Talos.

Cyrus fidgeted but did not move. His eyes darted across the dark area full of trees, frantically searching for how he would remove himself from this scenario. He could take the chance to climb a tree, but Felix and Almond had him cornered. If he tried to escape, Felix would act fast…

“Where. Is. She?” Felix asked threateningly. His scarred eye lingered on the scared raccoon.

“W-who are ya t-talkin’ ‘bout?” Cyrus fired back.

“Don’t play dumb, raccoon,” Almond said. “Lucky talked about you the other day and here you are, battered and on the run. What’s going on here?”

“Y-ya must thinkin’ ‘bout another raccoon? M-me j-just tryin’ ta get home ya see…”

Felix growled and edged closer. “No,” he said, more upset than before, “I remember you from that day too… but that’s enough talk!” He pounced on top of Cyrus, held him to the ground and for a split second, looked rapid, but seeing Cyrus’s face wince with terror held him back. He smiled cockily to himself.

“P-please! D-don’t kill me!” Cyrus screamed.

Almond approached the two and said, “then you better cough up some details or something might just happen to ya.”

“O-okay,” Cyrus gasped, “M-me invited ‘er to me place a-and A-Avery’s m-men came a-and m-me…” He paused and looked away from Felix’s fierce glare. “Me f-fled… Me don’t k-know what ‘appen to ‘er!”

Suddenly, Felix quickly removed himself from Cyrus with a loud audible gasp. His entire body shuddered at the thought of Avery.

“Him… again?” Felix asked.

“Oh, no, no, no… this isn’t good, my friend,” Almond said, pacing. “It’s one thing dealing with this savage, but now there’s an even bigger fish to fry…”

Felix broke from his stupor, turned back to Cyrus and barked ferociously, “what was Avery’s guys doing at your place in the first place?”

“S-some ‘ime ago, me made a deal with A-Avery w-when he invaded me hiding place… W-when ‘hat ‘appened, me feared for me life! Me ‘ad nowhere ta g-go b-but there, so me told ‘im me’d do any’hing for me safe’y… and ‘hats when he gave me a job ta hunt down s-some comb for him… b-but it never came up!”

“So, he sent his guys to come rough you up as retaliation for your failings,” Almond said. “Gosh, it’s all coming together now. I could see Lucky, dear, getting caught up in the middle…”

Felix watched the wind ruffle a few trees from afar, deep in thought.

“Do you reckon they’re still back at your place?” Almond asked. “B-because if they are, we will have to think up a plan.”

“M-me don’t ‘hink so,” Cyrus said sadly. “Me ‘hink za monkey m-means business… he might look ‘or me now…”

Almond cringed. “A-a m-monkey!?” he said. “N-not the same monkey from the park… oh boy, that makes things even scarier…”

Felix closed his eyes, moaned and said, “we will have to go rescue her. I can’t think of any other way.”

“W-why?” Cyrus groaned. “J-just run a-away! It’s w-what me ‘oes!”

“We’re… not cowards like you,” Felix said. “Lucky has helped me, and she is a friend of ours. We will find her even if it means having a go at Avery…”

Almond beamed, but Cyrus was still unconvinced. “Z-za p-pecking ‘rder!” he bellowed. “Avery got tons of a-animals on p-payroll! Me can’t be ‘round youse… me hafta run!”

“If you leave,” Felix began with more bass to his voice, “I’ll strike you down now where you stand. A fitting end for a coward like you, huh?”

Cyrus sobbed loudly and hideously. Ignoring him, Felix and Almond conversed to one another on what their next move might be. Felix wanted to storm Avery’s treehouse regardless of the consequences while Almond wanted to take a quieter approach. When they made up their minds, the two took off with Cyrus in tow.

Meanwhile, back at Avery’s park fortress, his goons imprisoned Lucky under a milk crate. They placed a massive stone on top, preventing her from escaping. She whined and scratched at the crate to no avail. The geese from earlier oversaw her captivity and were mildly upset.

“Silence!” one spat violently.

“I can’t believe Master Avery is making us do t-t-this,” the other moaned. “I’ve never seen t-t-the Master so disappointed with us. We’re supposed t-t-to be his most devoted!”

The entire area sent shivers down Lucky’s spine. It was dark, multiple tough-looking animals roamed, constantly shooting her dirty looks and there was a rancid smell moving through the air. If Lucky had to guess, it was perhaps a dead carcass somewhere which frightened her greatly.

“What are you guys doing to do with me?” Lucky questioned, petrified.

“Don’t know yet.”

“Am I going to die!?”

“Not sure.”

It was clear Lucky would not get any answers of these two, so she tried taking matters into her own paws. She clawed and bit at the crate and when that had no effect; she next tackled the plastic walls, but alas, nothing worked. She slouched and wept sulkily.

From straight ahead of the crate, an elderly avocado colored tortoise appeared from behind bunches of scraggly bushes. It looked lost as it swayed its head wildly, looking for the next path. Lucky couldn’t help but notice it kept its eyes closed the entire time. Was it walking with its eyes closed its entire journey?

“Oh, ho, ho,” it laughed haughtily, “I don’t suppose you guys know the way to, er, mister Avery?”

The geese’s jaws dropped at the sight of the tortoise. “W-why are you here, Master Talos!?” one shouted. “Y-you’re supposed t-t-to be with Master Avery at this t-t-time!”

“Oh, ho, ho,” the tortoise named Talos laughed once more, “sorry about this whole mess. I got lost on the path of life is all. Now, would any of you mind escorting me there?”

“Keep an eye on her,” one goose said to his partner as he accompanied Talos.

“Who might that be you two have locked up?” Talos asked.

“It’s nothing t-t-to worry about now, Master Talos. Please, follow me.”

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