Adventure is Born
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Evina Gearloose was ready to burst with excitement. It was an eagerness for adventure stronger than anything he had experienced for almost a year. The young, red duck was standing in his dirty garage. He looked down at his clothes, smeared with stains of car grease, and realized he wasn't ready to go just yet.
"Yeah, you should go pack your stuff," his father suggested. He was an old white chicken with a similarly strange name. Gyro Gearloose was a famous inventor of the past whose creations only sometimes worked, and more often than not, led to disaster. His eyes were still dark with the entity that was within him, and each day he felt a twinge of guilt over creating the cogs who had invaded his world for fifteen years. Yet his life was starting to improve now that he was home and pardoned for his crimes. Each day spent with his son lightened his disposition a little more.
Evina turned to go back into his house, but then he suddenly remembered something. Zany, one of his best friends, had just walked away from there only a minute ago. "I'll be right back!" he said.
Out into the sunshine he ran as he chased the light blue figure walking away on the sidewalk in the distance. He ran as fast as his feet could take him, even though his fitness wasn't all that good anymore. Soon he finally caught up.
She turned around to look at him. "Oh, Evina, are you ok?"
He took a moment to catch his breath. "Yeah, I'm ok. No, I'm great actually. There is something I need to tell you." He took a few more deep breaths. "Gyro told me that there might be some trouble."
"Trouble?" she asked worriedly.
"Yeah, and I was thinking. Would you be up to having another adventure? We could use some extra help."
The smile on her face slowly melted away, and Evina's excitement waned. "Um. Thanks for asking but... I'm not sure if I'm ready for it."
Evina was fazed for a minute. He couldn't believe that she wouldn't want to come. "But didn't you just say that your life is boring now? How can you take this?"
"It's because I'm getting accustomed to it, to being normal like everyone else. And unlike being out fighting robots, it is safer here." Evina suddenly felt empty inside. He silently listened to her continue. "As much as I loved it all, I wouldn't be able to do that again. That was just... too much. I want to be with friends and family and move on with life. I'm sorry."
Evina took some more breaths and paused awkwardly. He hadn't thought about how she would feel about this. "Well... that's ok."
"We can still be friends, right?" she asked.
"Sure," he answered quietly. "I guess I'll see you in the future then." He turned and sadly walked away without waiting to see if she would say something else.
Now his pace was slower. He wasn't in a rush to get into the spaceship and fly away, because his thoughts kept him too occupied. Change seemed to be happening around him much more rapidly than he was comfortable with. Maybe he hadn't changed as much because of that thing inside of him, the spirit of the cog, the mysterious force. His desire to keep fighting and exploring was reignited, and he had to follow it. It was part of finding his true purpose. He wished to keep Toontown safe, even though he didn't feel like he fit so well inside it. By this time, he was almost back at his own house.
Gyro glanced at him as he walked by. "I guess it didn't go so well, did it?"
"It didn't," Evina said. "I think I'll go pack my stuff now." He opened the door and walked back into his home. Then he climbed up the stairs and walked into his messy bedroom.
He opened a trunk and picked out some of the clothes he wanted to wear. He knew he'd need to travel light, and there wasn't much that he needed, anyway. He placed a pile of clothes in a small suitcase and tried to squeeze it closed. As he did this, he thought about the last several months of his life. Would he miss being here? Would he still care about this rickety, old place filled with lost memories of some other life? Would he miss being alone? Would the community miss him? Perhaps not.
Would he want to see the warm glow of the summer sunlight shine in through the window? This was something he had to consider. There was no sun where he was going, just the cold, dark emptiness of space. Sure, there would be a sun on Earth, but would it really feel like the sun back home? He was going to be so far away without any of the comforting things he had lived with his whole life.
And what about the danger? Gyro still hadn't told him what they were going to do or even what the troubling situation was. Still, with all these worries in his head, it wasn't enough to prevent him from going. This adventure was another crucial step in his journey toward destiny.
He walked downstairs and out the front door with courage, for the last time in however long it would be. He tried to keep his mind from thinking about anything that would present hesitation of going on this adventure. For all he knew, his mind could invent an even stronger excuse, and he didn't want that to happen.
"Are you all ready to go?" Gyro asked. He was leaning up against his spaceship casually.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! Let's not waste any more time here."
Gyro opened the hatch and gestured for him to go in first.
Evina climbed inside and took his seat in front of the console, next to the driver's seat. He spun it around to look at the rest of the ship while Gyro came inside, shut the hatch, and took his seat.
The little helper was a small robot Gyro had built long ago. It was tiny and had a lightbulb as a head. Right now, it was looking at some complicated tech stuff in the back. It turned around and kindly waved at Evina. Then it saw that Evina was using its seat, and it suddenly looked disappointed.
"Hey, I got here first," Evina teased.
"Ok, enough with the chatter. It's time to get moving," Gyro announced. He started the engines while Evina turned his chair around to the correct position and put his seatbelt on.
The ship rumbled, vibrated slightly, then rose off the ground. The thrill was beginning to return as Evina saw his neighborhood shrink away. He had never seen Duckburg from the sky before. As they went higher, he could see the whole city. It was very large and beautiful, sitting at the edge of the sea, glistening in the rising sun. It was old and impressive for toon work. Lately, it was a place he had been learning to call home. Yet it was still strikingly toony in style, in contrast with Cogtropolis. Both of the cities had a unique beauty in their own ways, and Evina, being part of both cultures, could understand and accept them.
"I wouldn't feel too bad about Zany," Gyro assured his son. "There are plenty of others who I'm sure would love to come with us."
"You're right," Evina replied. He noticed that the ship turned toward the mountains in the distant south. Just beyond them was Pete's Palace. "I just hope this ship has enough room to live comfortably." He looked over his shoulder to get another look at the interior. It was much larger than he remembered. "Did you... change something?"
"I am always improving and adding to this ship," Gyro said as they flew into the clouds. "Some of the modifications I've been developing for a long time now. This extra space could prove to be useful."
Evina was always amazed at his father's work. There still remained a lot of toons who believed none of his inventions were any good. "How small did this ship use to be?"
"Very small. The prototype was more like a little flying saucer."
He thought about this. Gyro must have been the world's greatest expert on metal and machinery. Then he began to wonder where the knowledge came from to make this stuff. Anyway, he didn't want to think about things too much. He wanted to look out through the clouds, over the beautiful world, and just relax. There wasn't anything he would allow to bother his mind and ruin his trip.
The mountains approached rapidly. Evina looked below and saw Acorn Acres and the winding river. From this height, the mountains didn't look all that large. The ship flew over the sparkling, snowy peak with ease to reveal the spacious expanse on the other side. Down in the middle of the valley stood Pete's Palace. Gyro brought the ship down and circled the city until he landed gently on the grass.
Evina was excited to find more of his friends; he wanted to see the excitement on their faces when he told them about the new adventure. From his pocket, he took out a card where he had scribbled each of their addresses. He took a breath of fresh air then set off to find them.
First, he headed to a fort behind the palace. It was surrounded by a bunch of thorny bushes, and Evina wasn't happy to be jabbed relentlessly in order to break through. Catman lived there in his so-called lair, and he was elated to see Evina. But just like Zany, he wasn't interested in going. He had rediscovered his life of saving others. Evina didn't exactly know what good he could do with an enormous ego and some cheap gadgets, but he told him that it would be alright. He could have stayed longer to talk and learn more, but he knew he had to find the others as well. Another one of his friends, Simeon, was far too timid for another adventure. Convincing him would be a lost cause. So, that left one more place in the city that he needed to visit.
He made his way to East Street jogged down the narrow sidewalk until he found the right address. Ricky lived in an apartment near the end of the street. Knocking on the door a few times, he waited. There seemed to be someone moving inside. Soon enough, a blue dog peered out at him. Evina believed it was Ricky.
"Evina? Oh, it's nice to see you again!" He swung the door open and shook the duck's hand vigorously.
Evina smiled. "Sorry for bothering you. Do you mind if I come inside? I'm feeling a little down right now." Ricky let him walk through. He looked around the room and saw that it was rather messy. That wasn't entirely surprising considering his roommate.
The other dog was his brother, Rocky. He was sitting on the sofa with his eyes fixed on the TV screen, a bowl of cheesy puffs resting on his lap, and a burrito at his side.
"Don't mind him. I always told you he was the lazy one. You just don't want to bother him when he's in that trance." Ricky acted out the hypno-goggle stare.
Evina was a little too annoyed today to enjoy his humor. He sat down at the table, propped up his arms, put his face down, and sighed.
"So... what's going on?" Ricky asked.
"Well, Gyro came to talk to me today, and he said something like Toontown might be in trouble. We're preparing to go on another adventure right now, but I can't seem to find anyone who wants to come with us. You're the last ones I know here at Pete's Palace." He paused for a moment, listening. But after hearing no response his lifted his face from his hands to look at Ricky's face. The smile was gone, just as he had feared.
"You know what I'm going to say, right?"
"Oh no," Evina sighed. He stood up and was about to leave when Ricky protested.
"Wait! I want to talk to you. Please, just sit down and hear me out."
Evina reluctantly dropped down on the seat to look at him. Ricky looked into his guest's gray eyes, looking remorseful.
"I want you to know the truth. All those times that we had together were a blast." Ricky grinned briefly, no doubt about inserting another one of his dynamite puns. "But I don't know of a toon who could take more than that."
Evina listened patiently, but his face was as stern as a cog.
"I think you'll have to accept the fact that after coming back to our old lives, we need to have some stability. We need to grow in a healthier environment."
"What does that mean?"
"Well, I'm not really sure. That might not apply to you ever since you... changed." He broke eye contact. "But at least I don't have to worry about being killed every day. Look, I really hope you find someone to share a great adventure with."
"Thanks," Evina said quietly. The words were nice but offered him very little consolation.
"Are you sure that there isn't anything else I can do for you?"
"No, I think my time here is done."
"Wait, I have something for you!" Rocky said. Suddenly, he was out of his chair and standing at the table. His face was still covered in cheesy powder. He showed Evina something in his hands.
"What is it?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Rocky said. "It's a gift for you."
Evina took the tiny glass vial. It looked like the ones that used to hold that deadly dip, but this time it was full of something different. It was a thick, blood-red liquid. "Um, okay, I appreciate it." He didn't know what else to say.
"Only use it in case of an emergency, got it?" Rocky said. "Seriously... just use when you absolutely need to."
"I'll remember," Evina smiled feebly. He waved and walked to the door to leave. He decided that it was the last rejection he would take that day.
Evina returned to the ship. Gyro was working inside, double-checking all the systems with the assistance from his little helper. Evina climbed into his seat and sat quietly.
"Did you have any luck?" Gyro asked. Evina sat silently and unhappily. "Oh, I was afraid of that. Um, there's always Pink and Goopy, right?"
"What's the point?" Evina argued. He knew Ricky was right. The kind-hearted cat was probably too shaken up from the last journey, and Goopy had just started his new TV show. He was more famous now than ever before. Why would he want to devote more of his life to another foolish adventure? There was nobody to keep him company except his father, and he wouldn't be very helpful if they had to fight something.
The old chicken climbed into the pilot's seat and looked over at his son with a solemn face. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
Evina took deep breaths to calm himself as the ship rose into the air once again. He could think of only one thing that might help: if Gyro would actually explain to him in detail what they were going to do. But he didn't want to dump negative emotions onto someone else now, so he kept his feelings to himself. There was even a chance that this time alone could be good for their relationship. As he looked out the window, he noticed that they seemed to be going back to Toontown Central.
Gyro looked like he knew what Evina was thinking. "I think we are ready enough that I can officially announce our departure to Flippy. I promise it won't take too long. Then we can start having some fun for a change."
Evina told himself he would see he friends again one day, so he decided not to fret. Ever since the change had happened, his emotions had become more intense. He still needed more practice before he could completely take control of his mind.
The bright colors of Toontown Central met his eyes, and the ship landed hastily in the middle of the park. Evina was worried that Gyro might be scolded again for tearing up the grass.
"Just give me a few minutes," Gyro assured him as he hopped out. "In the meantime, you should take some time to rewind."
Evina had almost forgotten about his memories. With his crazy history and new, enhanced brain power, he would never be alone. Toontown would always be a part of him. Using a special technique he had practiced, he leaned back into a comfortable position and closed his eyes. Time was rushing back, faster and faster, rewinding to repeat some pleasant times from the past.
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