoms take Explorer, and stood by when he could have tried to save us. I wasn’t ready to forgive him for that yet.
You might wonder why I call him Explorer. I told you I was his apprentice for a while, and I got used to it. When he adopted me, I did consider calling him Dad, but it was just a little too weird, for both of us.
Back to the recent past. I came upon a lake, fed by a river. Several Otters played in it, splashing and diving.
“Seen any Phantoms around here?” I called to them.
Two of them stopped their ‘water war’. “Not since last week!”
“‘Kay, thanks,” I shouted, and continued on.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER SIX

 As I was walking away from the Otters, a thought occurred to me, and I turned around.
“I am heading north, right?”
“Northeast,” one responded. “Follow the river upstream, then you’ll be on the right track.”
“Thanks!”
“Don’t mention it,” he called back.
An Otter ran after me. “Wait up!” she shouted.
“Huh?”
“You’re looking for Phantoms, aren’t you?” she asked, her eyes wide.
“Yeah.” I may have been a bit terse, knowing time was running out. “You seen any?”
“You’re a warrior!”
“What? No, I –” I was caught by surprise.
“I wanna come with you!” she was spunky, I’ll give her that.
“No. Are you crazy? It’s way too dangerous,” I said.
“I’m a warrior, too, and I’m comin’!”
I had had about enough of that spunk. Little did I know how much more spunk was stored in that tiny Otter body.
“No, you’re not.” What I meant was that she wasn’t coming with me, but it was unfortunately seen as a challenge. Quick as a flash, she put on a Pirate Sword and, with an amazing leap in the bargain, charged at me!
Hey!” I yelled, alarmed and perplexed. “What the Phantom?!” A second later, I was on the run, in the opposite direction from where I needed to go.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

My legs were powerful, but my attacker’s were agile. Her lithe body flipped and bounded off rocks with skill surprising in one so young. Not that she was that much younger than me, but I had years of field training. Impressive.

*Slash* I evaded her blade several times. A Rare Longbow was little help in close combat, but I couldn’t spare the time to change. *Snick* I lost a bit of fur off my tail! That did it!

Stop it!” I said, spinning around. The Otter warrior was in the middle of swinging her sword down at me! *Swoosh* Reacting quickly, I caught the base in both paws, stopping it an inch from my face. We both froze.
“Why are we fighting each other?”
My opponent blinked. “I don’t really know.” She lowered her sword. “I’m Precious Daringotter,” she introduced herself.
Infinity DaisyAnimal,” I responded. “Call me Ida.”
Suddenly, we heard the signature “squish” noise of… guess who? You’ll never guess.
*squish* *squish* We looked at each other, the same thought going through our minds. Phantoms.
I pointed my paw to me, and then right, signaling that we would split up and try to sneak around them. Precious nodded, and we separated.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER EIGHT

 I snuck carefully through the tall grass, trying to avoid alerting the Phantoms to my presence, knowing that Precious Daringotter was doing the same on the other side of them.
My stomach growled. What time was it? The sun was high overhead. I missed lunch? Maaaan… My stomach growled again, louder this time. Uh-oh. The Phantoms perked up their “ears”. The tall grass ended suddenly, and before I knew it, I was out in the open, with ten Phantoms making a beeline for me!
There are times when discretion is the better part of valor. This was one of them. In other words, I vamoosed. Speeding through the forest, my paws pounded on the ground in time to the beat of my heart. I passed through clearings and dense copses. (Yes, that’s a real word.)
The river? Had I gone in a circle? I was running so fast, there was nothing to do but cross it. I splashed in, ten Phantoms in tow. Snow Leopards are good swimmers, but the current was strong, and I was pulled downstream quickly.  I managed to get off a shot from my Rare Longbow but missed my target.
I didn’t hear the thunder until too late. A waterfall…
As I hurtled over the edge, I shut my eyes, put on my Mech Angel Wings, and prayed.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER NINE

 I plummeted down… down… down the waterfall.  My Mech Angel Wings were a little help, but not enough the land safely.  The Phantoms were still following me!  Now that’s dedication.
Suddenly a screech pierced the air.  The red Falcon boy!  He met me in midair and shoved me forward.  The added momentum allowed the Mech Angel Wings to glide me slowly downward.
My still-nameless acquaintance swooped toward my pursuers.  Using a Silver Glove, he defeated one, reducing it to purple dust.
I hit the surface of the water below and water-skied (water-planed?) (skimmed across?) for a short distance before sinking down in the shallows.  I turned around and finally made good use of my Rare Longbow.  In no time, the danger was gone, the few remaining Phantoms beating a hasty retreat.
I climbed out of the lake that formed at the bottom of the waterfall and walked up to the Jammer who had now saved my hide twice in one day, and whom I had “rewarded” with a swipe of my paw.
“Thank you,” I said, my head lowered.
“I thought I should do something,” he said quietly.  Then, louder, “Looks like I arrived just in the quick of time!”  He was at it again!
“Nick,” I corrected.
“Hi, Nick.”  He introduced himself, “I’m Crashing.  Crashing Wingedbird.  Nice to meetcha.”
I rolled my eyes and smiled as I shook his wing.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER TEN

 Meanwhile…  Exporer Firstmoon groaned and opened his eyes.  He was in a Phantom cell.  But where was Ida?  She had been taken, along with him.  Likely she was in a different cell.
Already his inventive mind was taking in his surroundings.  Using the Rare Dual Samurai Swords strapped to his back, he sliced away the top of a Small Phantom Pod and severed the stem, leaving him with a pointed rod.  There was a Phantom Pipe in the wall, dripping purple goo.  Explorer dipped the stem in this slippery substance and inserted it into the lock on the cell bars.  For a few minutes he manipulated his makeshift tool, unsure of the results but willing to give it a shot.
Yes!  🙂 The Phantom-made substances melded into one, replicating a Phantom Key!  The cell opened and Explorer Firstmoon went in search of his daughter.  He saw rows and rows of cells on either side of the long, dank hallway.  Some were empty but others held Jammers of all shapes and sizes.
Explorer went to a patch of Pods and “snicked” one off.  He had a lot of work to do.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 I had just learned the name of the Falcon boy, Crashing Wingedbird.  Unfortunately, he had “learned” my name was Nick!  (It’s not, though.  It’s Ida.  But you know that, riiiiiight?) 😛
Suddenly it hit me and my eyes went wide.  “Precious! She’s still up there,” I said, pointing up the waterfall.
“Who’s Precious?”  Crashing looked confused.
A yell sounded from above .  “Yahooooooooooo!”  Precious Daringotter burst over the edge of the waterfall and made a perfect swan dive  into the lake below.
I was amazed by her entrance.  “On second thought, I think I oughta call her Daring.”
She popped up beside me with a spray of water.  “Everyone does,” she said with a smile. “Thanks for sending some Phantoms back my way, but why did you have to run off with all of them in the first place?  No fair!”  Her idyllic picture of a “warrior’s” life was starting to get to me.
“If you really had any experience with Phantoms,” I responded in a serious tone, “you would want to fight them as little as possible.”
“If I really had experience?”  She was miffed.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I knew exactly what it meant, but couldn’t think of a more polite way to say it.  So, I just stood silent.
“She’s looking for a friend of hers.  They took him north.”  Crashing saved my tail once again.  “We better hurry or we’ll lose the trail.”
I nodded at him with a grateful look.  “Let’s go,” I said and led the way.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

 CHAPTER TWELVE

 Meanwhile… Explorer Firstmoon had released almost all the Jammers from their cells, with many freed animals helping. There was quite a group forming, with both children and experienced warriors, Beta item tradesmen and Masterpiece artists. There was even a circus clown, though he didn’t feel like doing much clowning at the moment.
Some Jammers had been injured in their attempts to avoid capture. Others had breathed the dust of defeated Phantoms and were suffering adverse effects from the quasi-poison. Explorer realized that, in this disorganized state, a mass escape would be all but impossible.
Already voices rang out: “Major! Where are you?”
“Oh, thank you, thank you for saving us!!”
“Let’s get down to business, how do we get out of here?”
“Keep your voices down, the Phantoms will hear you.”
“Please, I need help over here!”
“Who’s in charge?”
A brown paw turned its own makeshift key in the lock. As the bars melted away, a deep, authoritative voice rang out.
“I am.” It was Hudson, the Otter Alpha!
“As an Alpha, I have command of this company. Explorer Firstmoon?”
“Sir.” They were previously acquainted.
“You’re my second-in-command. Let’s get this group into a better condition, then we make our plans.”
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

We came upon a clearing. (Again! Sometimes I think that forest was all clearings!) Standing in the middle was a portal, and around the portal, several Phantoms stood guard. Obviously, a tactical retreat was in order. Daring and I hid in the undergrowth. Crashing swooped in, doing full justice to his name. I still can’t believe the Phantoms didn’t hear us.
“Sorry,” he whispered. “Guess I’ve got two left beaks.”
“Feet!” Daring hissed at him. So it wasn’t just me being driven crazy by that.
Crashing seemed oblivious.  “That’s gotta be where they took him.”
“Yup.” It was a weak answer on my part, but I was thinking furiously, trying to come up with a plan. I’m not very good at having ideas on the spur of the moment; that’s Explorer’s thing.
“So what do we do,” Daring asked, “just sit here?”
You know what? Forget the plan. “No,” I said, determination in my voice. “We move.”
I burst out of the shrubbery and skidded to a halt a short distance away. My arrow flew straight. One down. Crashing swooped from the sky, and Daring swung her Pirate Sword in close combat. Two down. Three. And more kept coming.
Dang it! Missed! I couldn’t keep wasting arrows. Grabbing one from my quiver, I held it like a dagger. With anger that surprised even me, I charged into the thick of the battle.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

 Meanwhile… The Otter Alpha Hudson had taken effective command of the escapees. The injured were cared for as much as was possible, but some were too weak to move far. Explorer was kept busy, but the thought crossed his mind; “Where are the Phantoms?”
Hudson had noticed too. He motioned Explorer to a corner where they could talk privately.
“I don’t like this,” he said in a low voice. “According to the prisoners who have been here for a while, guards haven’t checked on the cells regularly for a day. They’ve brought food once, then nothing.”
Explorer nodded. “They’re preparing something.”
“Or have already done it,” Hudson confirmed. “The bare fact is, we know nothing about anything beyond these walls. I need two parties of volunteers to scout it out; one to find an escape route, one to report on the Phantoms’ plans.”
Explorer took a deep breath. “Sir, there may be other prisoners. My daughter was taken as well, and she’s nowhere around here.”
The skilled tactician looked him in the eye. “You’re sure of that?”
“Yes.”
There was a pause, then Hudson responded, “All right. You lead one team, and look for more Jammers. But remember, your number one priority is an escape route. If it comes down to leaving–“
“Sir…”
For the first time, a chink showed in the Alpha’s logical armor. He put a paw on Explorer’s shoulder. “Explorer, I’ve got kids at home too. But we are responsible for all,” – He motioned to the crowd – “their lives. Is that understood?”
“Understood.”
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

I screamed a battle cry as I plunged my arrow dagger deep into a Phantom.  It transformed into a purple dust immediately.  I viciously attacked another. Slash! Slash! Jab!
*Poof* went the Phantom!  The whole time, I was yelling like a banshee.  I wanted to smash ’em, pulverize ’em, I WANTED TO SQUISH THEM INTO TINY PHANTOM BITS!!
My fury surprised and frightened me.  Explorer and I had fought Phantoms many times before, but it wasn’t like this time… I mean, it was a living, not… I don’t know.  I don’t know what happened.  All I know is I was a Phantom-fighting maniac, until I thought: What in Jamaa am I doing?  Then my blows slacked off and I backed down, panting and scared.
ZZAP!!  Crackling energy grazed my shoulder and I was back to fighting for the old reason: survivial.  Parry!  I caught a glimpse of Crashing and Daring.  Thrust!  He was about to drop her on top of a Phantom from the air.  Interesting technique there….
Jab! *Poof!*  Another one down, and more kept coming…  Parry! Duck! Jump! Thrust! *Poof!* Repeat….
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Meanwhile…  Explorer Firstmoon was looking for recruits.  There were seven warriors among the captured, not counting Hudson.  Explorer led the “team” in charge of finding an escape route.  If you could call two individuals a team.  He chose Swimming Arcticmajor, an Arctic Fox warrior.  Somewhat young, without much experience; he had breathed some Phantom dust but was still strong enough to go on a scouting mission.
Another Jammer (I didn’t catch her name) led the find-the-Phantoms pair.   That left three, plus Hudson, to guard the group of citizens.
Explorer and Swimming set out, going left down the hallway while the Phantoms team went right.  They walked silently, careful not to destroy any Giant Phantom Pods or leave a clue that anybody had ever been there.
*Squish* *squish*  Wuh-oh.  Two Phantoms *squish*ed their way down the passage, Explorer and Swimming quickly concealing themselves behind some Giant Pods.
“Hey, Harry, we still on for bowling after work?”
“Eh, I dunno, Phil.  I think I’ll stay late and help with the plan.  The top’s been kinda mad at me ever since that Heartstone business.”
Yeah, how’d you lose that kid, anyway?  You said she would sleep through a hurricane!”
“Shut it, Phil.”
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Parry! Thrust! *Poof!*… Repeat?  There were no more Phantoms.  Piles of purple powder littered the landscape.
I was exhausted and so were Crashing and Daring.  He was still carrying her in his talons from their “team-up” strategy.  As Crashing tried to lower her gently,  (At least he did it for someone! – Good grief, let it go, Ida.)  his flapping wings raised a cloud of the poisonous dust into the atmosphere.
“Don’t breathe it!” I yelled, rushing over.  Making a desperate leap, I knocked them out of the mushrooming danger zone.
“Ooophh!”  We skidded across the ground, finally coming to rest a looooong way from the cloud.  Guess I jumped kinda hard.
“Owww! What was that for?!”  Daring was pretty incensed for someone who had just had her tail saved.
“The Phantom dust!  I-it’s poisonous, ” I stuttered.
“I’m not stupid!  I was holding my breath!”
“…Oh.”  I guess she was in ‘fight-with-something’ mode, and I was not about to give her a reason to fight with me.  I lowered my head in a submissive position and, as I did, something caught my eye.
“Uhhh, we got a problem,” Crashing said, coming over.  The Phantom’s had gotten their revenge.  The portal was deactivated and lying on the ground were the remains of a smashed Phantom Crystal.
There was now no hope of following them to where they had taken Explorer.
TBC (DXplorergirl)

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Meanwhile… The Phantoms moved on down the passageway.

Explorer and Swimming came out of hiding and looked at each other curiously.

Phantoms go bowling? Bet that would be news to Greely.

Quickly, they hurried down the dark, creepy hallway, searching for both other Jammers held captive and for a way out of the prison.

Opening doors, they found a storeroom…

A gigantic generator…

A secretary’s office? The Phantom at the desk looked up from typing and squinted at them through her glasses. Explorer slammed the door before she had a chance to focus.

Swimming sighed in relief, then coughed. He still wasn’t over breathing the dust of defeated Phantoms.

“Close one,” Explorer said, and they walked on.

The next door they peeped through led to an enormous room. Trays and trays of purple powder lined long tables as far as he eye could see.

Every so often, a tray would start to shake. Harder and harder, then suddenly; *ShbloopPOP!* 

With a weird noise, the dust re-formed into a Phantom! It made its way – *squish* *squish* – to some vacuum tubes in the wall, and was sucked away to parts unknown.

The amazed duo moved on, wondering: What else about Phantoms do we not know?

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN

We stood there for a while looking at the smashed shards of the Phantom Crystal, our only link to my father.  I leaned down slowly and picked up a few pieces.

“Okaaay… new plan.”  It was time to get creative.

I put on my Mech Angel Wings again and plucked a feather out, then went back into my inventory and grabbed my white Ribbon Scarf.  I had a ‘pen’ and ‘paper’, but was stuck for ink.

My eyes landed on the blackberry Pi Hat.  Aha!  I dipped the tip of the feather into the dripping, dark juice.  Crude, but acceptable.

I scribbled a hasty note on the scarf and handed it to Crashing.

“Fly to Alpha HQ and ask for a Phantom Crystal from their storeroom.  If they ask for identification, show them this.  Daring and I will wait here for your return.”

Crashing gave me an incredulous look as he took the note.  “You want me to walk up to the Alphas and ask for one of their crystals?  That’s the most superfluous thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Redic–  Crashing!!  Just… trust me on this. Okay?  Please hurry.”

“Ohh, okay….”  He took off. 

Daring looked at me like ‘Who do you think you are?’

Weird…

We sat down to wait.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY 

Meanwhile…  *squish squish* *squish squish*  Not again!

Explorer and Swimming hid behind more conveniently placed Phantom Pods. One Phantom came through the hallway, murmuring to itself,

“Could sleep through a hurricane, huh? Well, you weren’t therewere you, Phil?”

It was Harry, who was going to help with ‘The Plan’! And he was headed in the exact opposite direction from the one that the find-the-Phantoms team took!

What was there to do? Either ‘The Plan’ and the exit were in the same direction, or the other team would eventually find a way out in the direction they had taken.

Their opportunity could not be lost.

Sneakily… quietly… they followed Harry… following twisted corridors, passing many doors, until they finally reached one marked “LABORATORY”.

Harry opened it, and the duo saw many machines with blinking sensors, menacing lasers, and evil-looking pointy parts.

A Phantom in a welding mask was bending over a small object  it was ‘zapping’.

Harry entered. “Hey, we made any progress wrecking that thing?”

The other pushed up its mask and responded, “Kinda. This is starting to scratch it.”

The laser was raised, revealing the object to be the Phantom Compass.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Crashing Wingedbird was a Falcon. Faster than fast, quicker than quick!

Except in a strong headwind. Flying got to be hard work then! Hard as nails, he said later. Was I going to waste my breath telling him that meant a different kind of hard? Nope.

After a good cardio workout, he saw Alpha HQ, and came in for a landing. He moved around the courtyard, calling’

“Um, hello? Anyone there?”

All was empty, with the wind blowing.

aj-DXplorergirl-blog-WHAM

Out of nowhere, Greely leaped on Crashing! Easily five times smaller, Crashing was pinned to the ground effortlessly by the terrifying Wolf Alpha!

“What are you doing here?” he growled in a horrible voice.

“Let him go, Greely,” a cheerful female voice piped up. “It’s probably the pizza I ordered!”

“Then where’s the pizza?” A much deeper voice cut in as Sir Gilbert and all the Alphas came on to the scene.

“Ph-Ph-Phantom Crystal!” Crashing stammered out. “We need one! From the storeroom!”

“Phantom Crystal?” Cosmo said.

“Can he be serious?” Greely asked scornfully, as he took the crumpled scarf from Crashing’s talon.

Liza looked over and read the crude scrawl aloud: “Yes, Greely, I’m serious. – Ida.”

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Meanwhile…  Explorer Firstmoon saw the Phantom Compass, the object he and Ida were searching for before their capture.

“What is it?” Swimming Arcticmajor asked.

“Something we have got to get,” Explorer said as he crept closer and hid beside the door.

*BUZZZZZZ!* The Phantoms seemed happy to hear the discordant sound.

“Break time!”

“C’mon, Harry,” the Phantom with the laser said.  “Coffee’s on me.  We’re gonna need it.  Long night ahead of us….”  Their voices trailed off down the corridor.  Explorer peeped in the laboratory.  The coast was clear.

Not long afterwards, the duo was hurrying down the hallway with the Compass securely stashed in Explorer’s inventory.  Quickly and quietly, they sped on their way back to the prisoners.  They needed to report to Hudson.

Rounding a corner, they came face-to-face with the warriors in charge of finding out the Phantoms plans!  Initially, both groups were startled at the others sudden appearance.  The still-unidentified prison was like a maze.

Breathing heavily, the Llama in charge said, “We found a portal.”

“And we found a project,” replied Explorer.

“They’re not going to be finishing it anytime soon, right, Explorer?”  Swimming cut in.

“What?!” hissed the Llama.  “That was not your mission!  Recon!  Non-interference!”  She was pretty ticked for someone who hadn’t completed her mission, either.  “Come on.  We’re going to find Hudson.”

Explorer, Swimming and a Lnyx all made their way after her down the passage.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

Daring and I waited for Crashing’s return, my Otter friend still dubious of any influence I had with the Alphas.  To be honest, so was I.

I do spend a fair amount of time around them, but would they listen to me – pay attention to a scribble on a scarf from the apprentice/daughter of one of their agents?  Admittedly, their best agent, but I was still worried.

No, worried wasn’t the word.  I was tense? No. Stressed? Better…  I was jump-out-of-my-skin antsy.  Yeah, that’s about it.  I had to move, move now, or – well, there just wasn’t another option.

As I paced madly, my paws ground the Phantom dust scattered in piles across a large expanse of grass.  My tail twitched and waved like a flag as I countered my own thoughts.

I knew some of the Alphas pretty well; Barrett the Polar Bear Alpha, for one.  I knew enough of Greely to write the message that I did, but what if he wasn’t prowling around on guard right then?  Or worse, what if he did get the message but hadn’t respond as I expected?  That would really hurt its credibility.

“Would you chill out?”  Daring.

Normally I would have jumped at a sudden voice, but my own thoughts were loud enough.  I didn’t say anything.

The Phantom dust ground beneath my feet and between my toes.  Wildly, I flicked it off, having had enough.

I went to a nearby tree with large leaves and took one.  Using it as a dustpan, I scraped the dust into it and carried it a long distance away, clearing the field.  Or at least I started.  I had a lot of work to do.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Meanwhile… Explorer Firstmoon and Swimming Arcticmajor (along with an unnamed Lynx) followed an equally anonymous Llama warrior back to the group of prisoners, to tell them the good news about the escape route.

They found Hudson still keeping order among the large crowd of captives.

“A portal? Good. We have to move soon, the Phantoms could be back at any time.”

They formed the escapees into a loose kind of platoon, placing four warriors each in front and in the rear.

Every passageway looked the same. Swimming whispered,

“Can I see the compass?”

Explorer handed it to him. “Weird.” Swimming shook it. “It doesn’t seem to be working.”

Amazingly, the group reached their goal unseen by Phantom eyes. The portal stood in the middle of the room.

Dead.

“What?! It was functioning when I left it,” spat the Llama, incredulous.

Every Jammer crowded inside as whispers raced around like electricity.

“What do we do?”

“The Phantoms are gonna catch us!”

“The portal’s dead!”

A screeching alarm startled everyone, and a voice blared from unseen loudspeakers.

“Attention all Phantoms; Red Alert! Security breach, prisoner escape in quadrant B! Attention all Phantoms; Red Alert! Security breach, prisoner…”

The tension in the crowd turned to outright panic. Over the noise, Hudson shouted,

“Explorer, get to the portal! See what you can do!”

Explorer’s reputation for inventiveness sometimes led to big expectations. Still, you never know till you try.

Suddenly, shouts of alarm came from the warriors at the back of the group.

The Phantoms had arrived.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

All the Phantom dust was clear, and I felt a little better. I was too tired to pace, anyways.

“Come on, Crashing! Where are you?”

Now Daring seemed to be getting impatient. I dropped down on my stomach and waited, my tail swishing in time to an unheard

Tick.

Tock.

Tick.

Tock.

Tick.

“There he is!”

At Daring’s call, I bolted upright and scanned the horizon. Sure enough, Crashing came into view, and several other flying animals with him!

“Has he got it?” I asked.

“I can’t see,” Daring responded.

As the troop of flyers landed on the now-clean field, I identified several faces that I couldn’t place names with, and Valentina the Eagle Alpha.

She was easy enough to remember with her black and hot pink feathers, Spiked Mohawk, and pierced beak.

“Awright, Jammers!” Her screech cut through the air. “You know the drill! Secure the area, clear all poison dust!”

I half-raised my paw. “Ah, done.”

Her face lit in recognition. “Ida! Long time no see!” Her volume stayed raised, like she was talking from a concert stage. She flew over my head and grazed my ear with closed talons.

“Rockin’ message you sent to Greely. You nailed ‘im!”

I grinned.

“Heard you needed a Phantom Crystal,” she gestured to Crashing, who held one. He was clearly proud of his accomplishments, and held it like a trophy.

All thoughts faded except for my mission. I glanced at the sun. It was starting to sink through the trees. A whole day gone… No more time could be lost.

“Crashing!” I pointed to the crystal-shaped hole at the top of the portal. “Can you put it in!”

The words were a request, but the urgency of my tone made it more of a command.

Crashing flew to the top of the portal. As he inserted the purple activator, I held my breath and steeled myself for whatever lay on the other side.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

Hudson raced off to join the defending forces, shouting over his shoulder, “Portal!  Now!”

Reluctantly, Explorer turned away from the battle and moved to the portal.  He knew that there was precious little time that could be bought for him.

In a moment, Swimming was at his side.  “Excuse me, sir!”  His words were tinged with a military tone, so that you almost expected him to salute.  “I have some experience with portals!”

Which was more than Explorer had.  His large caramel paw pushed Swimming forward.  “Go for it.”

Swimming led the way to a panel at the base of the structure and took off the lid.  They both stared down at the complex tangle of wires and switches.

“Uh-oh,” Swimming groaned.

“Uh-oh?” Explorer echoed.

“Apparently, Phantom portals are different.”

Explorer exhaled, then spoke calmly.  “Okay.  They can’t be entirely different.  Concentrate on the parts that look the same.”

“Nothing looks the same!”

Explorer analyzed the machinery.  “This looks like a fuse….”  He put his paw on it.  But before he could do anything, the the portal suddenly started functioning!

“Hey! You fixed it!”

“I didn’t….”  Explorer shook his head, then sprang into action.  “Get everyone through the portal.”

As Swimming began to herd civilians to safety, explorer headed towards Hudson and joined the fray.

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

Crashing inserted the Phantom Crystal into the portal.  The tension mounted as Daring, Valentina and the rest of the backup squad sent by the Alphas all gathered around.

As if pulled by by a magnetic force, the crystal slipped into place.  As it bonded with the giant machine, a halo of glowing light appeared around it.

The portal leaped to life, shimmering swirls obscuring our destination on the other side.  Suddenly, A Bunny came rocketing through the portal!

Yes!  Freedo-o-om!

He bounded right past me, and was followed by countless others, all pouring through in waves.  I stood  with my mouth open, probably looking really dumb.  At any rate, I was dumbfounded.  Where did all these Jammers come from?

Pushed back by the flow of the crowd, I gazed around in wonder.  My eyes caught a flash of golden Samurai Swords against brown fur.

“Explorer!”

He saw me.  “Ida!”

I ran and jumped on him.  He wrapped me in one of his huge hugs, practically smothering me.  Not that I cared.  I could have stayed there forever.

“Where were you?”  I was gonna ask him the same thing, but it was hard with a snoutful of sword-belt buckle.

“Precious!”  A voice from behind Explorer rang out over the commotion.

“Daddy!”  I jerked my head up in time to see Precious Daringotter fling herself into Hudson’s outstretched paws.

“Daddy??”  I looked at Explorer blankly.  Well, that explains a few things….”

TBC (DXplorergirl)

 

EPILOGUE

I am sitting here by a fire to write this report.  We have decided to make camp by the portal (now deactivated) so that all the liberated prisoners can rest before making the journey back to Jamaa’s towns.

As it turns out, Precious Daringotter is the youngest daughter of the Otter Alpha, Hudson.  She neglected to mention this fact because she wished to complete a warrior’s quest in her own right.  (And just like her, too.)

There is the explanation of her exceptional fighting skill; her father’s training, plus her own natural tenacity.

Oh, and I’ve just overheard the name of the Llama warrior!  It’s Baroness Hikingllama.

Explorer has told Hudson about the Phantom Compass (there wasn’t time before) and Valentina is taking a full report back to Alpha HQ.

I expect that we will soon be part if a new mission, the location of the Phantom Fortress.  😀  I’m really excited!

Swimming Arcticmajor and I have become friends.  He has decided to go by his initials as well.  S.A.M. has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

I gotta go.  Crashing is telling our side of the story all wrong. XD Once I set the record straight, this goes to Alpha HQ with Valentina.

Until next time,

Ida Firstmoon

 

 

FIN  (DXplorergirl)

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33 thoughts on “The Ida Story

  1. I finally found your blog! I’ll read this story later, hope you forgive me, but I gotta go make my brother get ready for his art camp *exasperated sigh*

    -Pinpun

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! 😀 I am interested in comics!

      Just FYI, I didn’t draw that one in the Art Studio. It was made using a wonderful drawing app for iDevices (iPhone, iPad) called YouDoodle. There’s a bit of a learning curve to using it, but all in all, I highly recommend. 🙂

      (DXplorergirl)

      Like

      1. …Wow.

        My art hasn’t gone too far. 😆 I STILL fell like that’s one of my bests!

        Be sure and tell me when you’ll need YOUR Cast of Characters picture for Lizzy’s Diary! 🙂

        (DXplorergirl)

        Like

    1. TYSM! Yes, occasionally, but I like sketches a lot. Besides, coloring a drawing increases the time till finishing exponentially.

      That said, I do intend to color some projects, but the Jammer portrait sketches will be finished and posted quickly. 🙂

      BTW, would it be okay to ask that we keep these comments on topic? You know, Adobe comments on the Adobe page, Frogsloth comments on the Frogsloth page…. Maybe? Please? It’s so much neater.

      (DXplorergirl)

      Like

    1. Whadda ya mean…? *checks* Huh! o.o

      Weird….

      Why not? *scratches head* Well, nevermind about avoiding a mess then. I guess it’ll just reflect the state I left my bed in this morning. CX

      (DXplorergirl)

      Like

    1. Ack! Noooooo! Why aren’t they showing up?

      *gasps as she realizes* The gnomes. O.O

      They must have gotten in here from the Daily Explorer! Well, I dunno if they’ll find any sweets… the French toast might disappear though. 😛

      Wow! *giant fangirly smile* I have GNOMES! I’m an official AJ blog now! XD XD XD YAAAAAAAAY!! *celebrates*

      Now how do I get rid of them? That’s the next step in having gnomes. Hmmm…. *plots to set a trap with ice cream as bait*

      (DXplorergirl)

      Like

    1. By the way, for some reason most of the images on your blog don’t show up on my computer screen. It just shows an image file name and no picture…. is that just my computer? I tried visiting your blog on multiple browsers, but they both said Image not found or an image file name.

      Like

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