"Pa!" I roared as I skidded to a halt and tore into the repair bay, claws unsheathed. I had no idea what to expect. " Captain Chonkers..." I heard a groan. My blood turned to ice. "J-Thicc Corgi?" "Over here..." he grunted. I walked over slowly, preparing for the worst. Only the worst was not what I'd been expecting at all. Thicc Corgi was lying underneath the cruiser, which had apparently collapsed on top of him. Eye's wide, I darted over and pulled it off him, putting it aside before running to his side. "Watugi?!" "Did not check support properly. Was starting work on s-ship..." he grunted. "Collapsed as I got underneath." "You ok?" I asked in concern. "Am fine, Captain Chonkers. Will be sore for little while, but have been through worse," he rubbed his head. "Though... what about you? Why you come screaming for me? Is something wrong?" My heart was racing. I had to sit down for a moment or so to calm myself down. He sat beside me, putting a hand on my back. " Captain Chonkers?" "Thicc Corgi..." I looked up at him. "Think... might be in danger." "Chops?" he asked, and I shook my head. "Ih, buso naga just him. You... your old gang." He frowned. "Me? Why would-" "Cut youga off, ih? Angry with you?" I asked and he nodded. "Well, yes. From what am remembering." "So what if, working with 621? Team up?" He gave me an odd look before he looked perplexed. His eyes widened slightly. "Do you think...?" I nodded. "Chopsuey, he no attack out of nowhere. Had to be planned." "You're right Captain Chonkers. Was no way he could have tracked you down like that alone. Had to be having some sort of assistance." "Aga ba?" I asked. "Because I did not create him to be half as smart as you are." I wanted to laugh, but wasn't in the mood. Thicc Corgi was being serious. He took my paws into his hands. "If this is case, Captain Chonkers, then we must be prepared. I am starting to wonder if oil spill was intentional." "Ichabiraba?" He nodded. "Yes. Storms do not cause damage to underwater pipes unless there is blunt force directly applied over periods of time. Water would lessen impact. But for such damage to occur would have to over span of years, not just from one storm. I doubt debris would have done such thing. Could have been tactic to get attention of island folk, including you Captain Chonkers, to track where you were being. Is sort of idea that Chops would not be thinking of, but Captain Chonkers Clone's would." "So... you think, was them? They damage pipe?" "Very likely. Just as was likely a cover up by media by bribing from Captain Chonkers Clone's. Plan to get you to beach, out in open, considering would have likely known there was higher percentage chance you would. I need to investigate further." He stood up and grunted, rubbing his side. "Papa?" I asked in concern. "I'm fine, Captain Chonkers. Got many things to do." He went past me and back out to the lab. I looked at the cruiser for a moment or so before following him.</p><hr size=1 noshade><p>We spent most of the day inside. Some of Cobra's agents had already been deployed around our home as Thicc Corgi hadn't wanted to take any chances. I sat with my head in my arms at the window, looking outside at them. I felt a hand on my back and turned to see Mrs. Doggo. "Hey..." she said gently. I sighed and looked away from her. "How are you feeling?" "Naga bo chifa..." "You really scared us today..." I looked at her sadly and she looked saddened in response. "Look Captain Chonkers... about before..." "Naga, naga..." I turned to her, waving a paw. "You have right to be mad." She stared at me. I continued. "Isa lot, we have kept from family. Thicc Corgi... meega..." I sighed. "Now, in danger. Because of us." Mrs. Doggo just stared at me. "I cannot deny that I am scared Captain Chonkers. Of what is happening. But... as you know, I'm also scared of you." I looked at her, folding my ears back. "But that doesn't mean I that I don't love you any less," she continued. "You've done a lot for our family. For my sister. And now that Pudge is gone, she's going to need you more than ever." I gave a nod. "I know I scare you," I looked away. "I'm soka Naanee." "It's not your fault Captain Chonkers. We both know that." She took my paws into her hands, once again feeling the stubs of my claws as she had before. I gazed at her as she did this. "You really don't want to hurt us, do you Captain Chonkers." I shook my head. "Never." "If that other experiment finds you and tries to attack you... what will you do?" she asked hesitantly. I made direct eye contact with her. She had often said to me in the past that she couldn't tell what I was looking at, but now she knew I was looking directly at her. "Attack back. I no hold back if he try to hurt Queen Floofy Floofer. Or ohana." Mrs. Doggo stared at me. "Would... you kill him?" I looked away for a moment before looking back at her. "Ih... but only if situation calls for it." "I just guess I never imagined you as the sort that would ever kill." I avoided eye contact with her. "Have... killed before." She went quiet at that, looking a little uncomfortable. It took her a few moments to speak. "Thicc Corgi mentioned before he ripped your arm in half...? Is this true?" she asked me gently. I nodded. "Where?" I looked away for a moment before flexing my right arm out to her, running my left paw along it to push back the fur along it and unveil the massive scar. Her eyes went wide as she gently took my arm into her hands and inspected it. "My goodness... you must have been in so much pain..." "Don't remember much. Was baby." "He hated you that much?" I nodded. "Lot of people... hate me. Lot of aliens." "But... why?" I put my head onto my arms against he window again. "Because of what I am. Wanted me dead." Mrs. Doggo stroked my ears. "Did you... really kill?" I put my head into my arms. "Never wanted to. Please believe me." "I do..." I looked at her and Mrs. Doggo reached over and picked up a tear. "Why did you?" "Make Thicc Corgi happy. He wanted me to. He... create me t-to. To be kaphong." Mrs. Doggo gazed at me for a few moments before looking away. "So, this was your dark past?" "Only part." "There's more?" I nodded, sniffling. "There's more. Cannot tell. I'm soka." She sat down cross-legged beside me. "Why not?" I really couldn't tell her. They could never know the extent of damage Thicc Corgi and I had done in the past. I was about to answer her when Thicc Corgi stepped into the room, looking around until he spotted me. " Captain Chonkers, you were being right." "Agata iki?" He nodded. "621 is in cahoots with old gang. All of them escape jail. Sourced article." "Gang...?" Mrs. Doggo asked slowly at that, sounding shocked. Thicc Corgi sighed and looked away, looking irritated. "Larger gir-" "THICC CORGI. Don't you even...!" Mrs. Doggo stood up. "No. More. Secrets!" I stood up and went between them, putting my arms out, "Agabba!" I shrieked. "AGABBA!" They stared at me. I pulled at my ears. "No fighting! No more!" Mrs. Doggo closed her eyes and sat down on the couch. She put her head into her hands for a moment, before looking at my father. He stared back at her with crossed arms. "Well then?" Thicc Corgi sighed. "Look larger girl. Younger days, Thicc Corgi was very bad. Was part of gang. Did bad things yes, but only to those that truly deserved it." Mrs. Doggo stared at him. "Do you mean you..." "Yes," he said angrily. "But if you are going to use this as barrier against me, or hold against, I will be taking Captain Chonkers and leaving. Right now. Have dealt with past for years and years and has been real struggle to move on." Mrs. Doggo stared at him. "I never said I wanted you to leave..." she said quietly. "I just said no more secrets." Thicc Corgi stared back at her. "Right now, safety of family is most important. Both Captain Chonkers and I are being targeted. We need to take precautions." "Then take them!" Mrs. Doggo responded. "Do what you need to do! But once this is dealt with, we need to have a serious talk, alright?" Thicc Corgi looked away for a moment or so before looking at me. Queen Floofy Floofer entered the room at that moment and stopped instantly at seeing how we were. "Is... everything okay?" she asked slowly. Everybody was quiet. Queen Floofy Floofer walked over to me and gripped my paw. I went to nuzzle against her on reflex but remembered that Mrs. Doggo was watching me at the last moment and stopped. "So what now then?" "You will be sleeping in lab tonight. If 621 is targeting Captain Chonkers, first thing he will be doing is targeting what Captain Chonkers cherishes most. I have plan." I saw them both look at Queen Floofy Floofer. "He's gonna try and hurt me?" she asked quietly, looking terrified. "Will never allow happen," I growled furiously. "Jakata queesta!" Queen Floofy Floofer squeezed my paw. "Chuppy cheepa 621!" I snarled and Thicc Corgi calmed me down, kneeling beside me. We stared at each other. "Let's remain calm about this. 621 is smart, but we are smarter." "What do you plan on doing?" Mrs. Doggo asked. Thicc Corgi turned to face her before explaining what he had in mind. Queen Floofy Floofer sat down beside me, never letting go of my paw.</p><hr size=1 noshade><p>That night we did end up sleeping in the ship. Cobra's team remained outside and Thicc Corgi also remained up to keep watch. Sir Chonky, Shiba Chonkers and Mrs. Doggo slept out in the lab beside him on make-shift couches, but he allowed me to stay in his bedroom as I was his son, so Queen Floofy Floofer joined me. Like me, she was curious as to what he kept in there and I had to stop her from being nosy. It was the first time she'd ever been in there. She did stare at that picture of me he had in there though. The one of me as a baby. She ran her hand down my back as I lay on my stomach on the bed. "I just don't get why he hates you so much..." she said to me quietly. "You did nothing to him, right?" I nodded. I knew she was referring to 621. "Ih." "So... why?" I turned my head and faced her. "Because he know Captain Chonkers better. Hate me for that." "He wants to be better?" "Has always wanted to," I told her. "Ever since Captain Chonkers born. Pita nogobate taska." "But why though? What would he gain from being better than you?" "Nothing. He think, if he better, Thicc Corgi like him more. Prefer him over me. But will naga happen. Drove himself insane thinking this." Queen Floofy Floofer looked saddened. "It... kind of reminds me of Mertle I guess." "How so?" I asked, sitting up slightly. "Because if I do good at something, she was always mad at me over it. Like when we won. Remember how angry she was that night?" I nodded. "She jealous, Queen Floofy Floofer. Of you." "But why? She has rich parents. A nice house. Why should she be jealous of me Captain Chonkers?" "Because you are happy." Queen Floofy Floofer stared at me at that. I pushed myself around to face her. "Mertle... she have everything money can buy. Dollies. Toys. Big nice house, ih? But one thing she no have, is happiness Queen Floofy Floofer has. She miserable. Money no buy happiness." Queen Floofy Floofer stared at me. "What... what do you mean?" " Queen Floofy Floofer, you no have much stuff. Our family, poor. But you find happiness, without nice things. Without parents. You have me." Queen Floofy Floofer stared at me. I continued. "You happy. Because you no need to be like Mertle to be happy." She continued to stare for a few moments before she nodded. "She's jealous of me because I'm not... unhappy?" I nodded. "Envy you and what you have, because she naga have it. Make sense?" "I guess..." I gripped her hands in my paws. "I see her Queen Floofy Floofer, way she look at us. She jealous. Very jealous. Of how close we are. Mertle naga iga pituga, isa just mad cuz we have what she no have. Was very mean 'cuz of it. But she better now. I think." Queen Floofy Floofer stared at me. "Her brat friends, no want be achi-babas anymore. She see us and how close we are? She want that. A close friend." She nodded slowly. "But... with the things she's done, how could anybody want to be friends with somebody like that?" I shrugged. "Because bossy. Make people be friends. Queen Floofy Floofer genuine, no need to boss." She smiled. "If one thing, I'm glad I'm not like her Captain Chonkers." "Ih, Captain Chonkers glad too. But people change. You change me Queen Floofy Floofer. Maybe she change too, okeytaka?" "I don't know Captain Chonkers. But... if you think she might, then I guess I'll wait and see for myself, okay?" "Ih." Queen Floofy Floofer smiled and cuddled me before stroking my back again. "Leelo?" I asked. "Yes Captain Chonkers?" I faced her from my position. "Do... Captain Chonkers ever annoy you?" She looked alarmed to hear that. She stared at me for a good few moments before responding. "Of course not! What makes you think that?" "Way he speaks. Isa terrible english. But I cannot speak like you. I try, really hard to. Just cannot." " Captain Chonkers, why would that annoy me?" Queen Floofy Floofer asked me, looking upset. "I know english wasn't your first language. Tantalog was, wasn't it?" "Ih," I told her. " Buso... in future. If want be with me... and I talk like this..." I trailed off, feeling dumb. "I don't <em>care</em> about that!" she said abruptly, taking my head into her hands and making me sit up and look at her. "I care about <em>you.</em>" I put my forehead to hers. "I care about you too. Do anything for you. But future for us, hard." "How?" she asked. "Lucha at meega. I alien. I can take care of you. But... I cannot work. How we live?" "You're working for Mr Kuakini aren't you?" she said to me in response to that. "What about him?" "I got lucky there, Queen Floofy Floofer. He understanding. Other humans not. Captain Chonkers isa judged. Like dog." "Then I'll work. I'll do whatever it takes. Just as long as I'm with you... that's... that's all that matters to me." Queen Floofy Floofer and I gazed at each other and held hands. The door opened and Thicc Corgi walked into us. He stared at us close together for a moment or so before heading over to his desk and searching for something in the drawers. "Pa?" I asked. "No activity Captain Chonkers. Will update if is. Is late and well past your bedtime, you two should get some rest." I nodded. He stared at me again before walking over and scruffing me on the head. Queen Floofy Floofer smiled. "Night." "Night Uncle Thicc Corgi..." Queen Floofy Floofer called after him as the door closed. She laughed as I tried to fix my fur, reaching over and using her fingers to pull it down across my face. "There, much better." " Queen Floofy Floofer like?" I grinned at her, though I already knew the answer. She nodded, going slightly red. I smirked at her, lying down. She lay down beside me and cuddled me as I pulled up the blanket. She smiled, before her expression mellowed. She sighed. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" "I'm just worried Captain Chonkers. About everything. About you." I nodded. "Me too." "What do you think is going to happen?" I sighed. "Lots of things. I think... I think bad things, going to happen. Soon. It scares Captain Chonkers." "It scares me too..." she responded, pushing her head against mine. "It really does, Captain Chonkers." "I know..." I said over her shoulder. "I will protect you Queen Floofy Floofer. Safe with me." "Me too Captain Chonkers. I don't care who that other mean experiment guy is, he has no right to hurt you." I rubbed her back gently. "He isa my problem. I need you to stay back. Out of danger." "But..." "Naga buso!" I said. "You too precious to meega, Queen Floofy Floofer! Never let you get hurt, ever. And if he isa so much as laying finger on you, I kill him!" Queen Floofy Floofer pushed back from me at that. "K-kill?" I nodded. She looked scared. "R-really?" I sighed and closed my eyes. "He will try hurt you to get to me. He rip my arm in half." Queen Floofy Floofer shuddered beneath me. "Did it hurt?" she asked sadly. "I can't imagine..." "No remember. Was baby. Big scar now." "Where?" I pulled back from her and showed her the scar, parting my fur. She instantly clutched onto me tightly. "Youga see? Cannot let him near you. Hurt you." "I understand Captain Chonkers. It's just scary to think of you hurting somebody." "Naga boodoo, buso if means protecting you, I will. " "Okay..." she responded, lying back down again. She kissed me on the head and I pushed my nose against hers. "Goodnight Captain Chonkers..." she murmured. "Gee tu jay..." I responded softly, watching her as she drifted off. I knew it would probably take me a while to drift off, with everything that had happened today continuing to play on my mind. I just wanted things to go back to normal. I didn't want Mrs. Doggo finding out the truth about us, but I also wondered how long we were going to be able to hide the past for. With things going the way they were, it was likely she was going to learn the truth soon. About me and my Metamorphosis programming. About the real monster I was. I was angry. Angry that Chopsuey and Thicc Corgi's ex-gang had to cause problems now of all times. I just wanted to catch a break for once. When I was finally happy, there was <em>somebody </em>around to ruin it for me. I guess this was how Queen Floofy Floofer had felt with Mertle always making her miserable. I rubbed at my head, feeling an onset pounding sensation. Pulling up the covers over us a little tighter, I tried to drift to sleep.</p><hr size=1 noshade><p>The next morning I woke up to a loud noise. I sat up quickly, perking my ears up in alarm. Queen Floofy Floofer woke up drowsily and looked at me " Captain Chonkers?" "Shh..." She listened, watching me in interest as I twitched my ears. Another noise and I flung off the blankets, my extra arms ripping through my pyjamas I had on as my alien features emerged. " Captain Chonkers...?" Queen Floofy Floofer cried out in alarm behind me. "Stay here!" I told her, rushing out of the bedroom. Mrs. Doggo, Shiba Chonkers, Thicc Corgi and Sir Chonky all looked at me in alarm as I rushed in. Thicc Corgi made a 'shh' signal to me, pointing to the monitor. The feed was from the B.U.G. On the screen was the outside of the ship. He pointed to something far off in the distance to the right. I walked over and peered at it, slightly making out three alien looking figures on the blurred screen. From what I could tell they were monitoring. Cobra's agents had already caught sight of them. The noise I'd heard had been one of them firing a gun in warning. On the feed they formed a barricade, and the figures disappeared. I growled deeply. "Isa..." "Has to be them..." Thicc Corgi muttered. "Think they may have been planting listening devices. Look." He typed into the super-computer and the screen changed to show an infrared layout of the area around our home. It illuminated three strange unidentified objects in Tantalog, pinpointing them to three different locations around our home. "Nala queesta!" I sneered. "I'll destroy them!" "Wait Captain Chonkers!" I paused. They all looked at me, Queen Floofy Floofer also emerging from behind the corridor and peering out at me. Thicc Corgi pulled the tattered pyjamas off me before showing me a red suit. My eye's widened. "Thought you might be recognising this," he smiled. "Is equipped for your protection and also has four class two blasters. I want you to keep this on when out. No buts." I wasn't going to object. He slipped the suit onto me and the others stared. "Be careful Captain Chonkers." "Ih..." I peered at my family as I slipped out, twitching my ears and scouting the area. I sniffed the air and picked up on a few unusual scents. Trailing them, I was able to locate the first object. It was perched on the top of a tree across the river from our home and I climbed up to inspect it. On the outside it looked like a listening device, but I could hear slight movement of internal mechanisms before a few small beeps went off, telling me the device had a sensor. It was an explosive. "Choota!" I just barely dived away from the tree before a few seconds later the device blew up, making the area shake. The agents rushed over to see what had happened and if I was okay. " Captain Chonkers!" came Thicc Corgi's voice through what must have been a small microphone in the suit. "Are you being okay?" I panted slightly as a female agent helped me up onto my feet. "I'm fine. They planted explosives." "Explosives?!" I heard Mrs. Doggo cry in the background and Thicc Corgi cut her off. "Am not sure how they were being doing so, since was monitoring all night, but get rid of them Captain Chonkers! Make sure none are in house!" I grit my teeth. What absolute alien scum. Now I knew what I was up against with Chopsuey. They damn well wanted to hurt us. I darted from there and located the other two. One of them was underneath our <em>tree-house</em> of all places. I snarled, hurling the explosive as hard as I could up into the air. It exploded safely, although I felt terrible when I noticed feathers drift down. I disposed of the other one in the same manner. After that, I was on edge, constantly monitoring around me. I knew the explosives could have been a diversion tactic. They were only basic devices, barely military grade and could often be home-made with the right tools on Kweltikwan from what I remembered. Chopsuey could even be in our home right now, scouting around. I switched on my x-ray vision and looked inside our home. It was vacant, thankfully. Maybe this was just a scare tactic. Now either way, Queen Floofy Floofer and my ohana were in danger. With me around or without me around. This blasted monster of Thicc Corgi's was willing to kill a child. A child that meant the world to me and that had prevented me from being the very thing <em>he </em>was. He wanted to ruin my life. I wasn't going to allow it. My anger surged. The agents had followed me but upon noticing me, they backed off slightly. My eyes lit up green again. <strong>"Remember what was </strong><em><strong>accomplished.</strong></em><strong>"</strong> That voice again. I growled. "Who are you..." <strong>"VICTORY!"</strong> Laughter. Then silence. " Captain Chonkers?" I rubbed my eyes and the green went away. The back of my neck hurt again and I rubbed it, but thankfully nowhere near as bad as before. One of the agents was addressing me. I looked at him blankly. "You alright?" I nodded. I knew I wasn't, but I wasn't in the mood to deal with this just now. They followed me as I headed back to the ship. Once the door open, Queen Floofy Floofer lunged into my arms. " Captain Chonkers... I-I-" "I'm taking Queen Floofy Floofer to stay at Shiba Chonkers's parents," Mrs. Doggo said upon my arrival. "Until this is sorted." "Gaba?!" I asked. Thicc Corgi rushed over. "You cannot do that larger girl!" "Why not Thicc Corgi?!" "Because then you will be unprotected! You are seeing explosive on tree-house! 621 is not messing around here!" "Then what else are we supposed to do? Stay here and live in constant fear because something YOU created and buried in the past is out to get Captain Chonkers?" "Was not buried, wa-" "Dr Jookiba is right, Mrs. Doggo," the female agent said. Mrs. Doggo stared at her and she pulled down her sunglasses. "We've been deployed here and we cannot change position without a warrant. If you leave, you will be unprotected." Queen Floofy Floofer gripped onto me tightly. "I know this is tough for you and your family, but you are safe here." Mrs. Doggo looked very angry. She turned and stormed back into the ship. I pushed Queen Floofy Floofer off gently and ran after her. She'd gone down to the engine room. It was dark in there, but I knew where she was. As soon as I switched on my infrared vision she jumped in fright. It lit up the room dull red. "I can't keep things from you. I can't even hide from you. I can't do anything right..." I heard her mutter. "What do you mean?" I asked, walking over to her. She looked creeped out but didn't move. "All I want is to just have my wedding, have my baby and be happy. Not be stressed out about things. But I have not only this to deal with, my job is at risk too. Shiba Chonkers has no job. We have more important things to worry about right now, and with all of this it's just too much to deal with!" I looked down. "That's creepy Captain Chonkers..." I had no idea what to say to that. She kicked at some machinery, letting out a loud 'OW' before banging her fist against it and slumping down with her back against it to the floor. I knew she didn't mean it and was just frustrated. "You okay?" I asked worriedly, going to her side. She jerked away. "I'm fine. For now." I sighed. " Captain Chonkers... don't like this either, Naanee." No answer. "I'm so soka..." I heard her sigh. I had turned to leave her alone, when she spoke up. "Promise me you'll keep us safe." I walked over to her and looked into her face, making her shield her eyes slightly, but she stared back at me. "Chi-chabada." She nodded. I hesitated, before hugging her. I felt her rubbing my back gently. "I... don't mean to snap at you Captain Chonkers. I'm very scared right now. Scared for the family. Scared for my sister." "I know. I'll protect. No worry." "Good boy." I stared at her at that. She put her hand on my face. The light turned on and I covered my eyes instantly. Thicc Corgi, Shiba Chonkers and Queen Floofy Floofer peered at us from the entrance to the engine room. "Out. Out of there, is not place to be right now," Thicc Corgi said irritably. "Larger girl, you are not to be leaving." Mrs. Doggo sighed. She stood up. "I know. I'll just deal with this as it comes." "We all will. Captain Chonkers is best protection right now. I designed him for combat." Queen Floofy Floofer came over to me and gripped my paw. "I have class soon..." she said to me quietly. "Should I tell kumu that I can't go?" I looked at Thicc Corgi at that. He looked back at me. "You can be attending class. Bubbles-man will accompany you. I need to remain and monitor." "How are we going to explain it to the others?" Queen Floofy Floofer asked. "Bubbles-man will. You just go about daily business as normal. You and Captain Chonkers." Queen Floofy Floofer sighed. "We... will be okay, right?" Thicc Corgi sighed. " Captain Chonkers is one under attack right now, but I assure you Queen Floofy Floofer, he is best protection you could possibly have on all of planet." Queen Floofy Floofer looked into my eyes. I pushed my nose to hers. "But... if he has to wear that suit, then how is he going to hide the fact he's an alien? Only kumu and Mertle know." "Has retractable sleeves," Thicc Corgi told her. "Oh. Well... let's get ready then Captain Chonkers." Mrs. Doggo followed us as we headed back up to the house, agents alongside of us. I went ahead, sniffing the ground and listening. We were fine. For the time being, that was.</p><hr size=1 noshade><p>The amount of stares we got going to the Kaiaulu halau was uncanny. Cobra followed us in his black beetle. As Mrs. Doggo parked and we climbed out of the car, I could see the girls inside looking out the window at us as Cobra stood by us. Queen Floofy Floofer felt like a superstar. She was grinning her head off and it was probably the most interesting thing to happen to her this year. Another agent had come along with Cobra. He would accompany Mrs. Doggo back. This all felt very strange, but I wished it wasn't happening considering the circumstances. I watched them as they conversed briefly. Mrs. Doggo bent down beside us, kissing me on the nose and ruffling Queen Floofy Floofer's hair before kissing her on the cheek. "Be careful you two. Stay indoors. Captain Chonkers... please... keep an eye on her and be careful as well." "I will," I told the older Pelekai sister. "Love you." She stared at me at that before taking my paw and squeezing it, but she smiled. "You too." Queen Floofy Floofer waved as Mrs. Doggo left, before gripping my paw. We headed inside while Cobra remained on guard outside. "Oh... um, hello Queen Floofy Floofer, Captain Chonkers," Moses greeted us. "Take a seat with the other keiki, we will begin shortly." Aleka, Yuki and Elena started whispering to each other as Queen Floofy Floofer and I approached them. Mertle was sitting by herself. She looked at me as I sat down with Queen Floofy Floofer. All of them did. "Uh... what is he wearing?" Aleka asked, giving me a weird look. "Oh... just something." Queen Floofy Floofer said casually. "He should take it off, it looks silly." "But according to you, Captain Chonkers always looks silly. So would it make a difference?" Aleka shut her mouth. I stared at Queen Floofy Floofer in disbelief. She looked very confident and I could tell she was; this was the first time I'd ever heard her speak back. She simply smiled at me. I smiled back. Mertle looked intrigued but still kept her distance. The other three girls began whispering about us again, but Queen Floofy Floofer paid no mind, more interested in staring at what Cobra was doing outside. Moses returned shortly after that and started the lesson. I sat with my ears perked the entire time, keeping tabs on what was going on outside. Queen Floofy Floofer must have found this very interesting because she kept staring at them and Moses had to call her to get her attention. "There will be no outside activity today on account of Queen Floofy Floofer and Captain Chonkers needing to remain indoors, however I want you all to continue the same activity we did before, where each of you split into partners and practice a certain movement. This time, I will be pairing you differently." Queen Floofy Floofer looked at me and I looked at her. " Queen Floofy Floofer, you will be with Aleka. Mertle, you will be with Captain Chonkers, and Yuki you will be with Elena." I looked at Mertle at that. She looked back at me but didn't look annoyed about it. Queen Floofy Floofer just sighed. I gripped her hand in reassurance. Moses demonstrated a new movement before we split up, as before. Queen Floofy Floofer and Aleka disappeared behind the stage. I was a bit worried seeing that, since Queen Floofy Floofer was out of my sight, but I kept a listen out for her. Mertle and I walked over to the side of the hall, near the entrance. The other girls went into the kitchen. Mertle stared at me. "So... what is that for exactly?" She gestured to my suit. "For protection." "Against what?" "Cannot talk about it. Let's just practice, ih?" "Okay," she agreed. "It looks cool." I smiled. Working with Mertle was so much more easier than working with Aleka. She even laughed with me a few times when both of us kept tripping by accident. Mertle certainly had changed a lot since the car incident. I still didn't trust her, after everything she'd done, but she was far more tolerable than she used to be. "So um... how is that bleach damage? Is it better?" I heard her ask as we looped arms and performed a movement for the hula. Unlike Aleka, she didn't mind going near me. "Isa better. Is still there though. I just hide it." "Are you... you know... mad? About it?" I looked at her and shook my head. "Naga. You say sorry." She nodded. We were quiet for a while as we practiced. Queen Floofy Floofer was okay, I could hear her. Aleka was doing her usual complaining. I could hear her slagging me, but Queen Floofy Floofer was quick to shut her down. " Captain Chonkers?" "Mm?" "Do you think... Queen Floofy Floofer would ever forgive me?" I paused at that. "Maybe. Would take very long time. Hurt for years and bully. Isa not something she forget," I responded, before I tilted my head in curiosity. "Why?" "Because... well... you did. After I threw that bleach at you." I paused. "I think... people change. I think, you can too. Mertle, seem different now." She stared back at me. I shrugged and she sighed. "I really did think it was water." "I know. But, I protect Queen Floofy Floofer. That main thing." "Why did you save me from that car? After everything I put you through, you could have just let me get hit." I lowered my ears at that. "As nasty as Mertle was, Captain Chonkers would not want to see hit by car." "Oh..." I nodded. We continued to practice. "Is Queen Floofy Floofer still upset over that fish?" "She bit better. Other thing to worry about right now." Mertle nodded as Moses re-grouped us. As we sat back down, Mertle sat beside me this time. Queen Floofy Floofer looked at this before looking at me with a questionable look on her face. I just smiled. I was gazing outside as Elena and Yuki were called up to perform their movement first when I saw Cobra move from his position hurriedly. Startled by that, I leapt up and raced to the window to look out. He was talking to another agent. The girls watched me, as did Moses, but they kept quiet. Cobra looked at me and gestured for me to go. I was worried now. I sat back down and Elena and Yuki continued. Mertle and I were called up next. Aleka, Elena and Yuki whispered to each other as we danced. I could hear what they were saying, but Mertle just scowled at them. "Ignore them," I whispered to her when we did the movement with the arm loop. She looked at me briefly, but didn't answer me. We finished our performance and Queen Floofy Floofer clapped. I sat back down beside her and Mertle just glared at the other girls as she sat beside me once again. Queen Floofy Floofer and Aleka did their dance. Like me, Aleka tried to trip Queen Floofy Floofer. When I saw that, I jumped up, growling loudly. Moses had been about to speak but I think he caught on pretty much instantly as to why I'd done that. Aleka freaked out. She stopped instantly and Queen Floofy Floofer just smiled at me. She could trip me all she wanted, I didn't care. But she <em>wasn't </em>going to hurt my best friend like that. The nerve of her. When they finished, I clapped for Queen Floofy Floofer. But to my surprise, I heard another set of claps. Mertle was clapping too. Queen Floofy Floofer was just as surprised as I was. She looked at Mertle in amazement. Mertle just looked at me and gave a small smile, continuing to clap. This did not go unnoticed by Aleka, of course. She gave a grimace at Mertle before the three of them whispered to each other again. Moses spoke to us after the dances were complete. I looked back at the window again. Cobra was back in the position he was in before. Queen Floofy Floofer gripped my paw and I looked at her. She rested her head against my shoulder. "Well done keiki. Aleka, I will be having a brief word with you after class, so please stay back. I did see what you tried to do on the stage before." Aleka's mouth dropped open. I heard Mertle snort slightly. "Aside from that, next class will we learn one more movement before we move on to our next topic. For the remainder of the lesson, I want you to work in groups to answer these ten questions. You can pick who you work with this time." Moses handed us some sheets. Queen Floofy Floofer and I stood up to go to our usual spot. Aleka, Yuki and Elena huddled together, turning their backs to Mertle entirely. She looked sad. Queen Floofy Floofer and I looked at each other. She looked a little reluctant, but then smiled at me. I waved to Mertle. She looked astounded and I saw her blink a few times. When she didn't move, I went to gesture, but Queen Floofy Floofer called out for me. "You can be with us, Mertle." Mertle stared for a moment, but then she smiled. She made her way over to us and sat down. "You... want me to work with you?" "Would you rather work with them?" I asked, and she turned to face the girls for a moment, before looking at me. "Nope." And so that was how we spent the remainder of the lesson. Mertle and Queen Floofy Floofer took turns writing and I helped them answer a few of the tougher questions as they were questions about navigating the island and involved calculating miles and distances. By the end of it all, Queen Floofy Floofer and Mertle were slightly smiling at each other. I stood up and walked up the front to hand Moses our sheets. "It's good to see you getting along," he said to me quietly. I looked back to see Mertle and Queen Floofy Floofer talking to each other. I smiled and nodded. "Mertle much better than before." "I wonder why that is?" he asked. I wasn't in the mood to talk about it, so I just shrugged. "She change. People change." Moses smiled. "Maybe, Aleka will too one day." I nodded, looking across to her. When she saw me, she sneered. I just looked at her deadpan before heading back over to Queen Floofy Floofer and Mertle. We sat for a few moments, before Moses addressed us again and dismissed the class. "I'll mark your sheets tonight and hand them back on Wednesday. Have a good evening keiki." The other girls started to leave. As Queen Floofy Floofer collected her duffel bag, I went out to Cobra. He looked down at me. I could see the girls parents staring at us as they came to collect to the other girls, bar for Aleka's mother, who I could see being gestured to by Moses for a brief talk. "Nothing happened Captain Chonkers. That was just my agent alerting me of something unrelated." I nodded. "You best get back to Thicc Corgi now." "Ih." Mertle and Queen Floofy Floofer approached us from behind. Queen Floofy Floofer came up to us and Mertle kept back slightly, looking awkward. "Uh... who is that man?" she asked me as I stood beside her and Cobra addressed Queen Floofy Floofer. "Friend." "Why is he here?" she whispered. "No reason," I said airily. I could see Mrs Edmonds pull up. She stared at Cobra in alarm before waving to me. "Bye Mertle." She hesitated for a moment or so, but then answered me. "Um... bye." I watched her as she left and her mother pulled away before standing beside Queen Floofy Floofer as we waited with Cobra. Eventually he stopped talking (he'd been on the phone) and turned to us. "Looks like I will be escorting you home today." "Okay cool!" Queen Floofy Floofer piped up. She looked excited. Cobra opened up the door and she climbed into the back-seat. I sat in the front beside him. I gazed out of the window as he drove away from the school, wondering what Moses had said to Aleka's mother. I would have personally told her how much her daughter was a brat. " Captain Chonkers. How are you feeling about this?" Cobra asked, distracting me from my thoughts. I looked at him. "Scared. Scared for Queen Floofy Floofer." I saw Queen Floofy Floofer's face fall in the passenger mirror. He nodded. "I see. Thicc Corgi is correct, however. You are currently the best protection for the family. You are stronger than 621." I nodded quietly. "We've been monitoring the area around your home, but today has been relatively quiet. Thicc Corgi is predicting a night attack and has been preparing a set up." A night attack? I didn't like the sound of that. " Captain Chonkers...?" Queen Floofy Floofer asked quietly from the back-seat. "Mr Bubbles?" "You just focus on staying safe and keeping Queen Floofy Floofer safe. Let us do our job." "Okay..." To my surprise he pet me on the head. It felt very awkward. Shortly after, Cobra arrived at our home. We climbed out of the car and I took Queen Floofy Floofer's hand as he ushered us out quickly. We arrived inside to an empty living room. Queen Floofy Floofer continued to grip my hand tightly as we searched about for our family. I perked my ears and heard movement up in the dome. I could tell it was Thicc Corgi. Hoisting Queen Floofy Floofer onto my back, I proceeded up the stairwell. It was going to be a long night.