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Lost in thought as to why Horice took out our drone I suddenly heard a splash next to the ship and raced to the side and peered towards the water. The light was fading fast and all I saw was a lone fin sink beneath the inky surface.
"So many questions and not enough answers!" I mumbled worriedly. Something didn't sit right deep within my gut and I just couldn't put my paw on it. [I did wunder if it was the dodgy Kraken Sushi we ate earlier causing the odd sensation!]
I was just about to go back to the control room when Smooch called out from the crows nest.
"Basil! Basil! Basil!" he cried loudly.
"What's your boggle Smooch?" I answered.
"Basil something's wrong on the island!"
"How do mew mean wrong?" I asked.
"There's a really weird green light, quick look!"
I spun around and was amazed at the light show that seemed to encircle the entire island in a rather disconcerting green glow.
"What madness is this?" I murmured as an odd sensation crawled all offur my skin and my fur stood on end and quivered.
* * *
So hold ye fast matey's, as we're in fur extraordinary episode of our final voyage of the series...
Back to the Future
The jungle was alive with the sounds of thousands of insects and creatures; each singing their own song trying to be heard amongst the haphazard cacophony of noise. The air was humid and the dense trees were veiled in a heavy mist as Horice walked steadily towards the tower where he'd disabled the insectoid drone earlier. Scores of fireflies darted between the thick foliage like tiny white-stars illuminating the way.
"I must get Cap'n Basil and his crew back to safety," he mumbled as he walked under a canopy of night flowering jasmine, the scent rich and heady. "Amsted be a raving nutter and I won't be letting me new pal be a pawn in Amsted's vile games like I 'av been."
The orb appeared next to him in a soft ethereal glow.
"At last, where have ye been hiding since I left thee beach?" Horice asked it.
The endless chatter of the jungle seemed to die into the background as the orb pulsed in a rhythmic light show of colours. Horice observed the orb thoughtfully before answering.
"Aye, that be my notion also," Horice seemed to agree with the orb. "Let's make it so."
The grey-stone, moss-covered tower spiked up through the trees like a huge, looming obelisk. The ancient, wood door was hanging from its rusty hinges and Horice used his trunk to grasp it firmly, after two strong wrenches it broke free with an ear-splitting crack and he carefully rested it against the cool stone blocks.
"There be no turning back now," he said solemnly to the orb as they breached the entrance. "We will be at thee mercy of Amsted after this."
* * *
We stood watching from the deck of The Crimson Revenge as the creepy glow pulsed and glided like a huge, green light-dragon all atop the island, enshrouding it in an ethereal emerald cocoon.
The salty sea air was exceptionally fresh and tasted of imminent change, I could feel the difference, it was subtle but nevertheless apparent if mew were observant enough.
"That's way weird," Amber said.
"I second that,"" agreed Snowie.
"What is it?" Parsley asked.
I gave them a perplexing glance. "I have no idea, but from my experience of the unexplained it's bound to be something rather unpleasant...." my voice trailed off as I pulled my telescope from my hat and opened it.
I set it to night vision mode and began to scan the island.
"There," I said after a few moments and pointed as I handed the spyglass to Snowie. "To the left above the tree line."
She zeroed in the target. "It appears to be emanating from that tower."
I nodded as the spyglass was passed around and the crew each took turns to observe the phenomenal phenomenon.
Humphrey sighed. "That doesn't bode well."
"No," I shook my head and took a deep breath. "It certainly doesn't... we could do with Horice right now as I'm sure he'd be able to explain it."
"Basil," Smooch began. "What are we going to do?"
"Yeah, and are we still going after the treasure at furst light?" Parsley added.
Posie, Amber, Humphrey, Snowie, Smoochie and Parsley all stared at me waiting fur an answer.
I pondered the possibilities for a few brief moments and was just about to answer when the light from the tower exploded in a blindingly green neon flash.
* * *
Inside the tower Horice was turning a massive rusted cogwheel, it screeched with an unholy noise with each slow rotation. He heaved a breath as finally the cogwheel clicked into place and dropped with a dull clang, landing into a stone bed cut exactly to fit it.
The ground began to tremble beneath his feet, the ancient stone walls shaking and dust filling the air around him. He bolted for the doorway and crashed into the jungle at full speed heading straight for the beach.
Green light exploded all around him as he hurtled through the dense foliage trying to outrun it. He trumpeted loudly as he emerged onto the soft sandy beach and headed straight for the water.
He almost dove into the cool sea and began to swim as fast as he could towards The Crimson Revenge.
He trumpeted again, hoping and praying that Cap'n Basil would hear him. The green light had almost caught him when the tower erupted like a blazing firework display and the halo of light began to engulf the island in a dense emerald smog.
He gasped for breath, not daring to look back and swam for all he was worth.
* * *
Briefly blinded by the neon explosion, I rubbed my eyes.
"What the fluff," I began to say when I heard a faint trumpeting sound echoing above the gentle lapping of the waves.
The crew were babbling wildly and I shushed them.
Silence eked around us as the ship creaked and moaned as it rocked gently side to side.
The trumpeting noise sounded again, closer this time and I ran to the side of the ship and used my spyglass to scan the water shrouded in darkness.
The green light was heading out in all directions; a neon halo of unknown properties followed by a thick green cloud.
"There, Horice is in the water," I shouted pointing towards the swimming Heffle-lump. "All paws to the lifeboat!"
I rushed to the upper deck and pushed a button on the console panel next to the ship's wheel and a few seconds later a sleek speed boat emerged from the side of the hull and landed with a soft splash in the water. The hull doors closing behind it.
"Snowie mew push this button and steer the ship out of the cove, full speed ahead," I instructed. "She has some damn fine Gardner marine engines so don't pussy around, gun it and keep going straight out into the ocean."
"What about mew?"
"We need to get Horice," I said running along the balustrading, I leapt and landed in the speed boat. "Crew aboard?"
"Aye Cap'n," came the response from the crew.
The engine roared to life as I turned the key. The crew were holding on tight as they knew that this was going to be a wild ride.
I gunned the engine full throttle and the front of the boat reared up like a wild stallion and we zoomed across the water, salty spray flying everywhere.
Rubbing my eyes clear of the spraying water, I steered the boat directly towards the green light and ever-growing smog cloud.
The trumpeting sounded more urgent as we neared the flailing Heffle-lump who was fast running out of steam.
The neon halo had nearly reached Horice as the speed boat swung around the back of him. I pulled back on the throttle and coasted alongside.
"Crew cast the slings around Horice," I could feel that we had no time to spare. "Hurry."
Parsley dove into the water without a moment's hesitation and wrapped the furst sling around Horice's belly.
"Next," he spluttered spitting out a mouthful of saltwater, as the second sling hit the water with a splash. He grabbed it and disappeared under the inky surface and emerged a few seconds later the other side and clambered onto Horice's back.
"Strap the slings to the side of the boat, quick and make sure it's tight." I turned to Horice. "Are mew alright me giant pal?"
He nodded but I could see in his eyes he was nearly done for.
"Listen, we need to get clear of the light and that vile smog, don't ask me how I know, but I just know, so hold tight and we'll get mew to the ship in a jiffy," I said trying to hide my fear.
"Cap'n Basil, just get us out of here," Horice choked the wurds out.
I pushed the throttle slowly and watched as Parsley and Smooch held onto the furst strap and Humphrey and Posie the second, while Amber sat and spoke softly to Horice.
"Are we good to go faster?" I yelled above the roar of the powerful engines.
Horice nodded and I increased our speed chasing The Crimson Revenge as she cruised away from the island into the deeps.
The neon halo reached the edge of the cove just as we breached open water, I glanced over my shoulder expecting it to be nearly touching the back of the boat.
"What the fluffing fluff is going on?" I muttered as I continued as fast we could towards The Crimson Revenge.
A few minutes later we pulled up alongside and the bay doors opened for the speed boat, a hydraulic platform lowered into the water and I brought the boat level, so we could get Horice aboard easily.
We untied him and got him into the hold where he collapsed in a heap, water dripping in puddles beneath his bulk. Smooch and Parsley docked the speed boat and then came rushing into the hold.
"What can we do?" they asked.
"Fresh water," I said urgently. "He looks a little peaky."
They dashed off. Posie and Humphrey headed to find Snowie and Amber stayed with me.
"Basil, he really doesn't look good," she murmured.
Horice opened his eyes. "Cap'n Basil," he whispered weakly. "All I need is for ye to touch me forehead..."
I did as he asked and gently touched his skin with my paw. It was then I realised that the jewel which had been there when we'd furst met was missing. I pushed firmly down on the spot where I remembered it had been.
A moment later the large glittering jewel appeared through the skin and sat directly beneath my paw. It began to shine brightly and glow with an incandescent kingfisher-blue colour.
"Wow," breathed Amber as it filled the room with a healing blue glow.
Parsley and Smooch came bounding into the room pushing a barrel of water on a trolly and almost tipped it on the floor.
Horice began to twitch and his legs jerked for a few moments, then he was still.
"Basil," queried Smooch. "Is Horice going to be ok?"
I shook my head. "Smooch I don't know," I answered truthfully.
We stood and watched helplessly as the Heffle-lump took laboured, shallow breaths.
"Effurypurdy on deck," I said, as an idea came to me. "Shut the door on your way out."
They nodded and looked quite relieved as they filed out and closed the door.
"Well Horice, I know this is a long shot, but mew know The Creator dude did impart a piece of information to me that might just be what mew need right now," I said softly as I leaned in real close and placed one paw on the glimmering jewel and the other on his trunk.
Focusing on the energy deep within my soul, I let it grow and then released it into Horice, it left my body with a noticeable jolt and I slumped to the floor exhausted. For the moments that followed I felt hollow, like a two-dimensional version of myself.
I lay next to the Heffle-lump unable to move, Horice's slow breathing gently moving me up and down as The Creators wurds swam around and around in my mind. 'You have the gift young Basil, you can do anything you focus your soul energy on, trust in that knowledge and believe in your power. Anything will be possible for you if you just believe.'
I prayed that I hadn't dreamt it when I felt Horice move next to me and roll over.
"Horice, are mew alright?" I gasped leaping up as my strength miraculously returned and I watched him struggle to his feet.
"Aye, Cap'n Basil, I be feeling as good as new, though me sea legs be a bit shaky... arrrrrrr," he answered croakily. "I could be doing with a long, cool drink, that seawater be rather unpleasant."
I pointed to the barrel. "There mew go, drink away," I smiled with relief and thanked whoever was listening to my prayers.
* * *
Up on the deck, Snowie was still heading out into open waters when I emerged from the hold.
"Where's Horice?" effurypurrdy asked at once, worried expressions clouding their faces expecting the wurst.
"I be here little furry crewmates," Horice answered as he clambered a little unsteadily up the ramp from the hold.
The whooping was rather intense, but I think it was sheer relief flooding out.
They rushed him and hugged his legs and trunk.
"Horice," Smooch said.
"Aye," he answered.
"Are mew coming home with us?" he asked.
Horice looked at me questioningly and I nodded. "It would seem so," he replied with relief.
A pawty seemed to be about to happen when the green glow behind us flared with such magnitude we all fell to the deck. A second later a noise of the like I couldn't describe if I lived 10 lifetimes tore across the ocean and then a moment later there was nothing, except for total silence.
The velvet-black sky was twinkling with thousands of stars as I opened my eyes and looked towards the island, the last few wisps of green smog dispersing.
"It's gone!" I gasped. "Horice the island is gone, but how?"
Horice ambled towards me. "Cap'n Basil I set in motion a plan that would free ye from the clutches of it and the evil Amsted, if I 'hadn't moved the island back in time, ye and ye crew would 'av been trapped there forever."
I gave him a quizzical stare. "The green light, that was your doing?"
"And it moved the island back in time, how far back?"
"I know not, but it freed ye by doing so."
"Why would mew sacrifice your home for us?"
"Because ye and ye crew are the first friends I've had in a millennia, Amsted trapped me there and I was nothing more than o' prisoner and a pawn in his weird games and now because of ye and ye crew I be free!"
I saw a lone tear trickle from his eye and I gently patted his trunk. "Mew can have a home with us fur a long as mew want, fureffur!" I said gently. "Mew will love it in Mewton-Clawson, the P.A. will probably have a cow when she finds out but after the initial shock has passed she'll be thrilled, so don't panic, ok?"
Horice nodded. "Who is this P.A.?"
The crew began to chuckle and I answered. "She's our pet hooman!" We all burst out laughing and then I suddenly remembered that we weren't anywhere near Mewton-Clawson. "Horice are will still in 1683?"
"Aye, that be the truth," Horice answered.
"Hmmmmm.... so how are we going to get back to the twenty-furst century?" I pondered.
"That be very simple Cap'n Basil," he replied. "Do ye have the gift Thee Creator gave ye?"
Remembering I reached into my hat and gently removed the black silk drawstring pouch and carefully opened it. Peering inside I tipped the contents into my paw, a much smaller version of the orb sat neatly between my claws and nestled there glowing.
"Ye can use that to get us to ye time ye desire," Horice said.
I raised an eyebrow thoughtfully.
'Anything will be possible for you if you just believe.'
The wurds resonated through my mind. "So..." I began to ask.
Horice cut me off. "Ye have the power, just believe."
I held the little orb tightly, closing my eyes and began to focus on our home back in Mewton-Clawson. I gripped tighter and tighter as my intent grew exponentially, the orb became warmer and warmer until I could barely hold it and then...
Time and space seemed to stretch to breaking point, like an elastic band about to snap and then just as quickly began to fold back in on itself with a rather disconcerting sucking sound.
Moments later I opened my eyes, hearing the delighted whooping of the crew.
"Basil mew did it, we're home!" Amber squealed with delight.
I peered around in the semi-darkness, the garden light,it's like the one in the Narnia books, illuminating the patio and realised The Crimson Revenge had landed right in the middle of the lawn above the bunker. I gasped and then began to laugh, the smells of our garden filled my nose and I inhaled deeply.
An owl hooted down the field and the familiar night air caressed my fur in a gentle hug. Inwardly I let out a huge sigh of relief, not daring to let the crew see that I almost doubted I could get them home.
"Basil! Basil! Basil!" Smooch said urgently.
"How are we going to hide the ship?" he gasped.
"Hmmmmm... the P.A. will go mental and have a whole herd of cows if she sees this parked up here in the morning," I grinned wildly, taking a moment to think about our current purroblem and then it came to me. "Humphrey can mew get the miniaturizer ray gun?"
"Aye Cap'n, it'd be me purrleasure," he said climbing down the rope ladder and disappearing into the bunker behind the summer house.
"OK effurypurdy, we're home and it's time to disembark," I said.
We assisted Horice with a pulley system from the main-mast and gently lowered him onto the lawn just as Humphrey emerged carrying the miniaturizer ray gun.
"What size do mew want it?" he asked.
"I think about this big," I answered holding my paws about six inches apart.
"Sure thing," Humphrey said. "Stand back ye scurvy sea-cats."
He pulled the trigger, a beam of white light hit the ship and seconds later it was big enough for me to carry unaided into the bunker.
"Pawesome Humphrey, that's the purrfect size, we can take it anywhere now."
Horice had wandered into the courtyard and stood looking at our home. "This be a very nice homestead ye 'av Cap'n Basil, but I don't think I'll be fitting inside..." he sounded a little sad.
"Horice mew can use the bunker, it's fab and it's huge, there's a swimming pool down on level eight too."
"Oh yes, just follow me, we'll enter via the lawn, Snowie could mew open the lawn hatch and engage the platform so Horice..." I hadn't finished speaking.
"No purroblem," Posie said. "Snowie's already all over that, the hatch is already open."
We all stood on the platform and it began to lower into the ground. The hatch closed above us as we descended deep into the bunker, arriving at level eight the doors swooshed open and we stepped into one of the familiar corridors.
Smooch ran off ahead with Parsley and opened the doors at the end of the corridor, while Posie, Humphrey and Amber walked with us. Snowie appeared as if by magic, she has this pawesome skill where she can pop up anywhere! MOL
As we entered Horice stood on the threshold and just stared in amazement.
"Cap'n Basil ye 'av a paradise here!" he gasped in awe as he took in the epicness of level eight.
The swimming pool was more like a tropical oasis surrounded by lush green vegetation. The entire hanger was encased in a glass bio-dome creating an artificial habitat, the curved glass panels were running in tandem with our time-zone and were displaying a starry sky and half-moon which reflected on the softly rippling water beneath.
Twinkling lights filled the trees creating an ambient, almost magical glow and soft white sandy beaches encircled the pool. A small waterfall splashed into the water and the vast array of tropical flowers that grew here filled the air with so many delightful aroma's.
"Will this be alright for mew?" I asked with a huge smile, placing the newly miniaturized Crimson Revenge into the pool and giving it a little nudge.
"Cap'n Basil, this be the most glorious moment of me life thus far," Horice murmured, his voice cracked and trembling with so many emotions.
I patted him gently on his leg. "Welcome home!"
We can imagine that mew still have so, so, so many questions, such as:
Did mew really use your mind to come back the future?
Was Amsted really evil or is Horice really the trickster?
Where exactly did the island go?
What about the jewel on Horice's forehead, why was it missing?
That obelisk temple, what was that place?
What happened to the large orb?
And what happened to the baby orb The Creator gave mew?
Can we get a miniaturizer ray gun?
How does it feel to be home?
Will the P.A. really, truly honestly have a cow when she finds out about Horice?
What are mew going to tell the P.A. about why mew've been missing fur like effur?
etc etc etc...
* * *
Well our pawesome furiends, as that was the furry last episode of this epically epic adventure, we thought we'd answer the unanswerables fur mew offur the coming weeks in our Pirate Q&A with me, Captain Basil and the pawesome crew of The Crimson Revenge in:
The Secrets of The Voyages of Captain Basil Revealed
* * *
Aharrrrrrrrrrrrrr me hearties and sail the highs sea's safely