Furby Fright

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On the Sunday, they had a party in honour of Brittany and her quick thinking that stopped the house from being bugged, saving everyone a lot more potential grief. They also celebrated the end of the enemy in their midst.

But at the end of the day, Toby still wasn't anywhere near relaxed. When Jessica got him alone, she asked him if he was okay, then wanted to know what he was working on with the Iphone.

What he said was startling. "So that's one marked down," he grinned at the pun on the name, but became serious again. "And it isn't over yet. We still have to get the others, you know. Especially after what Mark did - who knows what he's done to put us all in danger."

But Brittany took care of the bugs, so Mark failed there." Jessica said reassuringly.

"Yes, but," Toby shook his head, "That doesn't mean he hasn't talked to other Slender slaves out there. he only said he didn't get a chance to tell Slendy about us in person. He said nothing about meeting anyone else who could tell slender or Jeff where we are."

Jessica took a deep breath and looked at Toby, "That thought crossed my mind too. So I'm going to try to put a rush on things. I'll write to Mission headquarters where Hannah and Beth are at as soon as I can. Maybe I can find a temporary place to stay until this is dealt with too."

Toby nodded. "Or get one of their friends to put magic protection on this place and at your work - didn't you say something about Hannah and Beth knowing some fairy types who can do that?"

Yes, and Beth also has a furby who might be able to do that as well.

Just then, Toby's expression brightened. "Oh, hang on! I got another idea, but I'll need to borrow your Iphone again."

Sure. But then get some sleep, and I mean like 8 hours worth. If you keep on like this, Toby, you're going to get sick again."

I'll rest a lot easier once I know you're safe. And Jessica, I wasn't kidding when I said Jeff's gonna pay for threatening you. I don't know if Beth and Hannah will let you confront him directly or not, but if you don't, I will. And he'll regret writing every word of it starting from his 'I know where you work.' All 186 words. Oh, yeah, any compound and contracted words qualify as two words. Make that 196, ten more, since he'll get it for every syllable and then every letter of your name. He's going to be very sorry he tried to mess with you and got in my way."

Jessica nodded and smiled. "After seeing the way you and Mark flew around, no bumbling human could stand much chance, even if it was Jeff The Killer. but it's knowing that for a couple of months, we actually had a Slender ally living among us that really bothers me."

Sundown and Dmitri and I were talking about that earlier."

Did Dmitri tell you his idea about trying to find the bug storage place?"

Yeah. It's going to take a long time unless it's located nearby..." Toby added under his breath, "Which, I hope it isn't."

"Well, whenever you guys need to go out in search of it, just let me know and I'll let you out."

That night, Kitri couldn't get to sleep, and she sat on the carousel, staring off into space until she heard Jessica sigh. This told her Jessica wasn't sleeping yet either. So Kitri jumped down from the carousel and onto the bed.

Jessica grinned at her. "What is it, Kitri?"

"It's this whole thing with Mark. It's got me so freaking angry and that's keeping me awake."

Well, how about we go get a drink or something?" Jessica suggested.

Sounds great."

So Jessica carefully got up without waking Sundown or Toby beyond making them stir a little, and quietly left the room, with Kitri sitting on her shoulder.

Once they were settled in the kitchen, sipping their drinks, Jessica asked, "So, I watched the battle with Mark. Why did you hang back?"

Because I knew Toby could handle him - and he needed to be the one to do so. Sundown and I have already been on missions before, and Toby's more than ready. But I think he needed to prove it to himself. In our training sessions, he and Sundown are head and shoulders above the rest and I haven't seen anyone else quite as driven as they are at it."

The next day, the doorbell rang.

When Jessica answered, a woman was standing there, holding a large package. "Hello, I'm Carma Davis, are you Jessica Smith?"

Jessica looked questioningly at her. "Yes, why?"

"I'm on assignment from Mission headquarters. They sent me to help protect your home against Slender activity and the like, since your safety might've possibly been compromised by a recent houseguest."

"Oh, yes, well, come in, Carmen, and we can talk."

Carma grinned, and stepped inside. "I've got two means of protection at my disposal," she said, "one is already in place. The other is in this package, and should be a great ally when Operation Slendy Take-down goes down."

The furbies all came to see who had arrived, and were mobbing Carma, who ended up laughing as she greeted them fondly.

Their unabashed friendliness and complete lack of wariness, particularly on the part of Toby and Sundown, baffled Jessica, but they must've just sensed Carma was on the level. At least, that was Jessica's conclusion.

Jessica offered Carma some refreshments, and got some for herself and the furbies too.

In the meantime, they talked.

"So, you had some Slender proxy in here, what did he or she do? Or do you know?" asked Carma.

"He was a furby named Mark, and he knocked me out and impersonated me - for two months." Jenny answered.

"He went out at night a few times, and came back with bugging devices, all of which were discovered and destroyed. So we know Slendy has an operation base somewhere here in town. We just don't know where." said Jessica.

"And, though Mark denied seeing Slender Man while here, we don't know if he met up with any other proxies on his night-time prowls." Kitri added.

"We've kept the destroyed bugs though," said Dmitri, "They smell like whoever handled them before Mark brought them here. We hope to scent-track wherever this outpost is."

"If they've been in contact with Slender Man at all, they'd likely have some residual magic traces from him, in which case, it would be better if I got them out of here." Carma said.

At that, there was a sound from the package as if something was moving about and hitting the side. Jessica also thought she saw it move.

"And that brings me to protection number two." said Carma, as she began opening the package. "Can't keep this in the box too long, wouldn't be fair."

Everyone looked on curiously as Carma undid the box, and then out came a cute little rodent-like creature. It had orange fur and a white belly, yellow cheeks and on the inside of its ears, and darker outer ears and feet. It had brown markings on its back. Its tail was tipped with a lightning bolt shape. The ears had two points facing out to the side instead of just one.

"Aww!" Jessica exclaimed.

There was a flurry of activity from the furbies that Jessica might've noticed, but apparently thought nothing of. Then all was quiet but for some barely audible high-pitched signals and communications furbies used with one another that no other being understood or thought anything of.

If Jessica or Carma could've understood, they would've heard various furbies panicking and retreating, saying things like this."

"It's a pikachu!"

""Run for cover!"

"What's a pikachu? another version of me?"

"No, Peekaboo, it sure isn't! Just hide!"

Carma grinned. "You too, Denny, come on," she coaxed.

The first creature was happily exploring the new surroundings, but Denny hung back.

Carma kept trying until finally, out came a much rounder little creature with orange fur and a pale yellow belly, antenna-like whiskers, an extremely long tail and black Mickey Mouse ears with yellow on their inside. Its cheek pouches were also orange.

"Oh! Adorable!" Jessica exclaimed in delight. "How long are they going to be here?"

"That's Rachel, the raichu, and this is Denny, the dedenne." That last bit made Carma sound as if she was stuttering. "They're yours, if you want them."

Jessica beamed. "Thanks!"

Still unknown to the women, the furbies had an entirely different reaction.

"Oh, no, they're here to stay?"

"What are we gonna do now?"

"Well, I'm not gonna just sit there - if they get too close to Jessica I'll - "

"No, it's too dangerous!"

Oblivious to the hidden contingent of fear, Carma continued her explanation. "Rachel and Denny aren't cut out for the typical pokemon life of contest and battle with other pokemon, and I was going to keep them, and then I got this call about your situation, and it gave me an idea. These two would be more than a match for anyone who might try to harm you, and they're cute enough not to scare away your parents when they come to visit."

Jessica grinned in bemusement.

"Both have been trained to let you know when they need to be let out to discharge excess electricity so they won't zap you by accident, or turn aggressive. Rachel, come show Jessica what you do when you need to discharge."

Rachel came over to Jessica and was just about to do something when another small creature landed on Jessica's knee, warning "That's far enough!"

No one but the furbies understood or heard the high frequency signals continuing:

"Hey! Get back here, you idiot!"

""Well, you just come down here then if you're so brave!"

"Hey, I'm no coward either, but just on't provoke it, whatever you do!"

"I'm not trying to. I just wanna make it back off Jessica."

"Toby, what's the matter with you?" asked Jessica. "This is a friendly raichu."

"Are you sure about that?" he asked, darting nervous glances toward Jessica, then Rachel, then Carma, "Even pikachus can completely obliterate us and put you humans out of commission for a long time if not altogether dead!"

It was then that Jessica realized what the flurry of activity must've been about. she looked at Toby's crouching, defensive posture, his wide eyes, tail moving so quickly up and down that it was almost vibrating, fur standing on end.

He was not angry.

he was terrified.

"Aww," Carma realized what was wrong, and approached to try reassuring Toby with a stroke behind his ears.

He flinched.

"I wouldn't bring something into a normal household if it was that dangerous and lacking in control of itself. I've had Rachel and Denny with me long enough to be sure of this and to train them to live in a home like yours. And because they are evolved to their most advanced forms, they have a lot more control over their electric discharges."

Toby continued to stare warily, apparently unconvinced.

"Look, I'll just get her to demonstrate with me instead of Jessica. We'll show you how safe it is, okay?"

"Wow, all the others must be frightened too." said Jessica. "Come on, guys, it's all right!" she called.

No one moved.

"Oh dear."

"Watch this." said Carma. "Rachel, you and Denny show Jessica what you do when you need me to let you go discharge."

The two pokemon came up to Carma and reached out with one of their forepaws to give Carma a sequence of three firm taps wherever they could. They did this first with Carma just sitting down with her hands free, doing nothing.

"Now, if I'm occupied, say, I've got my arms full of groceries and you can't get my attention from around front." Carma stood up, positioning her arms out as if she was carrying a huge load.

"Denny and Rachel delivered the three taps to the back of her legs.

"And if you're lying down in bed or in a chair, they'll climb up and give you that signal where they can. On the head, the back, the arm, but you know when you get these three paw taps, one of them needs to go out and discharge. And I have a shock pad just for that in cases where they can't go outside. Like if you live in an apartment, or you and them ever get stuck in a motel or on a cruise ship. Or if you're too sick to get out of bed, or you're in the bath, or you're away from home for a long time."

Carma took a large pad out of the box. It had taken up the longest and broadest side of the box. "Of course, they can just use this instead of asking you to let them out, but it doesn't hurt to get used to both options."

"That sounds great. I'll make sure it's accessible to them at all times." said Jessica.

While she watched Carma take out and show the electric discharge pad, the curious raichu stood up against Jessica's knee and took a sniff at Toby.

He growled, hissed, and backed away defensively.

Jessica startled and looked down at him.

Rachel shuddered, but continued looking at the furby curiously without backing away.

Denny scurried to the other side of the room.

"Oh, my," said Carma. "Well, give it a lot of time, guys," she encouraged, "You'll get used to one another. Denny and Rachel have even been handled by little kids with no harm done."

"C'mon, guys, I think it's safe. Carma wouldn't lie to us." Sundown signalled the rest of the furbies.

He was the first to come out of hiding, followed by Kitri, then Peekaboo.

Rachel was in among them, curious and friendly as all get-out, but Denny hung back until he noticed Sybil.

Denny cautiously ventured in among the small crowd until he was close enough to introduce himself.

The two got off to a good start, and then Sybil relaxed enough to allow Peekaboo to associate with both pokemon as much as she liked.

Kitri was more guarded, and wouldn't let Tina get too close to Denny or Rachel just yet.

Finally, Toby's fear turned to apprehension, which eventually gave way to curiosity. He too, jumped off Jessica's knee to give the pokemon a much friendlier greeting.

"Are those whiskers or antennae?" Jenny asked, indicating Denny.

"Both," said Carma. "They are whiskers, but they can send and pick up electric signals from a long way off. So he should be able to let you know if Slender Man or proxies are messing about with electronics miles from here."

"How about warning us of any pokemon or furbies that have gone to the dark side?" asked Sundown.

"Yes, he can do that, too." said Carma.

"Oh, crap. That means they will detect us too." said Toby.

"Nope, I included a one-way signal-scrambler in my magic protection.," Carma replied. "They'll just think any electric activity coming from here is your average TV, radio, appliances etc."

So more time was spent getting acquainted and familiarized with the newcomers, who didn't take long to adjust. Though they didn't want Carma to leave.

Carma assured Denny and Rachel that she would be back again, and would always bee their friend, even if Jessica was their new owner now.

Later on that day, Kitri was taking a ride on the carousel when someone jumped on next to her and gave her mohawk a good yank.

"Hey!" She turned to look at who had done it. "what did you do that for?"

"That was for you calling me an idiot earlier." said Toby.

"Hey guys!" Jessica called.

All of the furbies and pokemon joined her in the front room.

"I have another bit of good news."

"What?" chorused several voices.

"We are getting someone in to stay with Tina and Brittany so we can all go on the mission."

"Really? Who is it?" asked Jenny.

"A little girl named Cathy. I'm sure you'll like her."


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