Author's note: I'm...well, I'm not exactly sure what the rules are for this kind of fic. I've seen a lot of absolutely beautiful fanfics and fan art made in tribute to Jim Henson, and don't get me wrong, that's absolutely wonderful and Jim deserves all of that and more, but I noticed that there weren't very many tributes to Richard Hunt. I was going for a run today when this idea popped into my head, so I figured, "Why not?" I'll mainly be concentrating on The Muppet Show for this, since I'm not all that familiar with Seseme Street and I've never watched Fraggle Rock. Anyways, without further ado, I give you my dedication to Richard Hunt in fiction form. Enjoy. ******** Voiceless By Ozymandias Chapter 1 It happened on a cold, blustery January day. Things were beginning to pick up at the Muppet Theatre, as performances were to begin again within the next few weeks, as they had all opted to take three weeks of Christmas vacation instead of acting through the holidays, as it had been a rough year for everyone with the loss of their founding father. The Electric Mayhem were practicing their newest song, a cover of "The Look" by Roxette, on the main stage. Gonzo was sitting in one of the wings, a box filled with random junk in front of him, trying to find inspiration for his new acts, as he only had two planned out in his head and he would need twenty of them within two weeks. Fozzie was backstage, going over a new comedy routine with Kermit, with Scooter running to get them both a coffee. The Swedish chef was working away in the kitchen on a new recipe, Macaroni and Cheese with cayenne pepper, and Rowlf was ticking the keys off-stage, playing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", much to the annoyance of the Electric Mayhem. And in the basement, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker, were working away at a new invention, the "Automatic Hypnotizer". However, things were not going well. The machine had blown up for the third time that day, and Bunsen's patience was wearing thing. "Oh gosh darn it!" he cried, banging his fist on the diagram. "What are we doing wrong? We hooked up the generator to the right ports and made sure that the cooler was on, so what gives?" He rested his elbow against the table and placed his head on his hand, sighing in frustration. "Mee mee mee mee mo mo." Beaker asked, scrubbing the soot off of his face with a rag. "Yes, of course I plugged it in!" "Mee mee meep." "Hmm, I don't remember checking that, actually." Bunsen said, sitting up straight. "Wait a moment, Beaker." He stooped down to look near the bottom of the machine. "Me meeeeeee me." "Oh quit whining!" Bunsen snapped from his position on the floor. "Turning on the machine without coolant was your idea!" "Mee mee!" "Was too!" "Mee mee!" "Was too!" "Mee m-" "Oh for pete's sake Beaker, keep this up and I won't give you the honour of testing this out on the first performance!" That would have been the perfect opportunity to speak, except that Beaker suddenly found out that he couldn't. He opened his mouth and shut it several times, trying to force tthe air through his windpipe and to get his voice to work, but no go. What in the world? "There, that's a good Beak-oh for crying out loud, you installed a frayed wire?" Beaker leaned on the table for support, trying again and again to speak. A twinge of panic wiggled in his stomach. Everything was working just fine a second ago, what happened? The explosion obviously didn't damage my voice, so why- No, no it couldn't be that. You just have to try harder. Try harder, Beaker! Bunsen sat up, frayed wire in hand, only to bang his head against the bottom of the machine. He stood to his feet, rubbing his head with his other hand, then shot an annoyed glance at Beaker, holding out the frayed wire in triumph. His frustration melted away when he saw his assistant's mouth gaping open, then closing rapidly. No sounds appeared. Not even a squeak. "Beaker?" He said, stepping forward, the hand with the incriminating wire dropped by his side. "Beaker, what's wrong?" His larynx couldn't have acquired damage from the explosion, could it? I mean, he's taken worse without any vocal damage, and he was meeping away a moment ago. The panic was rapidly growing as Beaker realized that no matter what he did, not a single sound came out of his mouth. He had been rendered completely mute. Oh no. Oh no oh no ohnoohnoohnoohno. Beaker stepped back away from Bunsen, no longer able to control his fear, the fear of the worst. This happened to Kermit, he told us so about it when Steve finally stepped in and he was able to tell us about it. Why is it happening to me now, unless Richard's- Oh no. Bunsen took a step towards his assistant. "Beaker?" The bald scientist wasn't expecting for Beaker to bolt, running past him and slamming into his shoulder, sending Bunsen tumbling to the floor as Beaker rushed out the door. "Beaker!" Bunsen shouted, scrambling to his feet. "Beaker, I'm sorry! Was it something I said?" He gave chase after the running form ten feet ahead of him in the hallway. "Beaker!"