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At the AstroVilla: Part Three


by kemppotatoe

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Cypher sat on her bed, deep in thought. After Aewa had told her about the weird happenings that had occurred at the AstroVilla in the past, she couldn't help but be extraordinarily curious. But also quite frightened... could it happen again?

      "No," she muttered to herself, "it hasn't happened recently, right?"

      Wait... had it? Aewa hadn't mentioned the last time any of this happened! Cypher narrowed her eyes and looked around her room, afraid that some villainous beast was lurking behind a piece of furniture.

      "Cypher," she said out loud to herself, "you're being stupid. There's nothing here. Just calm down. All I need to do is find Aewa and ask her if there really is anything to worry about."

      Cypher sighed, relieved, and nodded to herself. One thing was for sure...

      Her stay here at the AstroVilla just got a whole lot more interesting.

***

      "Haven't seen Aewa anywhere today."

      Cypher sighed and looked at the maid Acara. "You wouldn't happen to know about the legend of LeMaer and the weird happenings of the hotel, would you? I have a question."

      The maid raised her eyebrows and rolled her eyes. "That superstitious crap? Psssh, do yourself a favor right now and quit worrying. It's all a big fat joke."

      The next staff member Cypher approached was Dez from the coffee shop. "Have you seen Aewa? The old maid?"

      Dez raised his eyebrows. "No, I haven't. Do you want to try our new Tigersquash Cappuccino?"

      Cypher rolled her eyes. "No! I don't want any coffee! Listen, do you know anything about LeMaer and the legend of the hotel?"

      Dez scratched his chin. "The one about the disappearances and flying luggage? I know a little. Aewa's the expert on it, but Luther is the next best pet to talk to if you're interested."

      Cypher stared at him a moment. "Then I really, really need to find Aewa."

***

      Three hours later, Cypher was out of luck. After searching the entire hotel, she discovered from another maid that Aewa had taken the rest of the day off and wouldn't be back for a few days.

      As much as Cypher didn't want to do it, she could barely sleep at night thinking of the strange legend, and she knew she had to talk to... him.

      Luther was the only one in the hotel who had the answers she was looking for.

      On the morning of her third day at the AstroVilla, Cypher stepped into the restaurant on the fourteenth floor. "Table for one, Miss?"

      Cypher turned and saw that the seating hostess, a red Xweetok, was talking to her. "Oh, no thank you. I'm just looking for someone."

      The Xweetok walked next to her. "Who is it? We have probably already seated them."

      "Well, they're not actually eating here..." Cypher said, smiling weakly at the hostess.

      The Xweetok raised her eyebrows. "Well then, what are they doing?"

      When Cypher didn't answer, the hostess sighed and crossed her arms. "Are you even staying at this hotel, because we don't allow any pets in here unless they're guests!"

      "I'm a guest! I'm a guest!" Cypher said quickly. "I'm looking for Luther!"

      "The kitchen-Kougra?" the Xweetok asked. "I'm sorry, but he's not allowed to associate with the guests."

      "What?" Cypher said loudly, "Who made that rule up?"

      "Listen," the Xweetok said, placing a paw on Cypher's shoulder, "I know skunk Kougras are exceptionally good-looking, but I'm sure you can find one with much more to his life than sprinkling food with grated cheese and washing dishes."

      Cypher stared at the hostess with her jaw dropped. "It's not like that at all!" she practically screamed. "I hate him and he hates me too!"

      "Ah," the Xweetok said, laughing a bit, "right. Of course."

      Cypher narrowed her eyes at her. "So can I see him or what?"

      The hostess shook her head. "Sorry, Miss, but it's against the rules. Staff that's not trained to work with the guests are not allowed to interact with them."

      Cypher put her hand in a fist and beat it against her other paw. "Oh, really?" she said menacingly. "Is there anything that can change your mind? Anything at all?"

      The seating hostess looked at Cypher's hands with an appalled look on her face. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave, Miss," she said, ushering her back to the hallway. "Come again... or don't, really."

      Cypher, who was very angry at this point, made her way across the hall and entered the coffee shop. "Dez!" she said, coming up to the cash register. "I need to get into the restaurant's kitchens. Can you help me, please?"

      Dez looked at her through narrowed eyes. Cypher stuck out her bottom lip in the most pathetic face she could muster.

      "Will you try our new Islandberry Smoothie?" Dez asked hopefully.

      Cypher sighed and rolled her eyes. "Sure, I will! I just need to get into the kitchens."

      Dez smiled and nodded. "I have a plan for you."

***

     "I look like a freak."

      Dez rolled his eyes. "No, you don't! This is the utmost perfect disguise. No one will know that you're really a guest!"

      Cypher was wearing a white chef's coat, an apron, and even a weird hat, all to blend in with the kitchen's workers. She and Dez stood in the middle of the coffee shop's freezer, as the Bori examined his model.

      "Could we not do this somewhere else, Dez? It's freezing!"

      "Freezing? In a freezer? You don't say!" Dez said sarcastically, earning himself a dirty look from Cypher. "This is the only place with privacy; we can't have anyone see you until you're in the kitchens!"

      "And do you suppose," Cypher said, paws on hips, "that once I'm in the kitchens, the workers might be a little suspicious when they see my nametag?"

      Dez sighed. "Every worker in the kitchen is required to wear a nametag since they train new cooks and staff in there. Look, if you don't wear it, they'll be suspicious, not if you do wear it!"

      Cypher pointed at the plastic strip on the apron. "But my name's not Benjamin!"

      "Benjamin retired a few days ago. It's the only nametag I could come up with!" Dez shrugged. "Just pretend you know what you're doing! Find Luther, ask him the stupid question you need answered, and get your butt out of there. The staff here gets angry easily!"

      "And how am I going to get in there?" Cypher asked.

      "That's the tricky part," Dez said, biting his lower lip. "I'm going to distract that seating hostess with a stink bomb, and you run into the kitchens."

      Cypher nodded. "Okay," she said, smoothing down her apron. "I'm ready to be Benjamin the Cybunny Chef."

***

      Exactly seven minutes and thirty-three seconds later, the bewildered Xweetok seating hostess was ushering guests out of the restaurant due to a ghastly smell that had unexplainably wafted through the entire bistro. Dez was back at his post at the coffee shop cash register, and Cypher was safely in the kitchens.

      The chef-clad Cybunny crept as quietly as possible through the noisy and chaotic kitchens, in hopes of being unnoticed. She was going to do just as Dez had said to do: hurry up, ask the question, and get out of there.

      As she tiptoed along, Cypher was luckily given very few glances by the real workers. Maybe Benjamin had been a Cybunny too...

      "Looking for me?"

      Cypher jumped a foot in the air, spun around, and fell over the back of a kitchen stool with an "oof!"

      "Are you okay?"

      Cypher popped her head up as quickly as possible to see a smiling skunk Kougra standing in front of her.

     Luther.

      "Fine!" she said, leaning back on the floor as if she was relaxing on the beach. "You know, the floors here are incredibly comfortable, even more than the beds!"

      Luther laughed and held out his paw to help her up. Cypher stared at it a moment before accepting it. "Thanks," she muttered softly.

      "No problem," he said, shrugging. "But why are you here, and when did you change your name to Benjamin?"

      Cypher laughed. "I'm here to ask you a question."

      Luther raised his eyebrows, smiling. "Well then... ask away."

      "Actually," Cypher said, "I have two questions. First, why did you already assume that I was looking for you in here?"

      Luther chuckled, tossing his head in a very foremost way. "What else would you be doing in the kitchens dressed up like a chef? The second I recognized you, I knew it was me you wanted."

      Cypher's smile faded. "Perhaps I wanted some food!" she said, putting her paws on her hips.

      "Oh yeah, like you couldn't just order it from your luxurious suite and not have to move a muscle!" Luther spat angrily.

      Cypher, completely appalled, practically shouted, "There you go again! Being a rude little..."

      "What?" Luther screamed, "A rude little what?"

      "Moron!" Cypher shouted, fuming, "Jerk! A lousy Kougra who works in a kitchen instead of going out and doing something with his life!"

      Luther's jaw dropped. "You're calling me rude? You selfish prig! I'm doing more with my life than you! What does being rich and bratty do to help anyone but yourself?"

      Many chefs and kitchen assistants had now stopped what they were doing and started to watch the two young pets quarrel. Their screams could be heard across the kitchens.

      "You know what, you good-for-nothing loser?!" Cypher shrieked.

      "What, Little Miss Lazy and Rich?!" Luther yelled, his face red.

      Cypher took a deep breath and looked Luther in the eye. The kitchens were completely silent; everyone was staring at them. She shook her head. "I can see why you're not allowed to associate with guests, Luther," she said, rather softly. "You just make their stay here miserable."

      Cypher reached up, grabbed her hat, and threw it to the floor. Luther, with a shocked face, stared at her as she walked away and out the kitchen door.

      "That's the opposite of what I wanted to do," he whispered to himself.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» At the AstroVilla: Part One
» At the AstroVilla: Part Two
» At the AstroVilla: Part Four



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