About 20 minutes later, Dani and I touched down on top of Terror Mountain.
"Hello? Jess? Anybody? Hey! Anyone out there?" I called, turning in all directions.
A wind had come up, and it twisted my words, throwing them back in my face.
Snow began to fall, getting caught in the wind and blown in my eyes and face.
"Well, well. If it isnít the little movie star and her little friend." I spun
toward the voice. It was one I recognised. recognised, but hadnít heard in months,
except for my nightmares. Kool_Kyle_Kid the skunk Kacheek. "Ha! You really believed
it was Jess? Like heíd come up here. You are so gullible." I caught Kyle's feelings:
fear, anger and nervousness.
"You! How dare you try to get us again!" Dani called, her fur bristling. Growling,
she sprung toward Kyle. He continued laughing, as Dani passed right through
"Dani! Itís a hologram! Heís not really there!" I had to yell to be heard over
the wind. Suddenly, out of the snow came a glass box. It exploded out of the
snow below our feet and covered us. Above my head and to the sides, there was
about five feet of room. Dani instantly charged at the glass, trying to break
it. When she hit the glass, she bounced back, falling on her back. She sprang
up to try again. Beside her, a small nozzle popped out of the snow. Suddenly,
a bluish gas came drifting out of it. "Dani! Itís sleeping gas! Donít breathe
it in!" But it was too late. Dani slumped to the ground. I held my breath for
as long as I could, but eventually, I too breathed in the gas. As I fell to
the ground, I could still hear Kyle laughing. I could still sense his emotions
coming, I realised, from somewhere below us. Then, darkness.
Slowly, I woke up. Blinking my eyes, I tried to move my head to get a better
look at where we were, and found I couldnít move. Struggling against the force
that was holding me proved useless. The only thing that happened was I got tired.
Trying to relax, I began to list the things I could move. I could breathe, so
my lungs and chest could move. My eyes moved, and I could blink.
Moving only my eyes, I looked to my left, then my right. I found Dani, being
held like me. The weird part was, there were no chains. Just then, Daniís eyes
flew open. I could see her struggling to get free. I decided to try something.
I knew she and I were close, since I could read her thoughts, at least some
of them, so I decided to try and send her a thought. Although the Nimmo master
had said nothing about transmitting thoughts, I decided to try. After all, I
couldnít talk, and her fear was making me feel sick.
"Dani!" I thought, aiming the thought toward her. "Dani! Can you
hear me?" Daniís eyes flew open and amazement replaced her fear.
"Duplica? You can, uh, think to me?"
"Well, I never knew before now. Listen, donít worry. I got us into
this; Iíll get us out. I promise." Dani nodded, or at least she tried.
"Ha! You might have stopped me once, but now Iím the one in charge!" Kyleís
voice came from off to the left, where I couldnít see. He walked into my line
of vision a few moments later. In his hands was a strange object, almost like
a TV remote. He pressed a button, and my head relaxed.
"Where are we?" I demanded. "And youíd better let us go! And also, can you
give some of the stuff this place is built with? It blocks my phone signal."
"Hmm, as usual, youíre trying to be funny in the face of adversity. Well, in
case you havenít noticed, no oneís laughing," he sneered at me
"I am," I said. I took this time to identify his feelings. There was satisfaction
at catching us, and underlying that was a feeling of fear. Not at us, at...
"Good work, Kyle." Out of the shadows, came Dr. Sloth. Daniís fur stood up,
and I knew if she could move, the rest of it would have stood up, too. My skin
"Dani, come on. Weíve got to get out of this. Somehow," I thought to
Dani, rather than let Dr. Sloth in on what I was thinking.
"Now. You, the pet. I have no need for you. You can go back to your owner.
You will be unharmed. For now." Dr. Sloth was looking at Dani. I could feel
her fear, but she didnít show it. That was something I admired about Dani. It
was something she had learned from Ry, not letting people know when she was
"Duplica, what should I do?" Dani thought to me.
"You should go. Tell Ry what happened. Get her to contact someone. Besides,
Iím responsible for you for now. I donít want you hurt. Ryíll get mad,"
I thought back.
Dani spoke. "I will not go. Iím staying right here with Duplica." She turned
to me apologetically. I groaned silently.
"Dani, what are you doing?" I thought furiously.
"Ryíd kill me if I left ya here with him." She mentally pointed her
head at Dr. Sloth. "íSides, I havenít had an adventure in a while. Thisíll
be fun!" In my head, I groaned again. Only Dani would think getting captured
by Dr. Sloth was "fun".
"Hmm. Youíre brave. Stupid, but brave." Dr. Sloth commented. He gestured to
Kyle. Kyle pressed another button on the remote and Dani and I dropped to the
"What do you want with her?" asked Dani angrily.
"Oh, nothing much. Just her powers."
I was starting to get a major inferiority complex, so I decided to speak up.
"So, you want my psychic powers. Why not just enslave a Nimmo?"
"Oh, but you see, itís not that simple. I need the psychic powers, yes, but
I need the type that you have. I need to see the future. Then, I can conquer
it!" he said, clenching a fist.
I nearly laughed. "My powers canít see the future. Do you really think Iíd
be here if I could?"
"Hmm, sheís right. Still, telekinesis and mind-reading could come in handy."
Suddenly, I could feel his emotions. This new thought nearly knocked me over.
He was SCARED. Of what? Of a girl and a pet? But he had a huge army of Grundos
at his command. Then, I realised. He couldnít just TAKE my powers. I had to
give them willingly. How could I have forgotten? It had been only a few months
ago. I could still hear the Nimmo masterís voice...
"But what if someone takes my powers? Then whatíll I do?" I was worried.
"Relax, my child. No one can take you powers." As usual, the Nimmo master was
"Because no one, person or pet, Faerie or ghost, can take your powers without
your consent." Seeing my puzzled look, he went on. "You see, not even the Faerie
Queen herself can take a pets powers. It is their psyche, an unchangeable thing.
Like it or not, it is now part of your psyche, and no one except you can change
Still, there was the fact that I could feel his emotions. That part was more
puzzling. I could only feel the emotions of pets, that had been the first lesson
Iíd learned. Only pets, not owners or Faeries or anything else. That could only
"Now. I can see you wonít give them to me. I can also tell that you donít care
what happens to you, as long as your friends are safe." Dr. Sloth had been speaking
the whole time, I realised with a start. I forced myself to listen. "So, obviously,
if I force you to watch your friends get hurt, youíll give in. Simple." Turning
to Kyle, he spoke. "You. Take the pet to bzz bzz bzz." The last words were a
whisper, and I couldnít hear them. Dani could, though, so I asked her.
"Dani, what? Whereís he taking you?"
"Itís, itís..." she stuttered. Her fear was making me feel sick again.
"Dani, get a grip! Stop freaking out and tell me!"
"Right. Heís going to take me to," she shuddered, and her fear came
over me again in a wave, "to the Snowager." Once again, her fear enveloped
To be continued...