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World of Disney (featuring The Muppets)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by muppetwriter, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Hey, everyone - it's Sean (a.k.a. "muppetwriter"). It's good to be back on the ol' Muppet Central forum, most particularly the fan fiction forum. I figured I would return to post a brand new original story for you all to read titled World of Disney, which features our lovable Muppets with Disney characters and ones based on personal friends of mine. It's gotten a lot of attention on other forums and even has its own Facebook page (see the link in my sig) with plenty of information on characters and places visited in the story.

    I'll have it up here on this thread soon. Stay tuned. :)
  2. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Prologue – Time Zone: Unknown​


    The clear blue eyes of Joanie Navarro finally snapped open after being closed for some time. Gasping for air, the odor of burning metal plagued her nostrils and forced her to cough out the hints that were already in her lungs. She rolled to her side, draining every bit of it all out. Just from that gesture, she felt a throbbing pain at the side of her head, which undoubtedly came from the “fiasco” that occurred earlier. Something happened earlier that she couldn’t recollect completely, and the condition of the room was clear evidence of that.

    All of the machinery in Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s basement laboratory was destroyed, ravaged in flames and twisted into scraps. The Magic Gateway, his reality-bending/time-swapping invention, was demolished in the process, consumed in fire just like everything else and looked to be melting away. But that seemed impossible to Joanie, as the fire was not intense enough to melt the metal of the machine. Then it hit her – she melted it with her evil magic…to prevent Joanie from going after her, once she banished the others into another unknown dimension.

    I’ve got to get off my butt and save them, she desperately thought. Of course, that was easier said than done, considering the incredible amount of pain she was in. She was doing all that she could just to keep the room from spinning before her very eyes. There was no way that she would be capable of performing any heroic deed at that time.

    And then she heard a familiar moan nearby.

    “Dr. Honeydew?” She said with a hoarse voice. Swallowing hard to clear out all the dryness in her throat, she looked to where she heard the moans come from and gathered all the strength she could to pull herself off the cluttered floor. On the way up, she noticed her horn-rimmed glasses lying on the floor – still intact after all that happened – and retrieved them, placing them right back over her eyes. Almost instantly, her vision became twice as good as when they were off.

    Bunsen and his assistant, Beaker, were scattered around and lying unconscious over certain areas. However, one particular sight sent her into extreme caution: the young African American male lying near the flaming, destroyed equipment. “Oh, no…Sean!”

    She quickly went over to him and pulled him away from the flaming equipment, before checking to see if he was still breathing. Thankfully, he still had a pulse and appeared to be breathing normally. Nearby, Bunsen and Beaker were starting to come out of their unconsciousness and see the damages that were caused to their laboratory. It looked to be beyond repairable, which was a devastating realization for the two Muppet scientists.

    “Oh, dear. Oh, my.” Bunsen said, numbing on his fingers in nervousness.

    Beaker meeped his displeasure as well.

    Realizing that the two regained full consciousness, Joanie glanced back at them briefly while doing her best to keep her focus on Sean. “Guys, Sean’s hurt! I need your help!”

    “Oh, Miss Joanie…look what that terrible woman did to our lab! It will be impossible to get all of this re…”

    “BUNSEN, PLEASE!” Joanie exclaimed with panic and desperation registered within her voice. “He’s my son, man!”

    Snapping out of their moment of mourning, Bunsen and Beaker focused their attention on the young man who was lying on the ground, hurt and unconscious. “O-Of course. There’s a medical kit upstairs that Beakie and I can retrieve for you.”

    Beaker nodded and meeped in approval of Bunsen’s offer for help.

    “That’s good. That’s good.” Joanie remarked. “Please get it for me. I don’t want to leave him here unattended.” She gently lifted his upper body and rested it upon her kneeling form, checking for any signs of cuts under his short, black, curly hair.

    Bunsen nodded and said, “Certainly, Miss Joanie.” Both he and Beaker then climbed up the nearly ravaged wooden staircase that led out of the basement of the Muppet Theater. They crossed the backstage right of the theater, where the med kit box was bolted right against the wall. While getting the necessary medical items out of the box, Beaker meeped a question to his boss. “Why don’t I have this medical kit downstairs in the lab? Well, I hardly ever get hurt during experiments, Beakie. There’s no need for one.”

    Beaker meeped a sigh, putting his face at the palm of his hand and shaking his head slowly – it obviously was not the answer he was hoping for.

    Just as soon as Bunsen and Beaker got all the items they needed to help their friend, a loud roaring sound emerged from within the dressing room in the center of the three at the upstairs landing. The thing that was inside began clawing at the door, trying to get out. The two Muppet scientists trembled at the noises, knowing full well what was inside and daring not to let it out.

    In his fear, Beaker stammered a meep to Bunsen.

    “Of course we can’t let him out, Beaker. Without the Disney Princess from his realm, he is just a wild, untamed beast. And letting him out will not only put us in danger, but every other living being in this time period as well.” While he and his assistant headed back downstairs to the basement again, Beaker meeped an inquiry to Bunsen. “I’m not certain of what particular year we’re in. All of the equipment in the lab was destroyed from the previous ‘incident’. The best way to find out would be to venture into the sublevel of the theater, where we’ve housed the generator for the machine.”

    Beaker meeped a remark to Bunsen’s statement, as the two finally made it back into the wrecked laboratory and gave the medical items to Joanie to help treat the wounds on her son’s head. Watching her flawlessly handle the treatment, Bunsen and Beaker’s thoughts went to what she said a short moment ago – admitting that Sean was her son. Here this young man was, from a totally different time period than his mother’s, and he was practically the same age as her – yet, in recent days, she was acting just like one to him. It was quite uncanny; and in their field, that would be a phenomenal scientific discovery. If there was one positive thing to come from their experiment, it was bringing this mother and her son together.

    “What generator?” Joanie suddenly asked them, wrapping thin gauze around Sean’s wound.

    Bunsen barely realized she asked him a question. “I beg your pardon?”

    “While coming in, you said that there’s a generator for the machine in the sublevel of the theater. What does it do?”

    Bunsen shared a glance with Beaker and responded, “It’s rather complicated, Miss Joanie.”

    She chuckled at his remark. “Dude, this whole experience has been complicated for me. I just want to know what it does. If it means saving the rest of my family – past, present, and future – then I’ll accept whatever weird science you two have got to explain.”

    Bunsen nodded in approval and went to his workbench, which was barely still standing at the center of the room. Reaching into one of the drawers, he pulled out a long, rolled-up sheet of paper and spread it out near Joanie, who tried not to move herself in order to keep Sean’s head leveled. It turned out to have been blueprints to the design of the machine’s generator, which looked very funky to Joanie (and even Bunsen and Beaker themselves – they designed it). It was an 18-story geodesic sphere with over a million different components working together to power up one small machine inside of a basement.

    “This is the Magic Gateway’s generator, Miss Joanie.” Bunsen indicated. “Its entire structure works as a conduit – or battery – for the machine that used to be right over there.” He pointed the contorted hunk of metal standing at the wall. “Fortunately, the generator is still backing up power to another source…a second gateway.”

    It was this point to where Joanie was, as she expected to be, confused. “So…it’s a backup of a backup?”

    “Precisely,” clarified Bunsen, before he pointed to the very center of the sphere, where there appeared to have been a room that was the same size and shape of the basement they were in. “In this room is another Magic Gateway machine that has all of the same functions of the one prior. We can use it to find our friends and your family and bring them back to their respective realms and times.”

    He skipped ahead of all the technical mumbo jumbo and went right to the solution of their problem, which was exactly the way she wanted it to be delivered to her. Lost in her delight from the news, she almost didn’t hear the young man resting on her lap groaning. As if things were looking up already, Sean was regaining consciousness – a great sign to show that he wasn’t seriously injured or worse from the recent encounter. Opening his dark brown eyes, the first person he saw was Joanie, who was smiling at him – although from his upside-down perspective, it looked more like a frown.

    “Something wrong?” he asked her.

    Tears began to form beneath her eyelids as she looked down upon him. “No…nothing’s wrong. Everything’s just perfect, man.”

    His eyes darted from her to the room, seeing how ravaged it appeared. Memories of recent events began to catch up with him, and he realized what happened prior to his unconscious state. “Oh, no! Where is everybody? Where’s Kim? Where’s Meagan? Cici? Kermit? Gonz…”

    Joanie felt him trying to get up, but she quickly settled him down before he could’ve done so. “Shh! Shh! Calm down. It’s okay. We’re going to find them.”

    He shook his head negatively. “It’s all my fault.”

    “No, no. Don’t say that.”

    “It is! Because they wanted to give up on finding your mother – our grandmother – and I just…I couldn’t let it go.”

    Joanie sighed, feeling the opposite way; she felt like it was her fault, not his own. “You were just helping me…which I appreciate more than you know. Seriously, man.” Saying that, she took her right hand and grasped onto his.

    Sean still felt ashamed, but he was relieved to know that his own mother was proud of him regardless. If she knew the type of relationship they had in the past (or, in her case, will have in the future), she would question her role as a mother more than she already had been since they met through Bunsen and Beaker’s experiment. He didn’t want that, especially considering how close they were becoming. What he did want was to get up and stop feeling so useless.

    He made another attempt, which Joanie once again tried to avert. “No, no. Stay down and rest.”

    “No, I’m going to help you all find the others,” he declared, finally getting to his feet while fighting the pain that was throbbing in his head. “I heard you three talking about some sort of second Gateway machine.”

    Joanie groaned in annoyance – he was definitely her son, seeing how hard-headed and determined he appeared to be. She honestly couldn’t blame him, with all that happened earlier. It was such a devastating blow that they couldn’t just sit around and lick their wounds. With a hint of regret, she admitted, “Bunsen says there’s a generator beneath the Muppet Theater that’s powering another machine – one that will help us find everyone who’s missing here.”

    Sean nodded with a hopeful smile. “Great! Then let’s get down there and get to business.”

    “It might be a hard process to get to the generator, Mister Sean.” Bunsen revealed to him.

    “Well, how hard are talking about?” Joanie inquired.

    Beaker meeped a statement to Bunsen that neither Joanie nor Sean could decipher. From the nervous way he delivered it, they knew it couldn’t be good. Bunsen, the only one who could interpret his speech, answered, “It’s the only way to reach it, Beaker. The Initiative never allowed us to have any access to it through the Muppet Theater, because they feared unauthorized personnel would discover its existence.”

    Joanie felt like she and her son were completely being left out of the loop. One Muppet was talking in “meeps,” while the other was talking in plain English, although none of what he said made any sense. “Uh, guys? Hello? Wanna explain to us what the heck you’re talking about?”

    Bunsen hesitated briefly and finally addressed them about it. “Depending upon the time zone we are currently in…we may or may not have to take a submarine to reach the generator.”

    Joanie and Sean’s eyes widened in disbelief at what the Muppet scientist just revealed to them. “It’s underwater? I thought you said it was beneath the theater?” Sean responded.

    “No, no. The generator is underground.” Bunsen clarified. “It’s just…it’s part a system that only DHARMA Initiative members can gain access through.”

    The eyes of Joanie Navarro shut very hard in frustration; this was, of course, accompanied by a deep, disgruntling sigh. Meanwhile, her son was even more perplexed from her reaction. “What? What is the DHARMA Initiative?”

    “A project that consists of a lot of researchers, scientists, inventors…you name it they’ve got it.” Joanie told him. “Bunsen and Beaker registered as members back in 1974.”

    “Some of the research we do for them is here at Muppet Labs.”

    “Including a giant golf ball-looking thing that’s practically housed in one of their stations,” said the irritated Joanie, “which the rest of us have to obtain membership just to gain access to.”

    Hearing about the imagery of the generator’s design, Sean got a sense of déjà vu. He knew he heard such a description before, but couldn’t quite place his finger on it. It wasn’t until his foot came in contact with the blueprints to the generator that he looked down and saw the familiar structure for the first time. With a grin on his face, he knelt down slowly – trying not to bring back the throbbing in his head – to pick it up and gaze at it closely.

    “You mean to tell me that the design for your generator was inspired by Spaceship Earth?” He asked a question that garnered some confused stares from Joanie, Bunsen, and Beaker.

    “Spaceship What?” Joanie asked.

    He showed her the blueprints again, circling his index finger over its structure. “In my time, this is all one big attraction known as Spaceship Earth in Disney’s EPCOT theme park. It’s practically the symbol of the park – something everyone who goes there identifies with.”

    For a moment, he completely forgot that he was conversing with people who were literally from a different time period as him, as they each exchanged wondrous and perplexed glances. In response to his revelation, Bunsen asked a crucial question, “When did this theme park open?”

    Sean, being the Disney expert that he was, thought through his knowledge on the famous company and searched for the exact answer that Bunsen was expecting. Snapping his fingers and closing his eyes, he concentrated hard on it, until he finally discovered the information stored within his mind. “October 1982.”

    Bunsen then appeared deeply lost in thought, which Joanie noticed instantly. It was a look that she was all too familiar with in the years that she lived in the Muppet Theater – his thumb and index finger were rubbing along his chin, as he was looking down towards the floor. Trying not to smile at the sight, she asked, “What’re you thinking, Bunsen?”

    “Hmm? Oh! Well, I’m thinking that if what your son just said is the truth, then I believe we have an alternative to reaching the generator. That is, and I again state for scientific reasons, depending on the time zone we are currently in.”

    Sean shook his head and chuckled at his theory. “Wait, wait, wait! You’re saying that this DHARMA Initiative could’ve somehow transported this gigantic mechanism from underground the Muppet Theater to above ground. That sounds a little implausible, don’t you think?”

    “Not for a project like the DHARMA Initia…”

    “Shh!” Joanie suddenly demanded of the group with an expression on her face that made it seem as if she was focusing on something other than the conversation Sean and Bunsen were having.

    Noticing that expression, Sean curiously asked, “What is it?”

    She glanced up at him in surprise. “You don’t hear that?”

    “Hear what?”

    “The Mickey Mouse March!”

    As if he weren’t confused enough already from all that was happening in the past minutes, this was the most puzzling for Sean, Bunsen, and Beaker. The room was absolutely silent to them; and as far as they were concerned, they were the only four people in the theater after the incident that occurred earlier. Sean knew that he suffered quite a head trauma from it, and he began to wonder if Joanie did as well. There she was, unbeknownst to even herself, humming the tune to the Mickey Mouse Club theme song.

    It then started getting louder and clearer to her, driving her to the point that she got off her knees and headed up the rickety staircase. Greatly concerned about her, Sean followed suit. He chased her through several areas within the Muppet Theater, from Backstage Right to the storage room. Everywhere, except for the particular dressing room where they were holding the beastly creature inside.

    Sean was just about out of breath when he followed her back to the room they started in, stopping near the stage door lobby in the reception area. “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Are you…are you alright?”

    Joanie was out of breath herself, but didn’t care all that much about it. She was on a mission and couldn’t let anything stop her – not even Sean. “That music…it’s bringing back so many memories. I…I can’t exactly explain it. Just…Just trust me, okay?”

    She then bolted out through the stage door, with her son following. However, just as he stood in the doorway, something extremely bizarre happened – she vanished. All that he saw was the back alley, which the sunset was slightly illuminating. It was very odd and confusing; and as much as he gazed around to find her, there was not a single trace of where she went.

    Where did she go?

    But the more appropriate question he should’ve been asking himself…When did she go?


    WORLD OF DISNEY​
  3. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Oh how very Kingdom Hearts-esque! And who dat dude? Sean? That guy who got brainwashed by Krassman? Nah, couldn't be.

    Glad to have you back among the living and Muppety here where we need you.
    BTW: Are you logged on with an account at fanfiction.net also?
  4. Bannanasketch

    Bannanasketch Active Member

    OH MY GOSH! SEAN IS BACK! Haha! I can't wait to read more of your fics! I've actually been reading the ghostbusters one on the disney dreams boards! Man, I am extremely excited that you're back and I can't wait to write the MARVELOUS Muppets and sesame DC soon. :)
  5. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Thanks, Count! And I do have an account on FF.net - my name is RetroWriter2012 on there. ;)
  6. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter One – Time Zone: 1977 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    Jive Talkin’
    You’re telling me lies, yeah
    Jive Talkin’
    You wear a disguise
    Jive Talkin’
    So misunderstood, yeah
    Jive Talkin’
    You just ain’t no good​

    The 1975 song from the Bee Gees practically exploded through the speakers within the new brown Lincoln Versailles owned by Joanie Navarro, as she drove it down the same street where the Muppet Theater was located. In the passenger seat of the vehicle was her old friend, Scooter, who was the resident “gofer” of the Muppet Theater and nephew of the theater owner, J.P. Grosse. He volunteered to accompany Joanie and her cousin, Tracy, to their trip in Africa where they got to know about the culture and people. Joanie even met an African representative of the program named Tomas (which was pronounced similar to “Thomas”) and was instantly enchanted by him, offering a visit to the States whenever possible.

    It was that reason why Joanie was in such a positive mood on the way back to the Theater. After the plane ride home and dropping Tracy off at her home in Tallahassee, Scooter was just about exhausted. But there was Joanie, as happy as she could be, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel to the tune of the Bee Gees. The time was seven o’clock in the evening – just about the right time for Scooter to hit the sack upon his return home.

    “Joanie,” he said through a groggily voice, “Could you possibly turn down the music? I can barely focus keeping my head up.”

    She glanced at him, seeing how exhausted he was, and turned down the music. “Sorry, Scoot. I’m just so…I just can’t express how enlightening that trip was. Africa is such a beautiful place, from the people to the culture to even the land. What was your favorite pa…?”

    A snoring sound filled the Lincoln’s interior, as Scooter finally feel asleep in the passenger seat. Joanie grinned, shaking her head at the tired little gofer. She kept the volume of the eight-track down to a minimum, while heading the rest of the way down to the Muppet Theater. It wasn’t very long when they did arrive at their destination, and she pulled her car into the back alley of the theater, parking it there for the night.

    Joanie took it upon herself to carry the sleeping gofer in her arms while heading through the stage door. In the reception area, she was greeted by the elderly Muppet known as Pops, who worked as the stage doorman at the Muppet Theater. Due to his failing eyesight and poor memory, Pops asked the young brunette in the bright tie-dye t-shirt and bell bottom pants, “Who’re you?”

    “Pops, you remember me. It’s Joanie…Joanie Navarro…the daughter of the Muppet Theater’s background artist, Diana Navarro?”

    Pops appeared to have been drawing a total blank. “Er…you sure that you ain’t that little girl from Little House on the Prairie?”

    “Melissa Gilbert?”

    The old Muppet then glanced down at the guest list, reading all of the names and searching for the one that Joanie uttered. “Nope. Don’t have a ‘Melissa Gilbert’ on here. Gonna hafta make a reservation with the frog, missy.”

    “Pops!” There came the voice of an older woman who approached the area and Joanie and Pops turned to see that it was Joanie’s mother, Diana. She was dressed just as hip as her daughter, wearing a silk white blouse and bell bottom jeans. “Are you givin’ my little girl trouble again?”

    “For the fifth month in a row, he is!” Joanie remarked in aggravation.

    Pops glanced at Joanie again, adjusting his glasses. “Oh, is that you? Heh! Didn’t even recognize ya.” He then glanced at the guest list and confirmed her admission there. “Yep! Right here at the bottom of the list – right beneath Beauregard and Gonzo.”

    Joanie flashed a sarcastic smile. “Gee, thanks.”

    She walked off a little peeved at the absent-mindedness of the elderly Muppet, with her mother following at her side. Diana whispered to her daughter with a smile, “Don’t worry about him. He’s just old.”

    “What was that?” Pops asked.

    “I said that you’re gold, Pops.” Diana fibbed.

    “Thank ya!”

    Mother and daughter laughed on their way through the backstage right area. Diana noticed Scooter being carried in Joanie’s arms, sleeping and snoring away every second. “Aww, is Scooter all tuckered out?”

    “Yeah.” Joanie confirmed. “The trip practically exhausted the poor little fella. Mind taking him into one of the dressing rooms? I’ve gotta talk to Kermit about something.”

    As she took Scooter off her hands (literally), Diana informed her daughter, “Might have to wait a while, ‘cause he and the band are performing on stage right now.”

    “They are?” Joanie remarked, just as she heard the audience in attendance for that night’s performance roar with applause for an onstage act performed by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem band with Kermit the Frog.

    “Yep. They’ve been performing for an hour.” Diana said. “It’s a packed house tonight, too. We hadn’t gotten this many since Raquel Welch popped in last year.” She noticed the look of displeasure on her daughter’s face and asked in concern, “What was it that you wanted to talk with Kermit about?”

    Joanie shook her head and responded, “Nothing that can’t wait ‘til later.”

    Diana stared at her for a brief moment and nodded before going upstairs to the dressing room at the center, carrying Scooter along with her. For a short time, Joanie was left alone backstage, lost in thought, which was evident from the way she was staring off into space. It wasn’t until Kermit’s nephew, Robin, arrived in the room did she snap out of her trance. “Heya, Joanie! Nice seeing you again! How was Africa?”

    “Hey, Robin,” she responded. “It was groovy. Got to see a lot of great stuff, meet a lot of wonderful people, and learn some terms.”

    “Really?” Robin said, genuinely intrigued. “Tell me something in African.”

    Joanie smiled. “Uh, okay…lemme see…” She thought carefully, searching within her mind for that current knowledge she achieved on her trip. Without even realizing it, she spouted out, “Wewe ni zuri frog, Robin.”

    Robin was clearly spellbound from the way she delivered the speech so fluidly. “Wow. What did you say?”

    “I said, ‘You are a beautiful frog, Robin’ in the Swahili language.”

    “And you learned all of that in one week?” Robin asked, and Joanie nodded with a grin. “That’s amazing.”

    “Yeah…it is,” she uttered, not sounding all too impressed.

    Robin could see how depressed she looked and, just like her mother, he asked in concern, “Everything alright?”

    She realized how obviously down she was making herself look to everyone and quickly did her best to cover it up. “Oh, yeah. Of course. I’m just…” She let out a phony yawn. “…I’m just tired. That’s all.”

    Robin shook his head at her. “Joanie, this is me you’re talking to…not Gonzo.”

    Joanie saw no use in getting by the smart little frog – he was definitely Kermit’s nephew, not just from appearance but intelligence as well. So she came out and admitted, “It’s just that I feel so darn useless around here.”

    The tiny frog was surprised to hear that from her. “How do you mean?”

    “I mean that while I was in Africa for that one week, I felt like I was doing something…magical. It was like I belonged there and not here, watching my life pass me by.”

    “You mean that you’re not happy here?” He sounded a little sad as he asked her that question.

    Immediately she comforted him and clarified, “No, no. I love it here. I love you and everyone who I work with. It’s just…” She let out a depressed sigh. “I don’t know what it is I’m looking for in my life. I just wish there were some way I could look ahead in the future and see what kind of destiny lies ahead.”

    Robin could see how distraught she was about this, and it made him feel really bad for her. But when it came to down moments such as this, the little frog was always good at bouncing back to the positive side of things. He cheerfully asked her, in an attempt to change the subject, “Hey, did you check out that cool new space movie that came out last week?”

    Joanie smiled at him, seeing what he was doing and blessing him for his attempt. Although she still felt a little distraught, she put on her best performance (one that the smart little frog couldn’t see through) and made it appear as if it worked to keep him satisfied. “Yeah! I saw it! Had to have been the best sci-fi movie I’ve seen since…well…ever! What about you?”

    Robin shook his head. “Nuh-uh. But Uncle Kermit got me two tickets for a showing tonight.” He showed the pair of tickets to her for a showing close to the time it currently was. “Though I think Uncle Kermit will be too busy to see it with me, on account of tonight’s very special performance.”

    She felt really sorry for him and a little upset with Kermit for forgetting his promise to take him. It seemed like the good host was too busy to take care of anybody nowadays. Without even a second thought, she offered her friend, “C’mon, I’ll go with ya. Got nothin’ else better to do tonight.”

    Needless to say, Robin was quite taken aback from her offer. “W-What about Uncle Kermit?”

    “Eh, I’ll pay him back. I owe him one anyway.”

    Even though he was still unsure about the idea of seeing the movie with his best friend instead of his uncle, Robin graciously accepted her offer, mostly because he couldn’t take another second of his uncle’s inability to provide him with the attention he wanted. So he followed her out through the stage door and into the back alley where the Lincoln was still parked. Joanie opened the passenger door for Robin, allowing him to hop inside. After that, she headed over to her side – the driver’s side – and was about to get in, until she heard Robin point someone out to her.

    “Hey, Joanie, who’s that?”

    She followed his gaze and noticed – at the end of the alleyway near the collection of garbage cans – was a cloaked, shadowy figure. The face was obscured heavily, making it practically impossible for Joanie to make out who (or what) it was. “May I help you?” She asked the figure curiously, as well as cautiously.

    “Huwezi kuzuia kwepeka.” The figure responded with a feminine tone and in Swahili – a language that Joanie had become familiar with, but not as well as she admitted to Robin (the “beautiful frog” compliment she gave was something she had been practicing with during her time in Africa). Although what the woman just told her, and the way it was delivered, almost came clear as a bell.

    Robin looked back and forth between the two women. He heard what the shadowy figure said and did not understand a word. However, aware of Joanie’s recent study of the African language, he asked her, “What did she say?”

    Joanie wanted to answer Robin, but she was too spellbound to utter anything. But it was especially difficult when…

    BOOM!

    Everything practically shook at the loud noise, which came from within the Muppet Theater. Alarmed, Robin hopped out of the Lincoln and dashed back inside. Joanie looked away from the shadowy visitor and followed her gaze on Robin. She called out to him, “Robin! Wait up! I…” Looking back at the end of the alleyway, she was surprised to have seen that the dark figure had vanished without a trace.

    It was a bizarre occurrence to Joanie, and as much as she wanted to spend more time trying to figure it all out, she was too concerned of what happened inside of the Muppet Theater. Yes, of course, an explosion here and there in a chaotic atmosphere such as the one there was no big deal; but it was still better safe than sorry to check to see if everyone was alright. She bolted back inside the theater and ran right into the smoke-filled backstage right area. Coughing and waving her hand in front of her to clear the smoke from her nose and eyes, she realized that Robin had walked right into it and couldn’t see him anywhere.

    “Robin! Where are you?” She called, but there was no response. Remembering that Pops was still in the room when they left, she turned to his desk and saw that he was absent from the scene. The elderly Muppet must’ve high-tailed out of there as soon as he heard the boom. She suddenly realized how the smoke was starting to clear a little, allowing her to see where it was coming from. Apparently the source of the chaos was none other than the basement – or “Muppet Labs,” a more appropriate name for the two characters inhabiting it, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker.

    Joanie headed towards the basement and, upon entering, she was consumed yet again by pillars of smoke. It was hard to see anything while she was down there, and because of this, she had taken careful precaution going down the stairs. She called out to Bunsen, Beaker, and Robin (whom she guessed had to have been down there, as soon as he noticed the smoke seeping out). There was no answer, which led her to believe that something was wrong.

    Then, out of nowhere, Joanie felt her foot connect with something that threw off her equilibrium and caused her to fall forward and let out a large shriek. Joanie didn’t know what part of the basement she had fallen into; but when her body connected to the floor, she was surprised to feel how cold and metallic it was – as opposed to it being warm and cemented. There came a loud noise, like a huge door coming shut, and Joanie got scared.

    Between the smoke and darkness, Joanie had absolutely no idea where she was or how to get out. It wasn’t until a light switched on from overhead when she was given some information on her current location. Apparently, she was standing inside a chamber with vanilla-colored walls, ceiling, and floor. It looked like something out of Star Trek to her, which the giddy, geeky side of her was enjoying more than her terrified, realistic side.

    With the light shining in the room, she could see the door out of the chamber; however, there was no doorknob. It was one of those automatic sliding doors that could only be opened from a computer, which meant that Joanie was in extreme danger of losing air. Panicked, she pounded her fists against its metallic structure, screaming for her mother or anyone else that could hear her. She didn’t know if her voice could be heard from outside the chamber or not; but she at least hoped for a miracle.

    Of course, no miracle happened; but something bizarre did. Joanie started hearing an unusual buzzing sound that accompanied the growing intensity of the light shining over her. It became brighter and brighter, until she was forced to shield her eyes from it. She felt a weird tingling sensation through every section of her body, from her clothes to her skin.

    It was as if she were transforming…but into what exactly?


    END OF CHAPTER ONE​
  7. Bannanasketch

    Bannanasketch Active Member

    All I can say is that this is AWESOME! Action, drama, supense! Oh and bonus points for addding my favorite show ever in there, LOST! Dr. Honeydew and Beaker are part of the DHARMA Initiative? That's amazing! I can't wait to read more of this! Thanks, Sean! :)
  8. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Thank you! It'll actually be nearly a year since I started on this fic. It's been my favorite to work on since, incorporating all my knowledge of Disney and the Muppets into it. Glad to bring it here to Muppet Central. :)
  9. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Two: Realm Zone – 1995 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    Darkness – that was all Joanie could make out after the flash from the chamber. She felt as if she were placed in a completely different one at the moment, only she could not move a muscle in her body or even feel anything. It was a very frightening sensation; she couldn’t tell if she was alive or dead. And as much as she wanted to scream out, she couldn’t feel herself doing that either. What was going on?

    Then her question seemed to have been answered (somewhat), when she heard muffled voices – one was from a young boy (she guessed he was about six years old) and his mother.

    “Andy! I’ve got a surprise for you!”

    “Okay, Mom. Be right down.”

    “Alright! But don’t take too long!”

    A light suddenly emerged before Joanie’s eyes, overshadowing the darkness that had shrouded her. She would’ve shielded her eyes from it, with her hands or eyelids. But she surprisingly found herself unable to. It was also a surprise that her retinas weren’t even affected by it in any way, especially with the absence of her eyeglasses (where were they?). However, the greatest shocker of them all was the gigantic human hand that reached down and grabbed her, pulling her “tiny” body out from what appeared to have been a chest.

    Joanie was suddenly face-to-face with the six-year-old boy named Andy, who she heard from inside the chest. He was quite adorable to her, regardless of the fact that he was ten times bigger than she was. Smiling at her for a second, he set her down upright by the foot of his bed, while he returned his focus to the inside of his toy chest, which had a bit of a cowboy theme on it. As his attention was there, Joanie could see the room she was suddenly in; it was the bedroom of a child, complete with cloud wallpaper that gave the impression of a sky and drawings done in crayon of a cowboy figure hung throughout.

    That’s when Joanie heard a baby cooing and realized that this wasn’t just Andy’s bedroom, but one that he shared with his baby brother or sister as well. She wished that she could turn her head to clarify the gender of the child, but had great difficult trying to do it. Her head was only pointing in one direction, and that was straight ahead to where Andy was pulling out toys from his chest. Watching him perform this activity, it dawned upon Joanie why she had appeared to have lost all motion function in her body – she…was…A TOY!

    How the heck could this have happened to me? Is this some sort of joke? What were Bunsen and Beaker doing in that basement?

    One-by-one, Joanie could see each of Andy’s other toys: a Mr. Potato Head doll, a ceramic piggy bank, a porcelain figurine of Bo Peep, a slinky toy modeled after a dog, a plastic tyrannosaurus rex, and – last but not least – a pull-string cowboy doll. Andy greeted the pull-string cowboy in a way that could only be described as if he was acknowledging a real person. “Rise and shine, Woody! There’s a town that needs saving today!”

    He set Woody down beside the toy chest and commenced in pulling out a few more toys, before he closed the chest shut and gathered all of the other ones (including Joanie) together. Andy carried them over to a row of moving boxes lying on the floor, drawn up in crayon to look like a miniature western town. One of them had an illustration done by Andy himself of Mr. Potato Head on a “wanted” poster taped to it. Joanie could only guess what kind of scene this was going to be, as he placed her and a few other toys together in front of a “bank” box.

    Taking Mr. Potato Head, he held him over in front of the bank with plastic toy guns held in his hands and pointed at Joanie and the other toys. “Alright, everyone! This is a stick-up! Don’t anybody move! Now empty that safe!” He was imitating Mr. Potato Head’s voice in a devilish way, which Joanie admitted had the makings of a talented actor. Andy picked up the piggy bank with his other free hand and emptied out a pile of coins over the floor in front of Mr. Potato Head. “Ooh! Money! Money! Money!”

    Andy brought Bo Peep into the scene and imitated her voice in a high-pitched, feminine tone. “Stop it! Stop it, you mean old potato!”

    “Quiet, Bo Peep…or your sheep get run over!” He had Mr. Potato Head threaten her in such a “violent” way, clearly making him the villain of this performance.

    The porcelain sheep that accompanied the Bo Peep figurine were placed upon the center of a Hot Wheels track loop. “Heeelp! BAAAA! Heeelp us!”

    “Oh, no! Not my sheep! Somebody do something!”

    Andy suddenly brought Woody into the picture, positioning him opposite of Mr. Potato Head and pulling the ring in the center of Woody’s back. An electronic voice then emerged from within the toy that said, “Reach for the sky!”

    “Oh, no! Sheriff Woody!”

    “I’m here to stop you, One-Eyed Bart.”

    Andy pulled out one of Mr. Potato Head’s eyes, giving him the appearance of a one-eyed bandit (like his character). “Doh! How’d you know it was me?”

    “Are you gonna come quietly?”

    “You can’t touch me, Sheriff! I brought my attack dog with a built-in force field!” He placed the “Slinky Dog” in front of Mr. Potato Head and stretched his slinky mid-section out.

    “Well, I brought my dinosaur, who eats force field dogs!” Following that line from Woody, he brought out the plastic T-Rex toy and had him stomp over the Slinky Dog, “defeating” him. “You’re goin’ to jail, Bart!” Picking up Mr. Potato Head, he placed him in the crib of his one-year-old sister, working as a “jail” (even with a crayon-written cardboard sign taped to bars showing that it was). And, as if on cue, Andy’s sister came in and picked him up, sucking on him and pounding the toy repeatedly against the rail of her crib, which resulted in him loosing some parts.

    Caring less how his sister was ruining his toy, Andy put on a cowboy hat of his own and picked up Woody, smiling at his plastic face. “You saved the day again, Woody!”

    Once again, he pulled on his string and Woody responded in his electronic voice, “You’re my favorite deputy!”

    Joanie watched with interest as Andy played with Woody in such a zealous manner that it could only be described as a boy playing with his best friend. It didn’t matter whether that friend was an inanimate object or not; Andy treated him as such, and it really touched Joanie’s heart (that was, if she still had one). She never owned a toy that she loved as much as Andy loved Woody. The playtime was taken outside of the room, leaving Joanie and the other toys to witness the “destruction” of one Mr. Potato Head at the hands of the baby girl.

    While standing in a room that was filled only with the excitable cheers of a baby, Joanie began to wonder just exactly how she got into this mess, becoming a twelve-inch tall toy in a sort-of “cartoonish” type of environment. The only explanation for it could’ve come from that new invention she and everyone else at the Muppet Theater heard Bunsen and Beaker were working on. Not too many details were revealed from the two Muppet scientists about it other than it could only be invented in the basement area. It would appear at that very second that Joanie was getting a firsthand experience of what the invention was capable of doing. The only question that remained was: how on earth were Bunsen and Beaker going to get her out of this?

    After what felt like a long time, Andy and Woody returned to the room, approaching the crib of his baby sister. He tipped Woody’s hat to her and said, “Howdy, Little Lady!” From there, he went to his bed, which had western-themed bed sheets donned over it, and placed Woody onto it. Pulling his string one last time, he made Woody say, “Somebody’s poisoned the waterhole!”

    Walking up to his sister’s crib once again, Andy picked her up and walked out of the room. Before leaving, he gave one parting comment to his favorite toy, “See ya later, Woody.”

    With Andy and his sister’s departure from the room, everything fell completely silent. Joanie always wondered what the life of a toy was like, and she was finding out from just standing there – motionless – in the middle of the play set that Andy made. Needless to say, it was quite boring for her. She already desired to escape from this nightmare and return to reality.

    That was until she heard Woody talking (outside of his voice box) and saw him actually moving (without the aid of Andy) to the side of the bed. He said to Joanie and all of the toys, “Okay, everybody. Coast is clear.”

    And with that, the bedroom suddenly came alive, with toys emerging from the toy box, the closet, the shelves, and in other places and engaging in a flurry of activity. Even Joanie suddenly felt herself coming to life again, moving all of her limbs and her face; but she still couldn’t feel herself doing all of it. She felt so synthetic, like a real toy; and as freaky as it was to her, it was also enlightening in a way. Of course, regaining her movement again, she wondered if she could possibly get some answers as to where she was and how she could get out.

    Before she started walking forward, she was suddenly confronted by the T-Rex toy as he asked her, “Do you think Andy made me scary enough? Be honest, please. Was I scary?”

    Joanie wasn’t entirely sure of how to respond. So she just smiled and told him, “Yeah…you were like Godzilla to us.” She gestured a thumb up and added, “Way to go, Rex.”

    “Oh! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” He took her plastic hand and shook it so feverishly that Joanie almost felt it come off her body…literally. “You don’t know how much that means coming from you, Princess!”

    As he walked off excitedly, Joanie gazed at him in confusion. Did he just call me ‘princess’? She became very intrigued of exactly what kind of toy she became, looking down at herself and seeing how she was wearing some type of white dress that looked very familiar to her. When she started to get an idea, she reached up at her hair and felt the “buns” at the opposite sides of her head. She closed her eyes real tight and thought in despair, Oh, man! I’ve become a Princess Leia doll!

    “Is there something wrong, Princess?” She heard someone address her, and she opened her eyes to see Woody next to her, looking a little concerned.

    “Uh…n-no…everything’s fine.”

    You liar! Everything is NOT fine! You’re a toy for cryin’ out loud!

    Woody seemed a bit relieved. “Well, that’s good. The last thing we need is more bad news.”

    “Bad news?” A voice with a country accent exclaimed, and Woody realized all too late that it came from Slinky Dog, who was passing right by while he was conversing with Joanie.

    All of the toys in the area suddenly fell silent, hearing Slinky’s alarmed voice. Woody then whispered to the toy, “Slink, just gather everyone up for staff meeting and be happy.”

    “Got it,” acknowledged Slinky, who began shuffling off, much to Woody’s chagrin.

    “Be happy!” Woody demanded, and Slinky faked happiness as hard as he could, even going as far as laughing hysterically.

    Panic began to come over Joanie, and she was heavily anxious to get out from wherever she was, worried about her mother and friends. She must’ve been pretty worried as she even heard Robin’s voice addressing her. “Joanie! Joanie!”

    However, it was not her imagination. Robin was actually there, standing somewhere very close. She turned her head and noticed him caught under the lid of the toy box. “Robin?” Excited and surprised to see him all at once, she quickly went to his aid and lifted the lid off his body, allowing him to clear from the box and join everyone in the “outside world.” Joanie noticed that he was wearing his “Frog Scout” uniform and had a very action figure-like appearance. “You poor thing. Are you okay?”

    “I am now that you’d rescued me,” he said, before gazing around at the bizarre scene in front of him. “Joanie, where are we? Is this some sort of dream?”

    Joanie shrugged and said, “I don’t know. But it’s got to be some result of Bunsen’s newest invention. One minute, I was trapped in some sort of chamber, and then the next…I’m in some weird remake of Babes in Toyland.”

    Robin looked up and down at her in confusion. “Nice costume. Who’re you supposed to be?”

    “A character from that space movie you and I were going to see before all of this happened,” she answered with a sigh, before noticing the way he was dressed. “What about you? How come you’re in your Frog Scout uniform?”

    The tiny frog shook his head and remarked, “I’m not sure. The last thing I thought about when I was trapped inside the chamber myself was the day Uncle Kermit and I went on that Frog Scout excursion a year ago. It was the only thing that kept me calm before I ended up here.”

    Listening to him, Joanie realized the same thing happened with her, only she thought about seeing that sci-fi space flick for the first time recently. She enlightened her friend with a scientific theory, “The invention must’ve recognized our thoughts and decided on what type of beings we would become in this…place.”

    Joanie and Robin gazed around at the area in awe and confusion, still wondering where they possibly were. Was it really some sort of dream? Or was it some type of simulation? If it was indeed the latter, then it certainly felt beyond realistic to them. Nothing in science could ever create whatever this place was – unless it came from Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker.

    “Come on, you two.” They heard Slinky address them and looked down to see him gesturing for them to follow him. “We’ve got a staff meeting to attend.”

    Robin and Joanie exchanged a puzzled glance and then followed Slinky to where all the other toys were gathered. Woody was standing by some sort of makeshift podium, while a toy tape recorder waddled its way up and allowed him to take its microphone. “Hello? Check? Better? Great! Okay, first item today…Has everyone picked a moving buddy?”

    The toys all moaned from his inquiry, whereas the confused little Robin turned to Joanie and asked, “We’re moving? To where?”

    Joanie wanted to provide an answer for him to calm his nerves; but all she could do was politely shush him, expecting their answer to come in the conversation happening before them. “Moving buddy?” The ceramic piggy bank (appropriately known as “Hamm”) said from atop a drawer. “You can’t be serious!”

    “Well, I didn’t know we were supposed to have one already.” Rex said, sounding just as concerned as Robin.

    Mr. Potato Head, who put himself back together after his “attack” from Andy’s sister, waved his arm out of its socket. “Do we have to hold hands?” This, of course, got quite a humorous reaction from the other toys (with the obvious exception of Joanie, Robin, and Woody).

    “Oh, yeah, you guys think this is a big joke,” said the disgusted Woody. “We’ve only got one week left before the move. I don’t want any toys left behind.”

    Robin couldn’t take much more of the confusion and spoke out to the pull-string cowboy doll. “Where are we moving to?” All glances suddenly focused directly on Robin, much of them displayed odd reactions.

    Woody shook his head in aggravation at his question. “Oh, come on. Please don’t do this to me, guys. Ya gotta keep up with me on this stuff. You think it’s any easier for me, especially with Andy’s birthday moved to today?”

    The toys suddenly panicked at this news, moving their stares away from Robin and back on Woody. “What’s going on down there? Is Mom losing her marbles?” Hamm questioned.

    “Well, obviously she wanted to have the party before the move.” Woody indicated.

    Robin’s confusion seemed to have grown each second of the discussion. “I don’t get it. Why’s everyone so afraid of a birthday party? Aren’t they supposed to be fun?”

    The toys glanced oddly at the tiny frog again, and it was even Mr. Potato Head who voiced his irritation over all of his ridiculous questions. “Geez Louise! Where the heck has this kid been for the past century?”

    “I’d say he’s been cooped up at the bottom of the toy box for too long.” Hamm uttered, creating uproar of laughter from the other toys.

    Joanie, taking offense to how they were all laughing at the poor confused Robin, stepped forward and addressed them. “Okay, that’s enough! Yeah, he’s a little behind on what’s going on – but it’s for good reason.”

    “You mean he has been cooped up at the bottom of the box all this time?” Rex inquired, inadvertently creating yet another upheaval of laughter amongst everyone.

    Woody became aggravated over how the subject seemed to have veered off-course, as well as how his friends were picking on the smaller toy. Immediately, he took command of the situation and told everyone, “Alright! Like Princess said, enough’s enough! The little guy is just worried about his future, okay? I mean, yeah, there are some of us who aren’t thinking straight on this. But that doesn’t mean we’re just going to insult each other for it. We just have to relax and know that everything is going to be just fine. How different can this be from every other birthday we’ve been through?”

    “Uh, pardon me. I hate to break up the staff meeting, but…THEY’RE HERE!” Hamm frantically informed. “Birthday guests at three o’clock!”

    At this update, the toys panicked and stampeded over Woody, heading toward the bedroom window, leaving him alone on the floor with Joanie and Robin. While they were crowded around the window and trying to get a peek outside, Joanie pulled Robin aside and hid under Andy’s bed as Woody wasn’t looking. She whispered to her little friend, “Look, Robin, we’ve got to get out of here. I’m certain we’ve just been transported away from the Muppet Theater, hopefully a few blocks or so. If we leave now, maybe we can get back before sunset and have Bunsen and Beaker switch us back to our normal selves.”

    “But, Joanie, I don’t think…”

    She didn’t give him much time to say what he wanted to, as she took his hand and pulled him out from under the bed along with herself, exiting out the other side. Woody and the other toys were distracted with whatever was happening outside, giving them the perfect opportunity for escape. They dashed through the open doorway leading out of the bedroom, moving into the upstairs hallway. Before going any further, Joanie looked around to check and see if the coast was clear. She wasn’t certain of why she did it, because she couldn’t care less if they were spotted by anyone; but it seemed important to her nonetheless.

    Once she realized that it was, she led Robin down the staircase (which looked like a series of cliffs to Joanie and Robin) and moved to the downstairs hallway. Seeing the front door straight ahead, Joanie was thrilled to discover that she and Robin were only a hop and a skip away from freedom. But before either of them could move towards it, they both suddenly froze in place, just as Andy’s mother passed through, rounding up Andy and all of his birthday guests.

    “Okay, c’mon, kids! Everyone in the living room. It’s almost time for presents.” And as she passed through, she spotted Joanie and Robin at the foot of the stairs and glanced at them in confusion. “What on earth…?” She sighed, picking the two of them up and setting them down atop a shelf in the living room. “I’m gonna have to remind him to pick these things up, or else I’ll have to…”

    While she walked off and continued murmuring to herself in frustration, Joanie and Robin unfroze, surprised to have discovered what just happened to them. “How did that happen?” Robin exclaimed.

    “You’ve got me…I was just about ready to bolt through the front door, before my whole body just shut down.” Joanie glanced down over the edge and saw how far down it was from the top of the shelf. She groaned at the height, which would’ve taken several minutes for two small figures like them to get down. “Alright. So attempt number one has been foiled, but I’m sure attempt number two will turn out better. C’mon, Rob…” She stopped and noticed the amazed look on her friend’s face. “What? What is it?”

    Robin pointed straight ahead to the pile of brightly wrapped gifts sitting atop the living room coffee table. “Look at all those wonderful presents! This Andy kid must be the luckiest one on the planet!”

    Joanie shook her head and grinned. “Don’t get distracted, little buddy. We’ve got to boogie, before…” The sound of kids laughing and running into the living room stopped her cold, and both she and Robin remained where they were, as Andy, his mother, and the guests showed up in the room. Again, Joanie groaned – another attempt foiled. “Perfect!”

    “Relax, Joanie.” Robin said. “At least we get to see what all he got.”


    END OF CHAPTER TWO​
  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Ha... Toy Story... Disney's attempt at bringing The Christmas Toy and Secret Life of Toys into their own self-controlled universe. And to think, that was Pixar's first venture, grabbing something Jim Henson had already done nine years before.
    You mentioned Babes in Toyland as a crack by Joanie... And yet, that movie isn't rully a fair comparison to use against Toy Story. The version of Babes in Toyland I fondly remember and would sooo love to watch again is the one with Annette Funicello as Mary Mary Quite Contrary and Tommy Kirk as Tom Tom, the Piper's Son.
    Robin in his Frog Scout uniform? Okay, that's the first temporal disruption sign. FS Robin wasn't released until S7, and that was in 2004. Still, better you included Robin in his Frog Scout uniform as that's the version that actually has articulated joints to allow him movement. The normal/signature version of Robin was just a solid sculpted figure that was released with Rainbow Connection Kermit and could be considered as S10 in the range of singularly-released exclusives in 2005.
    Also, the whole fact that Joanie and Robin have been turned from living beings into toys is similar to this Power Rangers story over on fanfiction.net called Not Just Action Figures I'm plugged into. Find it and take a read if you're interested.

    Thanks for the update, eagerly awaiting more.
  11. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Oh, how I've missed your logic correction, Ed. ;)

    Well, in fairness to Joanie, she is from 1977 and has a very limited knowledge of cinema, especially films she had yet to see like Toy Story. :)
  12. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Three: Time Zone – 1977 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    The explosion practically shook the entire Muppet Theater, alarming not just the performers onstage and the people in the audience, but Diana Navarro as well. She was just putting Scooter to bed when she heard and felt the loud boom that erupted downstairs. Normally when something like that occurred, it was no huge deal – explosions happen in the Muppet Theater once every ten seconds, especially with Crazy Harry around. But that particular one sounded very violent, concerning Diana to the point that she worried if Joanie had been caught in it.

    Hurriedly, she made her way downstairs and passed through the heavy smoke that had seeped out from the basement. Just as she was standing in the center of the backstage area, waving her hand in front of her face to clear the smoke from her mouth and nostrils, Kermit frantically walked in. “WHAT THE HECK’S GOING ON HERE?”

    Diana coughed and answered, “I don’t know. But I bet it’s coming from Muppet Labs.”

    “Of course.” Kermit remarked in a nonchalant manner. “Where else?”

    The two of them then headed that way, covering their mouths and noses with their hands in protection from the smoke. Walking carefully and cautiously in, they soon discovered the smoke was just as horrid inside the basement as it was outside. They could barely make out anything between the heavy smoke and dim lighting. It was not until a bright light emerged from within the haze that they were suddenly guided safely further into the room.

    Two familiar figures emerged from the light – one short and pudgy, the other slightly taller and lanky. Once the short, pudgy one began talking, Kermit and Diana knew instantly who they were. “I do believe that was the best experience we have ever had through an invention, Beaker. To think, in thirty-two years, Disney will have its first African American princess at the same time America will have its first African American president. Quite a revelation.”

    Beaker meeped in agreement with that statement.

    Squinting through the smoke, Diana and Kermit could see that it was Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker, walking out of what appeared to have been some sort of heavily lit chamber. The light inside of it soon dimmed after they exited out, without any interference from either of the two Muppet scientists. It was like nothing Diana or Kermit had ever seen before. And neither was the metal arch build over the chamber entranceway that was glittering like a starry sky in a rainbow of colors. The sight of it was beautiful and eerie at the same time.

    While the smoke began clearing a little more, Diana and Kermit could make out an array of supercomputers surrounding the arch and the chamber, taking up practically all of the wall space in the basement. At the center of the room was a workbench that had an Apple II series computer sitting on it, connected to each and every supercomputer in the room. Neither of them was certain what it was for – to open the chamber with, monitor whatever they were doing in there, or something else entirely – but it looked fancy enough for whatever experiment they had been conducting. After coming out from the chamber, they went straight to the computer and Bunsen sat down in front of it. He was just about to press a button labeled “EXECUTE” on the keyboard, until the voice of Kermit interrupted him.

    “Bunsen, what is going on down here?”

    Bunsen and Beaker nearly jumped from their skins at the unexpected sound of the frog’s voice. Bunsen quickly spun around in his chair and looked directly to him and Diana, stammering a response. “M-M-Mister K-K-Kermit! W-What a s-s-surprise!”

    “Not as big as the surprise you gave the rest of the theater.” Kermit remarked. “The whole building just shook like an earthquake just passed through.”

    “Yeah, and I might not be a seismologist, but I doubt we get very many of those here in Florida.” Diana indicated.

    Bunsen began to numb on his fingers nervously. “Oh, my. Beakie and I are very sorry. We didn’t expect for discharge to be that extreme.”

    “Discharge?” Kermit repeated the term that stood out from the rest of the sentence.

    “What on earth are you guys working on?” Diana asked.

    Beaker meeped a cautious question to Bunsen.

    “No, no. It’s fine. I am sure we can trust them with this information.” Bunsen refocused on Diana and Kermit, stepping away from the computer and motioning to the arch and chamber. “This is our newest invention – The Magic Gateway. It tears into the fabric of space and time, opening entrances into other dimensions. However, we have programmed it to access only one…the World of Disney.”

    Kermit and Diana exchanged a look of disorientation from what the Muppet scientist just unveiled to them. Some of it made sense at the same time none of it did. “Are you telling us that you two built a machine that allows someone to go into a world based on…what? Disney cartoons? Disney movies?” Kermit inquired.

    “Both! Oh…er…mostly Disney Animation.” Bunsen stated. “Beakie and I just visited one not very long ago. Look what we brought with us.” They showed Diana and Kermit the bead necklaces worn around their necks, which looked as if they came right out of New Orleans.

    Diana walked up and examined the necklaces, taking them into her hands and feeling how real they were. “Where did you get these?”

    “The computer found access to a realm based on a future Disney film called The Princess and the Frog.” Bunsen excitedly said. “We went there and experienced one of the most wonderful parades we’ve ever seen. It was for a prince named Naveen, I believe.”

    Diana shook her head at the unbelievable discovery. “Wow. Sounds like you boys have really hit the jackpot on this invention. Could really make a fortune out of…”

    “No! Most certainly not!” Bunsen snapped, surprising Diana and Kermit with his hasty tone. Calming himself down, he stated, “I apologize. But the Magic Gateway is a ‘for our eyes only’ invention. The both of you are not supposed to be seeing it right now. It’s extremely classified.”

    Kermit chuckled. “Bunsen, with all due respect, nothing is ever a secret within Muppet Labs. Just about every day, you and Beaker…”

    “I’m afraid this is beyond Muppet Labs, Kermit.” Bunsen informed. “All that you see here now is for a much larger scientific group known as the DHARMA Initiative.”

    “The DHARMA Initiative?” Diana remarked in surprise. “Sounds pretty heavy for a couple of small fries like yourselves.”

    Bunsen nodded with her sentiment. “Beaker and I have been members since 1974, when they were recruiting for the most intelligent individuals around the world. They offered us to set up all of the equipment you see here in the basement on an island somewhere east of Fiji, where most of the DHARMA members are now. But we suggested that all tests would be closer to home, in the event that a discovery – like the one just now – was made.”

    “And they actually trusted something this remarkable to two Muppets?” Kermit asked, finding the notion a little difficult to believe.

    “You would be surprised whom DHARMA will accept, Kermit. Even the most brilliant of minds are found in the most unexpected of places.”

    “Yeah, like the basement of a theater.” Kermit scoffed.

    Bunsen suddenly felt his assistant hysterically tapping him on the shoulder and letting out a string of meeps that were just the same. When Bunsen turned to see what he wanted, he noticed him pointing to the computer screen, which was still displaying the huge chunk of information that he had yet to “execute” into the supercomputers. At first Bunsen was puzzled over what Beaker wanted him to see; but then he saw it for himself and became just as alarmed.

    “Oh, dear me!” Bunsen exclaimed.

    “What? What’s wrong?” Diana asked, glancing at the computer screen with Kermit at her side and doing the same.

    “It seems as if two other subjects from here in the real world have entered through the Gateway, according to the readouts.” Bunsen indicated. “Discharge occurred just a few minutes before Beaker and I returned. Whoever went through is now within eighteen years between our realm and the Disney one they’re in.”

    Hearing this, Diana and Kermit suddenly realized that Joanie and Robin were nowhere to be seen at the moment. That could only give them the conclusion that the “two subjects” Bunsen was referring to had to have been them. Realizing this, they turned to each other and saw the shocked looks on their faces. Diana urgently told Bunsen, “You have to get them out of there.”

    “I most certainly intend on doing so, Miss Diana,” declared Bunsen, “as soon as Beaker and I have the computer pinpoint the realm that they are in.” While the Muppet scientist was typing on the computer, Beaker went to one of the supercomputers and began turning knobs and flipping switches. “The system should let us know of the two possible realms in existent in 1995, limiting it down to the one that our ‘subjects’ are in.”

    Kermit began to take offense to how Bunsen was referring to Joanie and Robin. “They’re not just subjects! That’s my nephew and her daughter you have trapped in your ‘World of Disney’!”

    Bunsen glanced at Kermit with horror registered on his face. “Oh…well, um…that certainly makes a difference.”

    That statement peaked Diana’s interest. “How so?”

    “Beaker can have the computer search for descriptions that match Robin’s and Miss Joanie’s. From there, we can eliminate several minutes of search time and find them instantaneously.”

    Beaker meeped in approval of the idea and hurried over to another supercomputer, entering the data that Bunsen referred to into it. After doing so, right before Bunsen’s eyes (if he had any there on his face), some text immediately popped up on the computer screen, giving him the information he required. Diana saw it herself, noticing how encrypted it appeared to her eyes and Kermit’s, and asked, “Does that mean you’ve found them?”

    Bunsen nodded with a smile. “Most certainly.” He typed some information through the keyboard. “All I have to do now is enter a request for retrieval and…” Once he pressed the “execute” button, a series of odd events suddenly occurred.

    First, the lights in the room got very dim. Second, the room itself began vibrating heavily – as if another tremor was starting. Third, the arch over the chamber went from a sparkling rainbow of colors to an intense white glow that forced everyone to shield their eyes from it. At the same time, the inside of the chamber itself let off a white glow while the sound of electrical energy sparkling could be detected. Lastly, there came a loud boom and the basement and much of everything else shook violently, much like it had before.

    After the chaos had passed, the chamber door opened, unleashing a wave of clear smoke that seeped towards Diana, Kermit, Bunsen, and Beaker. As they performed a waving motion to clear it from their faces, they looked through it to see two brand new figures slowly stumble out from the chamber, coughing out the hints of smoke they had breathed in. Once it all cleared out of the room, the group could finally see that it was Joanie and Robin themselves who exited the chamber. The moment they saw them, Diana and Kermit ran their way and gave them each an enormous hug.

    “Oh, thank goodness you’re alright!” Diana told her daughter.

    “I couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened if we lost you!” Kermit said to his nephew.

    Joanie and Robin were just as relieved as they were to be back. But the tight hugs their loved ones were giving them that moment had started to cut off their breathing, which was bad enough with the smoke still in their lungs. “Mom, could you…please…not…squish me?”

    Obeying her daughter’s request, Diana let her go, just as Kermit had done so with Robin. “You wouldn’t believe what we just saw!” The tiny frog exclaimed. “We were toys…action figures…a child’s playthings!”

    “And you are a sad, strange little man, Bunsen Honeydew!” Joanie angrily belittled. “Whatever this is you built is a serious menace to society! Poor little Robin and I got the scare of our lives where we were just now!”

    Robin seemed to have thought differently. “Well, uh…actually, Joanie…”

    But the young woman seemed too furious to listen to her little friend. “Why would you create something so…so…bizarre? No, no. Don’t answer that. There is always a reason for a Muppet doing something bizarre. But this…this…thing you made…”

    “Uh, Joanie?” Robin suddenly beckoned.

    “…I just can’t begin to describe what a huge nightmare…”

    “Joanie?”

    “…it was to be a small…”

    “Joanie?”

    “…lifeless…”

    “Joanie?”

    “…unfeeling…”

    “Joanie?”

    “…TOY!”

    “JOANIE!”

    She spun around to see what it was that Robin was trying to direct her attention to, and she spotted him pointing directly to the chamber. In fact, everyone’s attention – except for hers – was directed to the chamber, which was still open and heavily lit inside. As soon as she focused on it herself, her clear blue eyes widened in shock to see what she believed had to have been the strangest thing ever. There, standing in the chamber, was a blue-eyed, 43-year-old man in a high-tech space suit with a control panel on the chest (complete with a large red button), a retractable helmet over his head, and other gadgets through his white, green, and purple outfit. At the moment everyone saw him, he was standing heroically at the center of the chamber.

    Just above the large red button on his chest panel was a label that had the name “Lightyear” printed on it. Realizing exactly what she was seeing, Joanie’s mouth gaped open in surprise and said, “You have got to be kidding me!”


    END OF CHAPTER THREE​
  13. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Four: Time Zone – 2010 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    A dark blue 2009 Ford Explorer zoomed down S. Apopka Vineland Rd. at breakneck speed, heading in the direction of Prestigious Villas, a neighborhood of beautiful vacation homes in the Orlando, Florida area. Sean Thomas, the driver of the Explorer, could’ve cared less if he was pulled over by any patrol officers keeping track of his speed, which was reading as “88mph” on the speedometer. On the other hand, the Explorer’s passengers – Sean’s sisters (Kimberly, Ciciley, and Meagan) and their friends from their job at KMUP (Pepe the King Prawn, Rizzo the Rat, Bobo the Bear, Clifford, and Bean Bunny) – were very worried about the incredible speed they were going in. They knew it was an emergency, but he seemed to have been taking it a bit too far.

    Meagan, who was sitting in the front seat, begged to her brother, “Sean! Dude! Wanna slow it down before we end up dead?”

    “Don’t say that! You don’t know for a fact she’s dead!”

    The speed of the vehicle seemed to have increased along with his frustration, alarming everyone even further.

    “Meagan, do us all a favor and shut up!” Kimberly snapped, before she calmly put a hand on Sean’s shoulder and said, “Hey, my brother. Just stay cool, alright? I’m sure Mama’s okay.”

    “Yeah, man.” Clifford affirmed with Kimberly’s statement. “She wouldn’t have called if she weren’t okay.”

    Sean chuckled sarcastically (if not a little nervously). “Do you guys know how rare it is when women suffer a heart attack and live?”

    “Do you?” Ciciley inquired.

    “No! That’s why I’m asking, so one of you can calm me down!” Sean retorted. “You think that I want to be this panicked on my vacation?”

    Before anyone in the Explorer could answer the rhetorical question, Sean made a hard left into Bristol Park Drive, turning right into the location of Prestigious Villas. They came upon Wittenwood Cove and found their mother’s villa in the community of Windsor Hills Reserve. It was a gorgeous home painted in a vanilla color with a bright red, tiled rooftop and a lusciously green lawn and garden. The sight of it should have given a soothing feel for anyone who stopped before it; but for Sean Thomas, his sisters, and their friends, they were anything but somber. As soon as the Explorer pulled into the driveway, everyone immediately clambered out of the vehicle and up to the front door.

    Knowing the front door would be locked, Sean did not hesitate in kicking it in to allow him and the others to rush right in. However, once they made their way into the lounge room, they were met with a disquieting sight: their mother, Joan Navarro Thomas, sitting down comfortably on the couch and watching Beauty and the Beast. She was not lying lifelessly on the floor as they all imagined her to be, after being told by the services at the Bay Lake Tower Hotel that she suffered a “severe heart attack.” No woman in such a condition would be sitting in her home with a collection of delicious snacks (from M&M’s to Doritos chips) before her and watching a Disney flick. It was confusing enough to cause the elderly redhead’s son and daughters, as well as their friends, to stare in total disbelief.

    As soon as she noticed their presence in her home, she turned to them and smiled. “So wonderful to see you all made it here so quickly. It truly shows just how much you care for your old mother.” She reached forward and grabbed the glass bowl of M&M’s from the coffee table, offering it to her visitors. “Care to join me? The movie’s just started.”

    ****************​

    Only splashing cool water onto his face in the upstairs guest bathroom could keep Sean from exploding in extreme anger right in front of his mother. It was not the first time she pulled such a stunt while he, his sisters, and their friends were vacationing in Florida; every time they did, she would find some “emergency” (or lame excuse) to bring them out of their good time. The first time it was cute, the second time was a little more serious, the third was even amusing in some ways, the fourth was annoying, and the fifth (and most recent) time nearly got her arrested. But that time – when a vacation was desperately needed during their busiest time at KMUP – reached a boiling point that had to be restrained, much like all the other times.

    “Mind if I have some of that?”

    Looking up from the sink that he held his head over, he saw his equally frustrated oldest sister, Kimberly, standing there. He obliged to her request by cupping his hands beneath the stream of cold water flowing from the faucet and hurling it directly into her face. She shut her eyes tight while the water came in contact with her face, generating a small but effective splash, and nodded in approval to her brother. They both snatched some towels from off a nearby shelf to dry their faces with.

    Slightly calmed, Sean asked his sister, “Why does she do this every time? I mean she can’t be that lonely here, can she?”

    Kimberly shook her head. “I don’t know. Daddy’s passing was only a couple of years ago. It takes a little longer for some people to grieve.”

    “I understand that, but…we’re on vacation! Tracy’s probably wondering why we haven’t made it to M.K. yet.”

    “Ah, Tracy will be fine. You know how she always loves being ahead of everyone else when it comes to fun at Disney World.” Kim let out a deep sigh of disappointment. “But how nice it would’ve been to be the first in line to Space Mountain.” Sean put his arm around his big sister in comfort, which brought out a small smile from her face.

    While the two siblings grieved over the loss of their fun time, Pepe, Clifford, and Rizzo suddenly appeared in the doorway of the bathroom with their hands over their eyes. Rizzo even inquired, “Is da close clear?”

    “Sí, we are not interested in seeing the ‘Full Monty’, okay.” Pepe added.

    Kimberly shook her head at the three. “We only came in here to cool off, you sickos.” She hurled her towel at the head of Pepe, who was caught by surprise when it hit his head.

    Rizzo uncovered his eyes and sighed. “It’s hard ta keepin’ things G-rated in real life when yer a Muppet, ya know.”

    “Well, another second with our mother and it probably wouldn’t have been so G-rated.” Sean grumbled. “What’s she doing now anyway?”

    “Downstairs, watching the movie with Cici, Megs, Bobo, and Bean.” Clifford informed.

    Sean began walking out from the bathroom, shutting off the light and passing the Muppets on his way out. “Well, c’mon. We’re not staying here another minute. We’ve got a vacation to get back to.”

    Kimberly and the three Muppets followed him back downstairs to the lounge room where Joan and the others were sitting, eating snacks, and watching Beauty and the Beast. They were currently on the scene in which Belle found out her father had been taken captive by “The Beast” and went to the castle to find him. However, Joan spent more time strolling down memory lane with her two youngest daughters than watching the film. She even told Meagan upon Sean and Kim’s arrival in the room, “You were just three months old when we first saw this. You cried so many times during the ‘Gaston’ song that I had to take you out and wait until you calmed down. We didn’t come back ‘til after the ballroom scene.”

    Ciciley and Meagan looked as if they were trying their best not to fall asleep between the movie and their mother’s reminiscing – the M&M’s were their best way of keeping them awake. Bobo was already asleep from eating so much of the snacks on the coffee table. The only one who seemed intrigued by the stories Joan was telling was Bean, who found all of them cute and entertaining. On the one she just finished telling, he chuckled and said, “Really wish I could’ve been there to see that. I bet Meagan was the cutest baby ever.”

    “Yeah, let’s all do me a favor and never speak of it again, cool?” Meagan said before stuffing a handful of M&M’s into her mouth.

    “Try not to eat so many of those, sweetie,” Joan told her daughter. “You remember what the dentist said about your cavities.”

    Meagan bit her tongue and put on her best (and fakest) smile when saying to her mother in a stiff tone, “Thanks for reminding me, Mama.”

    Approaching the group, Sean did not hold back in telling his mother directly, “We’re leaving now, Mama. And we’re not coming back…ever again.” He knew it sounded a little strict; but what she had done to them that day was unforgivable. The sixth time it had happened and it was getting on everyone’s nerves.

    But Joan did not seem to hear a word her son just told her, as she giddily requested of him, “Sean, sit down. There’s something I want to show you and everybody else.” She got up from the couch and went to her collection of VHS tapes on the shelf next to her flat-screen television set, scanning through each and every one of them.

    Sean rolled his eyes in disgust, turning to Kim and wondering what to do. She just shrugged and silently suggested they do as their mother requested, gesturing to the available sitting areas in the room. Kim, Clifford, Pepe, and Rizzo sat on the couch with Ciciley, Meagan, and Bean, while Sean took position on a reclining chair across from the one that Bobo was sitting (and sleeping) in. As he sat down, Sean glanced to his mother and saw her take out an incredibly old videotape in an equally ancient plastic case. Everyone took heavy notice in the fact that all she had in her entertainment collection was VHS tapes.

    “Mama, don’t you ever keep up with the times?” Ciciley asked. “Don’t you have any Blu-rays or DVDs?”

    “Yeah, you’re missing all of the new stuff that’s out.” Meagan added.

    A grin emerged from Joan’s aged face. “I feel like I’ve already seen them all.” She went to her classic VHS player, ejected the Beauty and the Beast video, and inserted the “new” video into the old-fashioned machine.

    The video instantly began playing itself onto the flat-screened television set. Translucent lines ran all across the screen, showing the videotape’s true age and looking very odd on a television set that promised an “HD quality” picture. After a few seconds of blackness, the words “The Dharma Initiative – Unknown Orientation” filled the screen. It then faded into the image of a bizarre, octagonal-shaped insignia with the “D” from Walt Disney’s signature last name at the center of it.

    Confusion registered on the faces of everyone in the room with the notable exception of Joan herself. For as long as they had known her, everyone knew that Joan was the biggest Disney fanatic in the Thomas family. Practically every day, she lived, ate, and breathe anything related to Disney more than her late-husband or children did. And now, for the first time ever, she was revealing something to her family and friends that was totally non-Disney.

    “What the heck is this?” Kimberly asked her; but all she received was a quick “shush” from her mother.

    A middle-aged Asian man wearing a turtleneck sweater and jacket then appeared on the screen, addressing the camera directly. “Hello. I am Doctor Pierre Chang. What you are watching at this moment is a ‘For Your Eyes Only’ orientation video for a secret project of the DHARMA Initiative. Station Zero, or ‘Project Dee,’ is the examination station where tests will be conducted for the discovery of trans-dimensional expedition.”

    The image then changed to two familiar figures, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, standing by an old Apple computer in a room filled with supercomputers and a strange door. “We have hired two of our best scientists in handling the extensive research that could possibly take months to uncover. Here, in the location that cannot be specified in this video, they will analyze any data that comes through the computers housed in this room, directly from the machine that has been codenamed ‘The Magic Gateway’. Heavy caution has been taken in examining the form of matter contained beneath this location that can only be described as an extreme equivalent to a black hole. Any miscalculation can lead to an ‘event horizon’ effect that could very well result in…” The video skipped in the end of Chang’s sentence, leaving the last half inaudible.

    Dr. Chang returned back to the screen with a look of seriousness that never seemed to have left his face. “This is the one project of the DHARMA Initiative that matters most in the discovery of new, innovative ways to prepare members for the…” Again the video skipped and left an absence in middle of his sentence. “…an event that will undoubtedly be the greatest experience of our future history. On behalf of the DeGroots, Alvar Hanso, and all of us at the DHARMA Initiative, thank you, Namaste, and…good luck.” The video concluded with corporate text for a business known as “The Hanso Foundation” and the copyrighted year of 1977 before fading to black.

    The room grew very quiet after the viewing of the video. Joan saw how her children and their friends were trapped in a perplexed state of mind for at least a few minutes before Sean finally asked her, “What was the purpose of that?”

    Joan seemed very hesitant for a moment, coiling a lock of her red hair with one finger and biting her lower lip. She eventually came out and asked, “I’ve never told you all what happened to my mother – your grandmother – haven’t I?”

    Kim thought back to her childhood when the subject of her grandmother, Diana Navarro, came up rarely in conversation. “You’ve always told us that she died when you were just 22 years old…natural causes, I think you said.”

    Joan nodded. “I lied.” This inspired more confusion amongst the group. “I haven’t known whether she’s been alive or dead in the past 33 years of my life.”

    “How could you not be sure if our grandmother is alive or dead?” Sean inquired.

    “Because she’s been missing since 1977.” Joan answered, just as she ejected the videotape from the player, placed it back into its case, and tried to hand it over to Sean. “Believe it or not, I have strong feelings that this is the key to finding her. The first time I watched it, the part about the ‘event horizon’ totally went over my head – I’m not a quantum physicist in any sense of the word. Had I known at the time what he meant, I would have asked Bunsen and Beaker to send me back in…try to find my mother and bring her back home. It was too late then…but it’s not now.”

    Sean gazed at her with a wide-eyed look registered on his face and then towards the video she was offering to him. Looking back at her, he said as calmly as he could, “Mama…I mean this with all the love in my heart…but you seriously need professional help.” He then got up from the reclining chair and headed for the door gesturing for his siblings and friends to follow. They did not hesitate in doing so, sharing his exact thoughts on what Joan was telling them. Bobo, who had been asleep during the unusual moment, was awakened from his slumber as soon as Clifford nudged him on the shoulder.

    Joan remained where she was, appearing very defeated after hearing what her son said to her. She watched them all exit her home, passing through the busted door, and head back to the Explorer. But Joan was not willing to give up so easily. Just as Sean was about to walk out, she ran to him and blocked his path, shoving the videotape right up against his chest.

    “Alright, fine. I might be in need of help. Maybe I’m just a crazy old woman who feels lonely all the time and wants to spend time with her own flesh and blood.” Tears formed in her eyes, and her voice clearly began to break upon her last words. “But, please…just…just stop by the old theater and find Bunsen’s machine, will ya? I just want to know where my mother is.”

    Sean could see the genuine distraught in her eyes; this was not another ploy to keep them anchored there. Whatever was going on was much bigger than trying to lure him and his sisters into another summer at her vacation home. Glancing at the video she was shoving against his chest, he wondered what true usage that it would have given to him if he had taken it. He didn’t wish to displease her any more than she already was, so he took the video and left her without giving any consent on her request.

    Alone again, Joan woefully went back into the lounge room, wiping away the tears that began to pour from her eyes. Approaching her VHS collection, she removed one copy of a Disney animated film that caught her eye almost instantly: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. With the shake of a head and deep, depressed sigh, she took the video out of its case and popped it into the player. As soon as the cartoon began playing on her television screen, she whispered to herself, “Where are you, Mom?”


    END OF CHAPTER FOUR​
  14. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Five: Time Zone – 1977 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    “Buzz Lightyear to Star Command. Come in, Star Command.” He pressed a button on his chest as he made the call; however, there was nothing but static as a response. Again, he pressed it and said, “Star Command – come in. Do you read me?” And again, there was no response. “Why don’t they answer?”

    The space ranger paced back and forth in the basement, not even glancing at the group of people who were staring at him in wide-eyed disbelief. Bunsen and Beaker were completely beside themselves. Never before had they been so successful in bringing a subject from one of the Disney Worlds into their own reality. It was an achievement that they were both proud and cautious over, fearing the possibility of a rift in the space-time continuum with the subject’s absence from his respective dimension.

    Joanie, Robin, Kermit, and Diana could hardly express what they were seeing into words. Finally, Joanie turned to the two Muppet scientists and said, “So…this is bad…right?”

    Bunsen stammered for a reply. “Y-Ye…N-N…M-Mayb…Uhhh…”

    “I’ll take that as an ‘I’ll get right back to you on that’.” Joanie remarked.

    Suddenly, the space ranger approached the group and gave an odd salute, gesturing his fingers in a very “Spock-like” way. “Greetings! I am Buzz Lightyear. I come in peace.”

    They all barely knew how to react to his greeting. Kermit braved himself to step forward and say, “Uh…hi-ho, Mister Lightyear. Er, I’m sure this all seems very peculiar to you.”

    “Not at all, my small green friend. My mission objective is to travel beyond multiple worlds. As a member of the elite Universe Protection Unit of the Space Ranger Corps, I protect the galaxy from the threat of invasion from the Evil Emperor Zurg, sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance.”

    Joanie blinked twice before saying, “Oh, you’ve just got to see Star Wars, dude! What you just said sounds so close to the plot of that…”

    “Star Wars?” Buzz exclaimed as his hand went to a button on his arm. “Is there a battle commencing on this planet of yours?”

    Diana waved her hands negatively at the space ranger. “No, no, no. She’s talking about a movie. You know…a motion picture?”

    Buzz slightly rubbed his chin, pondering over the concept that was brought to his attention. “Motion picture?”

    It was clear to Diana, Kermit, Bunsen, and Beaker that wherever this character had come from was obviously nowhere close to Earth. The only ones who knew were Joanie and Robin, whom Diana immediately turned to and asked, “Where did you find this guy?”

    “Believe it or not, Mrs. Navarro…he’s a toy!” Robin informed.

    “Say what?” Kermit responded, completely befuddled.

    “We saw a kid at a birthday party – which was really groovy, by the way – open him up and play with him a little.” Joanie revealed. “That’s when Bunsen pulled us out of wherever we were and we ended up back here with him in tow.”

    Diana, Kermit, Bunsen, and Beaker all glanced back to Buzz, seeing how extraordinarily human he looked to be, complete with a five o’clock shadow, bushy eyebrows, and glistening blue eyes. The only thing that stood out from his “humanity” was the high-tech space suit he was wearing. While staring at him, they noticed how he flipped open a compartment on his arm – some type of wrist communicator. He then began recording his voice for an audio journal of some kind.

    “Buzz Lightyear Mission Log. Stardate 4072: I appear to have been transported to some unknown world full of humanoid women and strange foamed creatures that resemble puppets. My ship is nowhere in sight, possibly somewhere far off-course from my current location.” He tapped a gauge on his communicator that had a needle pointed left to where the word “stable” appeared. “The readout indicates that the air here is breathable. I might as well take my chances.”

    Buzz activated a button on his chest that made his helmet open, allowing him to breathe in the air within the basement. He coughed a bit after doing so, which Joanie took notice of and told him, “Yeah, the air’s a little dense in here with all of the crowded space, but I promise you that it’s breathable.”

    “Fair enough.” Buzz hoarsely stated. “Would it be any bother to you otherworldly beings if I investigated this planetary atmosphere of yours?”

    Kermit glanced to Bunsen, seeking some approval of this request from the space ranger. When Bunsen nodded, Kermit happily told Buzz, “Uh, sure. Go right ahead.”

    As Buzz began heading out of the basement, Bunsen quickly added, “Just be sure not to leave the building, Mister Lightyear. We…uh…are not certain if the…uh…”

    “If the air is breathable outside our station.” Joanie blurted out, which got her a few odd glances from her mother and friends. She shrugged her shoulders and mouthed the words, “I don’t know.”

    Buzz appeared to have bought into what the young woman told him, gesturing his odd salute again and declaring, “On my honor as a member of the elite Universe Protection Unit of the Space Ranger Corps, you have my word.” With that said, he went out of the basement, leaving behind a very overwhelmed group of people.

    “Now that is impressive!” Diana exclaimed.

    “Mom, are you serious?” Joanie retorted. “This is the weirdest thing that Bunsen and Beaker have done yet! We’ve got a character from some Disney movie that hasn’t even been released yet walking around our theater and doing God knows what!”

    Diana waved off her paranoia with a chuckle. “He’s harmless, sweetie. I doubt if he even cares where he is more less who or what we are to him.”

    “I’m just saying that this could get out of hand real quick.” Joanie presumed. “Maybe we should send this guy back to wherever he came from and dismantle this machine right away.”

    “Dismantle it?” Bunsen exclaimed, followed by a quick meep of shock from Beaker.

    “I have to agree with Joanie, Diana.” Kermit acknowledged. “Something about this thing just feels wrong to me, too. It’s like we’re tampering with a force that’s beyond our control.”

    Bunsen immediately stepped forward and said in his defense, “B-But, Kermit…this is our chance to discover what lies ahead in our future. The Magic Gateway doesn’t only open portals into other dimensions. It also opens portals into other time periods as well. It’s sort of a secondary function to the machine, much similar to a time machine.”

    “Wow.” Robin reacted with sincere excitement. “We could get to see what our lives could be like in thirty years and what Disney feature comes out all at the same time.”

    “This could be the one thing that can change the world!” Diana said with much zeal. “I want to see one of these Disney Worlds. It doesn’t have to be one from the future. I’d rather…Hey, that’s it! Yeah! Take me to one of my old favorites! I want to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs closer than I could ever hope to before!”

    Joanie could hardly believe what her mother was requesting. And before she could talk her out of it, Bunsen was already fiddling with the computer, typing in some information and pressing “Execute” shortly afterward. The door to the Magic Gateway’s chamber then opened, letting out a flood of white light that everyone briefly shielded their eyes from. Without a hint of hesitation, Diana began walking towards the opened chamber, alarming Joanie to the point that she ran up and held her back from it.

    “Mom, no! You don’t have any idea what might happen while you’re there!”

    Diana snickered at her words. “Of course, I do. I’ve seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs more times than you ever have. I know what I can or cannot expect while I’m there.”

    Joanie knew there was no talking her out of this. So she boldly said to her, “Then I’m going with you.”

    She got no argument from her mother on that act of volunteering. Both women entered the heavily lit chamber and were sealed tight inside. The arch above the chamber glowed and, just as before, a brief tremor erupted through the foundation of the building. Within seconds, the loud boom came over the basement and everything shook violently while the two women inside the chamber vanished without a trace.


    END OF CHAPTER FIVE​
  15. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Six: Realm Zone – 1937 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    Once upon a time, there lived a lovely little princess named Snow White. Her vain and wicked stepmother, Queen Grimhilde, feared that some day Snow White’s beauty would surpass her own. So she dressed the little princess in rags and forced her to work as a scullery maid. Each day, the vain Queen consulted her “Magic Mirror” and asked, “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” And as long as the Mirror answered, “You’re the fairest one of all,” Snow White was safe from the Queen’s cruel jealousy.

    One fateful day, Queen Grimhilde went to her private chamber in her castle and consulted with the Magic Mirror, which hung within a space on a section of the wall that was reserved only for it. Hanging long and wide, much of the Queen’s image reflected in the mirror, granting her desire to always see how beautiful she was. Lifting her arms into the air while facing the mirror, the Queen boldly summoned, “Slave in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space. Through wind and darkness, I summon thee!”

    A strong wind blew all throughout the chamber, slightly ruffling Queen Grimhilde’s dark purple robes. It was soon followed with a thunderclap from within the Magic Mirror. Her reflection vanished, replaced by a wall of fire that completely obscured it. In seconds, the fire settled and a dark facemask emerged, suspended in total blackness and shrouded in dark gray clouds of smoke. It was the face of the Magic Mirror, and its empty mouth and eyes began to move as it addressed the Queen.

    “What wouldst thou know, My Queen?”

    Queen Grimhilde did not hesitate on asking as she had done so daily, “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

    And the Magic Mirror’s response – on this fateful day – was not as it had always been. “Famed is thy beauty, Majesty. But hold, another I see. A maiden who is even fairer than Snow White…Alas, she is even fairer than thee.”

    Needless to say, the Queen was not pleased to hear this. “Alas for her! Reveal her name.”

    “This maiden comes from a land unknown. Her name I cannot disclose. She now comes to this land of ours and not alone.”

    Queen Grimhilde’s eyes shifted left and right suspiciously. “This…maiden…one who is fairer than even Snow White…she must be found…so I can end her!”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

    “This is incredible…really incredible!”

    “No, this is weird…really weird!”

    Mother and daughter trekked through the forest for an hour since their arrival in the Disney World. Diana seemed to have known exactly where she was headed, while Joanie was simply following her lead. Her complaints seemed to have fallen on deaf ears, as her mother was so focused on all the amazing things that were going on around her. Since they had arrived, she could not stop staring at her hands, seeing how animated they looked in front of her. She could still feel as regularly as she did in the real world, only she appeared more colorful than before.

    For Joanie, it was the opposite reaction; she already had enough excitement in the other Disney World. As happy as she was to see how much of a good time her mother was having, all she really wanted was for them to leave whenever possible – which seemed to be a long ways from that very moment. During the entire journey, she thanked her lucky stars that she was still human in this particular dimension and not a child’s plaything or any other inanimate object. She didn’t know much about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – she had only seen the movie once when her mother took her to see it at the local matinee when she was only five years old. All she knew was that it had been her mother’s favorite Disney movie since she was a little girl.

    “I wonder if we should’ve told Bunsen how long we wanted to be here.” Joanie thought aloud, regardless of whether her mother was listening or not. “Hate for our ‘fun’ to come to an abrupt end as soon as he presses that little button to haul our butts back to reality.”

    Diana just waved off her cautious attitude with a grin. “Don’t worry about it. They’ll know when the right time comes to take us back. In the meantime, I want to find…” She stopped in her tracks, forcing Joanie to do the same, and pointed straight ahead – her face beaming with giddiness. “There it is!”

    Joanie followed her gaze to see a tall castle standing a mild distance ahead of them. “That’s where Snow White lives?”

    “Both her and her evil stepmother.”

    “Why do all of these Disney flicks always have a princess and an evil stepmother? That’s like a stereotype, isn’t it? Did Walt grow up with parental issues or something?” Joanie’s comment got her a sarcastic glance from her mother. “I’m just sayin’.”

    Ignoring her comments, Diana focused on the castle and excitedly said, “C’mon! Let’s go see Snow White!”

    Seeing the way she was running the rest of the way through the forest, Joanie couldn’t help but to shake her head and think to herself, She’s becoming a lot worse than Animal.

    The two women trekked further through the forest, moving much faster than before. They leaped over fallen logs, stepped on a few twigs, and darted in and out between the enormous trees until they were finally within reach of the castle. Near the front entrance, there was a gorgeous well – the same one from which, as Diana remembered, Snow White sung her “wishing song.” Much to the surprise of Diana, Snow White was nowhere to be seen. Only her dove friends were there, sitting around the well and pecking at the ground.

    “I don’t get it.” Diana voiced her confusion. “Are we early? She should’ve been here by now.”

    “What’re you talking about?” Joanie asked her clearly disappointed mother.

    “Snow White! At this part of the movie, she stands by the ‘wishing well’ and wishes for the one she loves to find her. And then Prince Charming comes and sings to her, while she bashfully retreats back inside the castle.”

    The heavily descriptive way she depicted the scene amused Joanie. But this empty space that both she and her mother were standing in did not impress her one bit. In fact, she even felt a little bored, which might as well have been a good thing, considering how much she hoped nothing too exciting would happen as they were there. She went to the well that Snow White was apparently to have been singing near at that moment and glanced down into it, seeing her own reflection ripple through the water.

    “Wishing well, eh?” Joanie said with a snicker. “Trust me, Mom…I’ve stopped by plenty of ‘wishing wells’ and they’re only good for one thing – stealing a couple of quarters for a phone booth.” As she continued gazing down into the well, something gave her the urge to make a wish. Feeling slightly silly as she had done so, she reached into her right pocket of her jeans and pulled out a shiny 1975 quarter. “Still…it wouldn’t hurt to see if one can come true.” She then tossed the quarter into the well, creating a splash that resonated throughout the well’s structure and made a harmonious echo.

    The sound made Joanie smile a little, being so beautiful and soothing to her soul. It was one that she had never heard before and could only exist in a world based on a classic Disney movie. Without even realizing it, she suddenly began singing soprano into the well, not so much as in lyrics but rather from a random melody that came from her mind and soul. Her voice carried itself magnificently through the well, echoing to the point that she was practically in unison with her own vocals. The doves perched around the well stopped and listened to her singing, even joining in by chirping their own notes to follow with Joanie’s.

    Joanie went with this for five minutes straight, before she finally stopped and laughed from the incredible fun she was having from such a silly activity. It was the first time she felt completely relaxed since she and her mother arrived in the Disney World. “Hey, Mom, you’ve really got to try…”

    Her smile quickly faded once she turned and noticed that her mother had vanished. All of that relaxation she gained from singing into the well dispersed. She instantly went into panic mode, running away from the well and forcing all of the doves to fly off by unintentionally frightening them. Heading back into the forest, she called out for her mother several times, getting no response with each attempt. However, one response did come; only it wasn’t the one she wanted to hear.

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    It was the shriek of a woman, coming directly from within the forest. Her heart racing from her increasing panic, Joanie ran to where she heard the scream, which continued on and on. It definitely belonged to her mother, hearing her unmistakable voice demandingly say, “Let me go! Why are you doing this? I haven’t done a thing!”

    Joanie could hear herself getting closer and closer to it, bracing herself to do whatever was necessary in saving her mother’s life. Someone was attacking her, and judging from the way she ordered the attacker to leave her alone, she doubted if it was an out-of-control beast of the woods. It was someone human…someone from this world. But who would want to attack either of them? They did not even belong there in that Disney World.

    Just as Joanie neared her mother’s location, she heard a familiar buzzing sound that overwhelmed her so much that she was forced to stop in her tracks and cover her ears. Then, out of nowhere, a bright golden light shined over her, growing in intensity with each second. This was all while she felt a weird tingling sensation through her body. If this all appeared very familiar to her, it was only because it was the same reaction she got from within the Magic Gateway chamber before entering a Disney World. And it seemed that she got the same reaction once she was being summoned back into her home world.

    As she began to vanish from the Disney World, molecule-by-molecule, she hoped deeply that her mother was returning with her.

    Time Zone – 1977 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    Joanie molecularly reemerged back within the confines of the Magic Gateway chamber with its door sliding open before her, allowing her to escape from the claustrophobia-inducing space. She stumbled out, her legs still reacting to her urgency to go to her mother’s rescue before it was too late. But she stopped herself quickly before bumping into Bunsen’s desk, where he sat behind the very computer he used to bring her back.

    “Welcome back, Miss Joanie.” Bunsen delightfully said. “Is your mother still having fun in the ‘Snow White’ realm?”

    That one word in his question brought chills down her spine. Her worse fear had been confirmed – only she returned. Her mother was still in the Disney World, fighting for her life from who-knew-what. Gazing back to the closing chamber, her heart nearly skipped a beat. The happiness she felt a moment ago was gone completely.


    END OF CHAPTER SIX​
  16. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Seven: Time Zone – 2010 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    Yeah, we gotta start
    Looking at the hands of the time we’ve been given
    If this is all we’ve got and we gotta start thinking
    If every second counts on a clock that’s ticking
    Gotta live like we’re dying

    We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
    Turn it all around or throw it all away
    We gotta tell them that we love them
    While we got the chance to say
    Gotta live like we’re dying

    The Kris Allen song blew through the speakers of the Ford Explorer while Sean drove himself, his sisters, and their friends back to the Walt Disney World Resort. His mind was completely lost on all that had happened back in his mother’s house. The last thing she told him stuck out to him more than everything else she said. What if their grandmother really was still alive somewhere? It sounded so insane that out of all places, she would still be alive in some parallel universe!

    He kept the videotape his mother had given to him in the glove compartment, hoping to possibly never see it again. However, within each mile they traveled, something kept nagging him in the back of his mind to check the old theater and find this machine of Bunsen Honeydew’s. This “inner voice” did this just as he was driving through the main entrance into Walt Disney World with the friendly animated faces of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse smiling from the large signs that stood at opposite sides of the road. Sean almost could’ve sworn that the two mice were not smiling as he drove by and instead frowning upon him in disappointment. It was an unusual feeling and he wasn’t too sure where it came from.

    Within an hour, they arrived at the front entrance of the Bay Lake Tower Hotel, where Sean parked the Ford Explorer and allowed everyone to pile out. As they had done so, he told them, “Hey, listen. I’ll meet with you all at M.K. later this afternoon. There are some things I’ve got to take care Downtown first.”

    This news wasn’t met with much somberness from his sisters and friends. “What?” They all shouted at the same time.

    Please tell me you mean ‘Downtown’ as in Downtown Disney!” Meagan exclaimed.

    “Is this because of what Mama said to us earlier?” Kimberly asked him.

    Sean didn’t want to admit it, but it did…in more than one way. Though he couldn’t let them all know how much it did or else they would talk him out of doing it. “No, it’s not that. I’m just going to do a little sight-seeing. Magic Kingdom isn’t going anywhere. I’ll be back in time to see the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.”

    Although most of his companions somewhat believed what he said, only Ciciley – his first youngest sister – didn’t quite so. Her curiosity peeked, and she was heavily curious to know what her brother’s real intention was for going Downtown. It was that reason for why she put on a phony smile and say, “Well, I’m coming with you.” Her response got another collection of surprised gasps and exclamations from the others, including Sean. “Hey, I’ve been curious to see a few places in Orlando myself. We come here every so often that we barely get to stop by them.”

    Watching her get back into the Explorer, Sean raised an eyebrow in suspicion. Next to Meagan, Ciciley was always so adamant about going to Disney World whenever they got a break from working at KMUP. So were Rizzo and Pepe, for that matter, which was why it came as an even bigger surprise when Sean saw them reenter the Explorer also. Everyone stared at them in total disbelief – more so than how they reacted to Ciciley’s “change of heart” – and Rizzo said on their behalf, “We, uh, heard dere was a really nice Planet Hollywood outside of Disney World.”

    “Sí, de one dat Arnold Schwarzenheimer did go to, okay.” Pepe added.

    Sean just stared at Ciciley and the two Muppets and shook his head. Yet he did it with a smile upon his face. He was not absolutely certain what he was getting himself into, but he was glad to be doing it with his sister and two best friends.

    Time Zone – 1977 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    “BRING HER BACK HERE NOW!”

    Never before had Bunsen, Beaker, Kermit, or Robin heard Joanie sound so furious. The intensity in her voice made Bunsen’s fingers practically quiver as he desperately tried to get the information on the Disney World she just arrived from back on the computer. He didn’t have the heart to tell Joanie that he had accidentally pressed the “Execute” button as soon as she came out of the Magic Gateway chamber. Whether it was a force of habit or a slip of the wrist, he wasn’t absolutely certain; but he did need to get that info back up.

    “I-I’m trying, M-Miss Joanie! I’m t-trying!” Bunsen stammered under the intense pressure.

    “WELL, TRY HARDER!”

    “Joanie, take it easy!” Kermit spoke out, clearly seeing how distraught the young woman was.

    “Don’t tell me to take it easy, Kermit!” Joanie retorted. “Before you all hauled me out of there, I heard my mother being attacked by a total stranger from that world! Now either you bring her back out or send me back in!”

    Bunsen tried his best to retrieve the information needed to bring her mother back, but found it unexpectedly difficult. “I’m sorry, Miss Joanie! I cannot get the exact coordinates back!”

    Joanie looked as if she were about to explode on the Muppet scientist. Kermit quickly interjected before she could’ve done so, asking Bunsen, “Well, why can’t you? It seemed so easy before.”

    “Before I was merely entering in the destination.” Bunsen clarified. “But now, after executing the data – which I take full responsibility in accidentally doing upon your arrival, Miss Joanie – I am trying to reconfigure the coordinates of when I last retrieved Miss Joanie. In doing that, I might be able to bring Mrs. Navarro back into our realm safely.”

    “Then why is it so hard to do that now?” Joanie responded.

    “Because Beaker and I have never came across an error like this before. It has always been the simple process of entering the coordinates, going into the machine, coming back to our home realm, and executing the data. Once the data is executed, there is no getting it back…at least not the exact bit of information.”

    Joanie did not want to hear this, not only because much of it went over her head but also because it meant she might never see her mother again. As much as she tried to maintain her composure, she was very close to putting her hands around Bunsen’s neck. She never thought of herself as the violent type; but when family is involved, no one had better stand in her way. All she could do was bite her lower lip in frustration and try her best not to explode, especially with Robin still in the room.

    “Bunsen, can’t you just send Joanie back the same way as before?” Robin asked, hoping to bring some leisure to Joanie’s anxiety.

    “I could, but there’s a possibility of a rupture in the space-time continuum. Remember when I said that this machine works as one-half of a time machine? Well, there could be a risk in Miss Joanie disrupting the flow that’s been set by her and Mrs. Navarro when they entered into the realm. The results of disrupting that flow could be catastrophic to both our world and the other.”

    The overwhelming wave of bad news continued to increase Joanie’s anxiety. It was too much for her heart to take and she had to leave the room before it got any worse. Robin watched her leave, feeling very disappointed that there was nothing more he, his uncle, or the two Muppet scientists could do to help. She went back to the Backstage Right area, hoping to have some alone time. However, the sudden appearance of Fozzie and Gonzo ruined that opportunity.

    Both Muppets seemed very enthusiastic as they approached her, obviously due in part to the Theater’s “new guest” introducing himself to all there. “Hey, hey! Joanie, did ya see the new space guy?” Fozzie asked her.

    “Yeah, who is he? Is he a new act that Kermit’s got for our next show?” Gonzo inquired.

    Joanie was so distraught at the moment that she could barely address the two in a civilized manner. “Listen, fellas, could you leave me alone for a while? I’m not feelin’ all that hot right now.”

    Fozzie and Gonzo could see the tears beginning to stream down from her eyes and knew instantly that it was not a good time. Rather than bother her any further, the two decided to head down to the basement, which they saw her exit from upon their entrance into the area, and see if either of them could get any more details about the “space guy” from Bunsen or Beaker. In the meantime, Joanie was left all alone there in the room, crying heavily on the stairway.

    Time Zone – 2010 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    While the Ford Explorer was driving through Downtown Orlando, the constant weather changes forced Sean to often at times switch on the windshield wipers. One minute it would be clear and sunny, and then the next it would be raining cats and dogs. It was one of the many oddities that came to living in such a crazy state. Regardless, he certainly loved every moment of it. He got more of a joy out of Downtown Orlando than Walt Disney World itself.

    There had been nothing but total silence in the Explorer during the entire road trip. Sean was certain that had to steam from the fact that Ciciley, Rizzo, and Pepe all knew as much as he did that they were not sight-seeing or shopping in Downtown Orlando. After a long while, it began to tire him, and he bluntly said to the passengers, “We’re going to the old theater.”

    Ciciley glanced at him with a surprised look. As happy as she was to have finally found out the truth, she was as perplexed as Pepe and Rizzo were. “You mean the old Muppet Theater? What business do you have to take care of there?”

    “Does dis have anything ta do with dat ol’ rubba chicken dat Fozzie lost twenty-three years ago?” Rizzo asked.

    “No. I just have to see something…important.” Sean hesitantly answered.

    Ciciley stared long and hard at him, nodding slowly in understanding. “So it does have something to do with Mama, doesn’t it?”

    Sean didn’t answer; instead, he kept his eyes on the road the entire time. As he did, he heard Pepe sheepishly admit, “Okay…I lie. Dere is no Planet Hollywood outside of Downtown Disney, okay.” But, apparently, his confession seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as everyone knew it was untrue from the moment he made the claim.

    Once again, silence fell over the Explorer, but it didn’t last for very long. Within a few minutes, they finally arrived at their destination. In a decades-old, nearly-abandoned district of Downtown Orlando, they found the aged, worn-out, and boarded-up complex that used to be the Muppet Theater. It surprised the four that it was still standing after nineteen years without service. If Bunsen’s machine was still inside of there, it certainly was not running with any available electricity.

    Sean pulled the Explorer into the back alley of the abandoned theater and parked it there for the time being. The four exited the vehicle and walked right up to the rusted stage door, which looked to be locked. Just as Sean reached for the doorknob and turned it slightly, the door suddenly came off its hinges and collapsed right into the dark, dusty interior. Witnessing this, Rizzo sarcastically remarked, “Guess we won’t be needin’ a key or credit card, eh?”

    The first one to walk in was Sean, who used his hand to cover his mouth and nose from the large collection of dust that had gathered in the building for two straight decades. Ciciley, Rizzo, and Pepe had done the same as they followed him in, seeing how much was either covered by white sheets or left opened to the dust in what used to be the Backstage Right area of the Muppet Theater. Even Kermit’s old coffee mug – with his name labeled on it – was sitting at the counter desk that he and Scooter often stood near during shows. It was a little depressing to see that it was filled with dust instead of coffee.

    Sean gazed around, trying to remember where exactly Muppet Labs used to be located. It had been years since he, Ciciley, and Kimberly used to run around the building as kids, playing with funny characters like Sweetums, Pops, and Beauregard while their mother was working with the others. Meagan was born just a few months after the Muppet Theater had officially closed down, and she never got to experience some of the joys that came with being there. If there was one good thing that came out of being there, it was all of those old memories flowing back to Sean and Ciciley.

    Of course, leave it to Pepe and Rizzo to ruin a good moment of reminiscing. “Boy, whadda dump dis place became!” Rizzo voiced his criticism on the condition of the abandoned theater.

    “Sí! I’m sure glad I wasn’t here during its ‘heyday’, okay.” Pepe added with a chuckle.

    Ciciley refused to take any more of their harsh criticism. “Hey, knock off the wisecracks, you two. This place used to be a great hangout for us back then. So many great things happened here.”

    “Like what, Louie Anderson’s career held its last dying breath?” Rizzo jested, creating a bellow of laughter from himself and Pepe.

    Ciciley just shook her head at the two and ignored their witty banter, returning her focus on her brother, who appeared to have remembered exactly where the old laboratory of Bunsen and Beaker’s was. The door to it was locked and boarded, posing a bit of a challenge. But Sean quickly overcame it, once he used all the strength of his right leg to kick down the wooden boards, which have been weakened from time. The door itself was an easier obstacle, considering how it was just as old as every other door in the old theater.

    With access granted to what used to be Muppet Labs (which, in actuality, was the theater’s basement), the small group journeyed inside the pitch black atmosphere. Seeing a light switch on the way down the stairs, Sean flipped it and hoped that there was at least some electricity still running through the building. To his immediate surprise, the overhead light switched on, slowly but surely. Slightly illuminated from the dim light, the room’s contents were exposed to the group, as they were all covered with sheets.

    Moving further in, they began removing the sheets from certain objects, revealing what was underneath. The one in the center that Sean removed had revealed what appeared to have been an old-modeled computer. He hadn’t seen such a computer in years and wondered to himself what purpose it could’ve served to whatever Bunsen and Beaker had done down there. Meanwhile, Ciciley removed a few sheets from off what she thought would be the wall of the basement, but she suddenly discovered how there was nothing more than a set of supercomputers lined up against it, leaving nothing exposed. Rizzo and Pepe removed a few others, getting caught under them in the process, and showed more supercomputers lined up against the other walls.

    While Ciciley went to help Pepe and Rizzo out from under the large sheets, she looked to Sean and wondered aloud, “What the heck did Bunsen and Beaker do down here?”

    Before Sean could answer, he noticed one last item left covered in the room that was wider and larger than everything else inside there. It only took one large sheet to cover it, and after he yanked it away, his eyes widened with shock from what he had seen. Standing there before him, Ciciley, Pepe, and Rizzo was a bizarre set of machinery that consisted of a metal arch that glittered in a rainbow of colors and some type of chamber. They all stood by and observed it with looks of awe.

    “Guess that should answer your question, Cici.” Sean stated.

    “It…sorta does,” she remarked.

    “Aye Chihuahua!” Pepe exclaimed. “Dis looks like somethin’ outta Stargate, okay. How much jou wanna bet dat Kurt Douglas is gonna pop out of dis?”

    Rizzo shook his head in disgust. “Dat’s Kurt Russell, Pepe.”

    “I wonder how it works,” said Sean, whose eyes never left sight of the unusual machine.

    “I don’t!” Ciciley cried. “There’s a reason this thing was abandoned all those years ago. It looks dangerous.”

    But Sean was not listening to her warnings. Instead, he was going over to the computer located at the center of the room, switching it on as soon as he was able to find the “Power” button. Ciciley, Pepe, and Rizzo all saw what he did and grew more cautious than ever. “Uh, I don’t think jou should do dat, okay.” Pepe warned, and yet Sean still was not listening to reason.

    The computer screen suddenly lit up with information as soon as it switched on. “Whoa!” Sean’s eyes gazed at the array of text that filled the screen. It might as well have been all Japanese to him, because the technical terminology went over his head completely. Some of it looked like coordinates to something, but neither Sean nor his sister and friends could figure out exactly what. They all gathered around the computer, gazing upon the information and scratching their heads at the same time.

    “What does it all mean?” Ciciley inquired.

    “Maybe it’s some type of code.” Sean assumed.

    “A code ta what?” Rizzo asked.

    “Maybe it’s a spy code like in dose ‘James Bonds’ movies!” Pepe excitedly exclaimed. “Dis could be secret intelligence at work, okay.”

    As far fetched as Pepe’s assumption sounded, it sounded a little plausible to the others. Bunsen and Beaker did get themselves in quite a few misadventures in the past – most of them just as “top secret” as whatever this experiment was. But this particular one really took the cake! This machine – whatever it was – looked like the most out-of-this-world thing they had ever invented.

    While gazing over the computer, Sean noticed a peculiar button on the keyboard labeled “Execute.” He figured that it would have some sort of effect on the strange information shown on the screen. Without thinking twice, he pressed the button – much to the surprise of Ciciley, Pepe, and Rizzo. “Hey! Wait a minute! Don’t do that?” Ciciley told him.

    Before Sean could ask her why not, the four of them began to sense heavy vibrations coming through the area. The collection of information on the screen became scrambled and a lot harder to decipher than before. A sudden flash of light forced them to shield their eyes, and they realized how it came from the metal arch and chamber in front of them. The vibrations in the room grew more intense, becoming a heavy earthquake. All of the supercomputers in the room then exploded, shooting out bits of sparks at all sides of them.

    “I dink somethin’ like dis happened in Stargate, okay!” Pepe shouted.

    Time Zone – 1977 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    Kermit held onto Robin, Fozzie held onto Gonzo, and Beaker held onto Bunsen as a fierce earthquake suddenly came over the basement. It was certainly unlike the others they had felt every time a real world subject went through the Magic Gateway. The source of it was also unknown to Bunsen and Beaker, seeing that they were not engaged in the process of transportation at that moment. Whether it was a normal earthquake or one caused by the machine remained to be seen; but they were all certain that there were no earthquakes in Orlando.

    “Bunsen, is your machine doing all of this?” Kermit hysterically asked, hoping that somehow it did.

    The Muppet scientist shook his head negatively and said, “I…I’m not sure, Kermit! Nothing like this has ever happened before!”

    “Well, there’s certainly a lot of stuff that has never happened before that’s happening today!” The frog remarked, just as a series of sparks suddenly shot out from a few of the supercomputers.

    In the Backstage Right area, Joanie was quickly snapped out of her despair as soon as she felt the enormous earthquake that was coming over the entire theater. She heard one of the dressing room doors open from the upstairs landing and saw a fully-awake Scooter coming out from the one he had been sleeping in. Dazed and confused over the sudden chaos that was happening, the gofer inquired, “What’s going on?”

    So much had happened in the past hours that Joanie could not give him a direct answer to ease his confusion. Then, in the midst of all the pandemonium, a hysterical Buzz Lightyear entered the picture with his fingers over the button on his left arm. “Fear not, my alien friends! I made sure every living soul in the complex was evacuated at the moment the attack began! Have our adversaries breached yet?”

    Scooter gazed over the bizarre figure that entered the picture with a perplexed expression on his face that was all too often shown around the Muppet Theater. He was unlike anything he had ever seen before, which was saying quite a bit with the likes of what he had seen there in the years he had been the resident gofer. However, that didn’t keep him from asking the “universal” question, “Who’s this?”

    Unfortunately, that was another question that Joanie couldn’t answer for the gofer, being too concerned with what was happening all around them. She immediately headed back downstairs to the basement with Scooter and Buzz following her. Once they arrived, they were suddenly met with an intense beam of light that shot out from the Magic Gateway’s arch and chamber. Joanie and everyone else in the basement shielded their eyes from it, but not for very long. Out of nowhere, a powerful force began suctioning them all towards the lit chamber.

    Everyone clung onto something in the room that was sturdy enough for them to hang on for dear life. Joanie, Scooter, and Buzz each grasped onto the rail of the staircase, while Bunsen, Beaker, Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo hung onto the table. Robin, however, was unfortunate enough to be caught off guard at the time that the force was unleashed and sucked directly into the light within the chamber. Kermit watched helplessly as his nephew was drawn inside, screaming out his name, “ROBIN!”

    “Uncle Keeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrmmmmmmmiiiiiittttttttt!”

    And in the blink of an eye, he vanished into the light within the chamber.

    Seeing what happened to Robin put Joanie into immediate frenzy, not wanting to watch another member of her family disappear because of Bunsen’s machine. Letting go of the rail, she allowed herself to be sucked by the unnatural force drawing her in. Buzz tried to stop her by grabbing her hand, but he only put himself in danger as well. Both of them were sucked directly into the light inside the chamber, vanishing into it. Kermit and the others watched as they disappeared without a trace, and Kermit himself was feeling scared and angry of what happened to Robin. He then made the sacrifice to let go and allow himself to be drawn into the chamber along with Joanie, Buzz, and his nephew.

    The others didn’t dare themselves to make the same sacrifice. Instead, they continued hanging on for dear life and hoped not to suffer the same fate as the four poor souls who disappeared before their very eyes. Then again, who was to say they were the unlucky ones? Bunsen, Beaker, Fozzie, Scooter, and Gonzo were caught in the middle of a bizarre vortex – where was the luckiness in that?

    Time Zone – 2010 (Before Temporal Displacement)​


    The unusual vortex coming out from the chamber proved to be much too powerful for Sean, Ciciley, Pepe, and Rizzo to overcome. As hard as they tried to hang onto the table and ride it out like a twister, each of their arms grew very weak and, one-by-one, they were sucked directly into the heart of the vortex. Rizzo, being the smallest, was the first one to be drawn in, screaming for “Mommy” as he vanished into the light. Pepe went next, quoting what Ciciley and Sean could only guess was a line from Stargate – it was a little hard to tell from the gusts of wind blowing past their ears.

    Ciciley was soon following, until Sean grabbed a hold of her right hand and tried his best to keep her away from the light. Her black, red-highlighted hair blew in all directions, covering her bright blue eyes, which were undoubtedly showing signs of fear of what was happening. Sean was already regretting having pressed that button, which Ciciley warned him not to all too late. Because of his curiosity, he put her, his friends, and himself into great danger…or worse.

    Soon he lost his grip on the table and was sucked right into the chamber along with Ciciley, who continued grasping onto his hand with both of hers. The two siblings tumbled across the floor and into the machine, fading into the light emitting from inside the chamber. With the absent space in the basement, there was no longer anyone left to suffer from the raging vortex except for the old equipment, which was tearing apart from the force of the vortex. The computer – the source of the whole occurrence – began to crumble into a ball of scrap metal, almost as if it were a piece of paper. And then, as soon as it was completely destroyed…

    KA-BOOM!

    END OF CHAPTER SEVEN​
  17. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Eight: Realm Zone – 1937 (After Temporal Displacement)​



    “Where are you taking me?”

    “Please…don’t talk.”

    “But I just want to know…”

    Please!”

    Diana obeyed the man’s wishes – the same man who was the Evil Queen’s guard, hired to kill Snow White far in the forest…in a secluded glade…where she would be picking wildflowers…just as Diana remembered it. Only it was not happening the way she remembered it. Apparently, in whatever version she stumbled upon through Bunsen and Beaker’s machine, nothing was happening the same way as before. Nothing can ever happen the same way as before when we interfere, she concluded in her thoughts. Whatever her presence there in that particular Disney World had caused, it was clearly alternating events.

    The Evil Queen’s guard was escorting her directly to the castle she dwelled in, her wrists shackled as if she were a prisoner. Whatever crimes she committed were unclear to her, seeing that she was not supposed to have even existed in that realm. However, possibilities still ran through her mind as if she did. But, after some time, she eventually began to wonder what became of Joanie. Her screams obviously were loud enough for her to hear from a great distance; so why had she not come to her aid?

    When Diana and the Queen’s guard arrived at the castle, she was taken directly through the front entrance, coming across the foyer that was decorated in the Queen’s royal colors (purple, black, and gold), and downstairs to a dark, dreary, and damp area that could only be the dungeon. Before going down, the guard had taken one of the torches situated on opposite sides of the wooden door leading to the dungeon and lit it through a nearby cauldron. He used it to guide their way down the spiral staircase and straight into the heart of the dungeon, where three holding cells stood on the left and right sides of the room. As Diana gazed around this never-before-seen room, she caught a horrifying sight: Snow White lying on the floor of one particular cell. She wasn’t certain whether she was alive or dead, but she certainly hoped on the former.

    The guard placed her in a holding cell across the one Snow White was placed in. He kept the shackles on her wrists and added a couple more that were chained to the wall on her ankles. She certainly was not going anywhere with that much security over her. But it was not like she had anywhere to go if she had chosen to escape. As far as she was concerned, she was already trapped long before she was placed inside that cell.

    After locking her in, the guard went to the other torches hanging in the room, using the lit one he carried to light every single one of them up to illuminate in the pitch-black area. Once he had gotten to the last one, he told Diana, “I shall return shortly with Her Majesty. I would advise not to contemplate any type of escape while I’m gone.”

    “Don’t worry. I doubt I’m going anywhere.” Diana assured, jingling her chains to make her point.

    The guard then departed from the dungeon momentarily, leaving Diana with an unconscious Snow White as her only company. She glanced over to the young Disney princess and wondered what the Evil Queen might have done to her. There was a strong possibility that the poisoned apple could have been given to her much sooner than in the Dwarfs’ cottage in the woods. If so, then that would make the Queen the fairest in the land…wouldn’t it?

    After a short time, the guard returned to the dungeon with the Queen herself in tow. Her presence nearly took Diana aback, being that she was just as menacing up close as she was from a movie screen. She carried quite a chilling aura, giving any who bore witness to her a true definition of the word “nightmare.” Regardless, she was a very beautiful woman in her own way – a living contradiction of her own self.

    Diana was so fascinated with meeting her in person that she almost did not realize that she was addressing her there and then. “So you are the fairest of them all?” Queen Grimhilde did not seem very impressed. “Impossible! You are not much older than I!”

    “I’ll take that as a compliment.” Diana snickered.

    “SILENCE, WENCH!” The Queen bellowed, causing Diana’s chains to jingle again from her quivering body. Grimhilde turned her attention to her guard and asked, “Are you certain this was the only one you found in the forest?”

    The guard nodded and confirmed, “Yes, Your Majesty. There was no one else there but her.”

    “Um, Your Highness? If I may have your permission to speak?” Diana requested, prompting Queen Grimhilde to glance back at her in a very cold manner. “I was not actually in the forest by myself per say. I was actually there with my daughter…who appears to have left me behind for reasons unbeknownst to me.”

    The Queen’s eyes suddenly flared with immense rage, as she turned to the guard and yelled, “You imbecile!” She then followed her insult with a fierce slap to the guard’s face, sending him tumbling back slightly.

    Diana watched the unnecessary cruelty and shouted in the guard’s defense, “Hey! Leave him out of this! It’s not his…”

    You are in no position to speak!” Grimhilde snapped. “I shall deal with you in due time.” She then refocused on her guard and added, “Both of you!” With that said, she stormed out of the dungeon.

    Shaking her head at the Evil Queen, Diana let out an exhausted sigh. “Geez! Fifteen minutes into the story, and she hasn’t even become the ugly witch yet! Doesn’t even need that potion, if you ask me!”

    The guard, rubbing the left side of his face, looked up at her curiously. “You…You have a daughter?”

    “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything, but you didn’t give me a chance to speak.” Diana told him. “I don’t know where she is right now, but I’m starting to see what she meant about all of this. It’s very different from how I’d first seen it all when I was a little girl.”

    The guard looked very confused. “Seen what? What do you mean? Who are you? Where have you come from?”

    So many questions the guard was throwing out to her – Diana could not find a proper way to explain it all to him. All she could really tell him was, “You wouldn’t believe if I told ya.”

    “I would believe that the Queen would do anything to be fairest in the land…even have me kill her own stepdaughter.”

    Diana’s eyes widened on the word “kill,” having been reminded of what villainous act Queen Grimhilde had this guard attempt in the original telling of the story. She glanced at Snow White’s unconscious form and wondered aloud, “You…killed her?”

    “No!” The guard quickly exclaimed. “I could never kill the little princess!”

    “Then why is she laying there like she’s dead?”

    The guard gazed upon Snow White’s inert form and explained, “As soon as the Magic Mirror revealed there was someone fairer than both Her Majesty and Snow White, the Queen had her brought back to the castle and cursed her with a harmless sleeping spell. It was only to keep her hidden here in the dungeon until it was discovered who was the fairest of all.”

    Listening to the guard’s explanation, Diana immediately discovered that her earlier assumption of the “poisoned apple” scenario had been confirmed. “Oh, no! She did give her the apple already!”

    The guard looked to her in confusion. “How did you know it was an apple the Queen had given her?”

    “Because it was in the story – only a lot later than now! The spell that she put her on wasn’t ‘harmless’! It’s called the ‘sleeping death’! Snow White is dead!”

    Shock registered on the guard’s face as he realized what had truly become of the princess that was in the same room as them. He could no longer bear the sight of her body lying in the nearby cell any more and left as soon as possible. Diana, however, wanted him to stay long enough to tell him that she wasn’t completely dead and only in a long slumber that she could only be awakened from by the kiss of her true love – that being Prince Charming. But he was already gone before Diana could have even said a word. And she was left all to herself to stare at the lifeless form of Snow White, feeling completely helpless in saving her.

    As Diana stood there in the holding cell, shackled at her wrists and ankles, she wondered what became of her daughter. If she was still somehow there in that Disney World, she hoped that the Evil Queen would never find her. Even though it was a little humorous to imagine either her or Joanie being the new “fairest one” in the land, their presence in the realm had caused quite an unexpected turn of events. She could not help but to continue thinking how right Joanie was in interfering with the Disney Worlds. The trouble she was in at that point in time was clearly punishment for her meddling.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~​

    “Magic Mirror on the wall, hear now this most important inquiry of all!” Queen Grimhilde consulted. “I wish to know of the woman I have locked away in the dungeon! Is she the fairest one you speak of?”

    The face of the Magic Mirror was expressionless as he revealed the information that the Queen wanted. “The prisoner you contain…is not the fairest one…the one you seek shalt still remain.”

    Although the Queen was beyond furious, she still remained her physical composure long enough to make a request to the Magic Mirror. “Show her to me! Show the one that I must seek to become fairest one of all!”

    “Though she no longer dwells in this land, there is another one similar in nature she resides. Fair warning I give to your hand, for what I shall show you now your approval confides.”

    “I must see! I must find out who she is!”

    The Magic Mirror simply stared at the Queen – still remaining without expression – and stated, “Very well. Behold the world in which our fairest one shalt dwell…”


    END OF CHAPTER EIGHT​
  18. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Nine: Realm Zone – 1991 (After Temporal Displacement)​


    Everything appeared extremely hazy before Joanie’s eyes as soon as she opened them. She heard birds chirping, which made her sudden dilemma seem a bit cartoonish for her taste. It did not take her very long to realize that the reason for everything being so hazy was the sudden loss of her glasses. This was confirmed as soon as she touched the area around her eyes and felt only her eyelashes and skin.

    “Are you looking for these?”

    She looked up as soon as she heard the deep, powerful voice of a young man, seeing a tall, dark figure standing near and handing something over to her. Without hesitation, she reached up and grabbed the object being given. Delight registered on her face when she realized it was her glasses, which were found by this kind stranger that she wished to see, along with everything else. All she remembered before blacking out was being sucked by a strange vortex that had engulfed her, Buzz, Robin, and Kermit.

    Once her glasses were back on her eyes, the world around her came into focus, and she found herself once again back in a forest. Only this one looked vastly different from the other she was a part of in the other Disney World. The trees lacked the luscious green leaves that made them whole, leaving them with a very unappealing look. Even the grass looked unkempt, being wet and muddy in a few places and totally pale in most others. And, to top off the brooding atmosphere that the forest had, the sky looked very gray – almost as if a rainstorm was on the approach. If this was indeed the same forest Joanie was in before, it certainly changed drastically in the short time she was away from it.

    Joanie’s gaze finally rested on the stranger standing near her – a young black male who was not much older than her. Much to her surprise, he looked almost identical to Tomas in many ways, not just from heritage. He had a very friendly face, which eased Joanie’s caution over his presence a little. After what occurred in the previous realm she was in, she was certainly not going to let her guard down. Whoever this young man was, he clearly was not going to hurt her – at least not after he so generously returned her glasses.

    “Everything good?” He asked her.

    Joanie nodded. “Yeah, I think so.”

    The young man nodded along with her. “Good. Now you can help me figure out where I am and how the heck I got here.”

    His statement came as a surprise to Joanie, as she figured that he might have been from this world himself. However, she should have realized that he wasn’t, considering the way in which he was dressed in blue jeans, brown hiking boots, and a red t-shirt. Her curiosity peaking, she asked the young man straight out, “Who are you?”

    “My name is Sean,” he answered while holding out his hand.

    Looking at it, Joanie smiled – he certainly was a friendly individual. Not wanting to be rude, she reached up and shook his hand. “Joanie…Joanie Navarro,” she introduced herself.

    Sean grinned. “Well, it’s nice meeting you, Joanie. But I figured you might want some help in getting your butt out of the mud.”

    Joanie looked down at where she was sitting, and she was indeed deep in a muddy section of the grass. “Oh, shoot!” She yanked on Sean’s hand and Sean yanked in the opposite direction, working together in getting Joanie out of the mud. Surveying the mess made to the back of her jeans and lower half of her shirt, she couldn’t help but to gripe out loud. “Bunsen’s blasted machine! If I ever get back to the real world, I’m going to tear that thing piece by piece!”

    “Not sure that’d be a good idea.”

    Joanie glanced at him, seeing the cautious look on his face, which made her even more curious over his presence there. “I don’t remember seeing you in the basement when that thing sucked us in. Were you one of the members of tonight’s audience?”

    Sean shook his head and chuckled. “It’s so crazy.”

    “Whatever ‘it’ is, it can’t possibly be any crazier than this.”

    Again, Sean shook his head – only he did not chuckle that time. “When you hear it, you’ll know for a fact that it is.” For a brief moment, he was silent. And, finally, he revealed to her, “I’m from the future.”

    Joanie blinked twice in surprise. “Say what now?”

    Before Sean had the chance to elaborate, a familiar voice shouted out, “Joanie! Joanie! Joanie!”

    Both she and Sean turned to where it came from and saw Robin running towards them with a Muppet rat following behind. Seeing it catching up with him, Joanie suddenly freaked out and cried, “Robin! Watch out behind you!”

    “Huh?” Robin uttered, doing exactly what Joanie had said and looking behind him. He saw no one but the rat, whom he did not seem to have any surprise in seeing.

    When Robin was close enough, Joanie snatched him up and held him in a very protective manner. As soon as the rat came within their proximity, Joanie started stomping all around him, desperately trying to get him away. “Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! You filthy little monster!”

    “Hey!”

    STOMP!

    “Whoa!”

    STOMP! STOMP!

    “Cut it out!”

    STOMP! STOMP! STOMP!

    “KNOCK IT OFF, WILL YA?”

    The Muppet rat was forced to jump all around the grass, desperately avoiding the high heels of her sandals. Unfortunately, one of her stomps missed its mark and caused both her right shoe and her right foot to get buried deep in some mud. Upon yanking it back out, only her bare foot came out of the dark brown and gray mess. Luckily for the rat, that was the only thing keeping her from making another attempt at trying to squish him.

    “Lady, are youse nuts?” He screamed.

    “Don’t hurt him, Joanie!” Robin pleaded. “He’s my new friend, Rizzo!”

    Joanie groaned over how cold and wet her foot felt, the messy state her shoe was in when she pulled it out of the mud, and the sight of Rizzo himself. “Robin! What has your uncle told you about the rats in the Theater? They’re not your friends!”

    Rizzo chuckled at her comment. “Dat’s not what ya said when ya invited me into yer home earlier, Mrs. Thom…”

    “I apologize if Rizzo scared you, Joanie.” Sean quickly interrupted his rodent companion. “He’s with me.”

    The rat glanced at his friend in confusion. “Joanie? Shouldn’t ya be callin’ her M…?”

    Again, Rizzo was interrupted once Sean began clearing his throat loudly and pointed to Joanie’s mud-covered sandal. “I think there’s a creek nearby if you want to wash that off, Joanie.”

    Although Joanie felt very grateful of Sean’s suggestion, she still looked a little disgusted with having to wash out all of the mud from her shoe. It did not help much that a cool breeze was blowing through the area either, chilling her bare right foot to the bone. “Thank you, Sean. Ugh! C’mon, Robin. You can help.”

    “Sure thing, Joanie.” Robin graciously accepted, following her as she limped to the nearby creek to wash her sandal.

    With Sean and Rizzo left by themselves, the Muppet rat inquisitively asked his human friend, “What’s gotten into ya? Why didn’t ya tell her yer her son, man?”

    “Because I just told her that I’m from the future, and she could barely believe that alone!” Sean exclaimed, trying to keep his voice so low that Joanie and Robin could not hear him. “Can you imagine how big of a shock it’d be if I just came out and told her I was her son?”

    Rizzo looked down, his mind processing what Sean just said. “Jeez, never thoughta it dat way. Wow, dat’d be more messed up dan da stuff dey do on Maury.”

    “Exactly. That’s why we’re going to keep things hush-hush on the mother-son connection.”

    “Well, ya had better tell Cici and Pepe dat when we find them or else dey’ll spill da beans for ya.”

    The mentioning of the other two members of their party made Sean glance around the forest in curiosity. “Hey, speaking of those two, I wonder where they are. We all got sucked into the same vortex. You’d think they would end up the same place as we did.”

    Before either of them could have pondered any further on the matter, they suddenly heard Robin’s voice from the short distance away. “Hey, guys! Come here!”

    Following the little frog’s voice, they both arrived at the creek, which Joanie was crouched near, washing away the mud from her sandal. The water was so cold that it not only made her shoe more unbearable to wear, but it also nearly froze it solid as well. Rather than putting it back on her foot, she kept it tucked away in her left jeans pocket, hoping the tight space inside of it could warm the shoe up some. Even as she kept it in there, it felt just as cold as it would have been on her foot.

    Once Sean and Rizzo arrived, Joanie stood up and pointed directly ahead. “Look over there!” They followed her finger and spotted a sight that was only familiar to Sean: the castle from Beauty and the Beast. “I think that’s the same place where my mother was taken.”

    “Taken?” Sean inquired.

    “I think I was in this same place not very long ago with my mother. I heard her being kidnapped by someone, and I think she might have been taken to that castle there.”

    Robin nodded with a look of determination on his face. “Then let’s go in there and get her.”

    With a gung-ho attitude, Joanie and Robin were about to march their way toward the castle. But then Sean suddenly cried to them, “Wait!” The two stopped in their tracks and looked at him in confusion, just as Rizzo did also. “It doesn’t look safe. Maybe we should find help first, before going in there.”

    Joanie glanced around with her arms stretched out in a questioning manner. “Who’s gonna help us? We’re all alone out here.” She then wore a mask of intense resolve as she added, “Besides, I’m willing to go through any danger necessary to get my mother back.” After making that declaration, she and Robin trekked across the creek, taking turns stepping over the rocks protruding from the water and creating a simple path for them to cross over.

    “Boy, ya really have been jittery for da past minutes.” Rizzo told Sean.

    Sean gazed at the rodent, clearly aggravated over his naïve nature. “Do you even know where we are right now?”

    “I dunno. In ‘Da Land of da Lost’?”

    Sean rolled his eyes. “Rizzo, my mother was right about all that talk of parallel dimensions and whatnot. Look at us…notice anything different?” Rizzo did as he said and glanced over parts of his body, seeing how animated they suddenly appeared. “We’re in some sort of universe based on Disney cartoons. It was Bunsen’s machine that sent us here.”

    “Wow. Yer right!” Rizzo looked across the creek to see Robin and Joanie on the other side, waiting for them. “Den where exactly are we headed?”

    “You remember Beauty and the Beast, right?” Rizzo nodded in reply. “Well, that castle they spotted is the same one where the Beast lives.”

    Rizzo’s eyes registered extreme fear. “See ya!” He was about to run in the opposite direction of the castle, until Sean snatched him by the tail and lifted him high enough so the rat would be directly at his eye level.

    “Did you also forget the ravenous wolves in the movie, too? If you get lost in these woods, they are bound to find and eat you alive!”

    Dangling upside down, Rizzo was not certain if it was the blood rushing to his head or just plain old common sense that made him say, “I, uh, guess I’ll take my chances with da Beast.”

    “Hey!” Joanie shouted from across the creek. “Are you guys coming?”

    Sean waved in approval to Joanie while whispering to Rizzo, “Just relax. I’ll make sure we’ll get out of this okay.”

    “Yeah, sure. Yer practically Disney’s answer ta Supaman.”


    END OF CHAPTER NINE​
  19. muppetwriter

    muppetwriter Active Member

    Chapter Ten: Time Zone – 2010 (After Temporal Displacement)​


    Scooter slowly started to regain consciousness after the wild and crazy incident that just occurred in the basement. He felt more dazed and confused right at that moment than he did earlier when all of the chaos broke loose. Getting to his feet, he realized that he was still standing on the staircase and looking over the disheveled state that the basement was left in. Fozzie, Gonzo, Bunsen, and Beaker were all standing around the computer sitting on the table at the center of the room, while Joanie and the spaceman he had seen earlier were nowhere around. The gofer continued down the steps to join the four Muppets, as they were practically frantic over what just occurred, talking over one another.

    “Bunsen, what happened?”

    “Where are Kermit and Robin?”

    “Meep! Meep! Meep!”

    “I know! I know! I am trying to get everything in order right now!”

    “Where did that space guy come from?”

    “Yeah, who was he? And what does this machine do?”

    “Meep! Meep!”

    “Yes, it will take some time to reach them, but I believe…”

    “GUYS!” Scooter screamed, instantly silencing them out of their unordered conversation. “Will you all calm down? I’m sure Bunsen has a reasonable explanation for what’s going on.” He then looked hopefully to Bunsen and asked, “Don’t ya, Bunsen?”

    Bunsen stared at him awkwardly and stated with the shake of a head, “I…I-I don’t know.”

    “Well, that’s not very reasonable!” Gonzo retorted.

    Scooter let out a sigh, realizing that he would not get to the root of the problem anytime soon. So he instead asked the Muppet scientist, “Alright – well, just tell us what the machine actually does.”

    “We’ve seen what it does, Scooter! It’s a big, scary vacuum cleaner!” Fozzie exclaimed.

    “Really?” Gonzo remarked. “I figured it had to be some kind of weather machine with the huge tornado that blew through here.”

    Between both of their comments, Beaker let out a long string of angry meeps. Fozzie and Gonzo were taken aback from the harsh words he had used – most of which they could not repeat in plain English. Before he could have said much more, Bunsen eased his tension and said, “Beaker, don’t be upset at them. They don’t understand.”

    “Understand what?” Scooter questioned. “What does this machine do?”

    Bunsen took a deep breath and explained as calmly as he could, “It opens a portal between our world and one rooted on animated tales out of Walt Disney’s collection of cartoons from the past, as well as those in the future. So far, we’ve achieved in not only journeying into these said worlds, but also bringing one of the characters into our realm.”

    Scooter, Fozzie, and Gonzo were each frozen stiff with bewilderment. It was the most far-fetched idea for an invention they ever heard, which was saying a lot in the case of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker. In response to what was revealed to him, Scooter uttered, “Um…alright…well…that’s a start…I guess.”

    RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!

    The five Muppets nearly jumped out of their foamed skins when they heard the monstrous howl from within the chamber installed with the machine. Something inside wanted to get out badly, which was evident from the dents he was putting into the steel door of the chamber, each time he pounded into it. And it seemed as if he would get it, as more and more dents were pounded through the door until the point that it was practically bending. Seeing that it was, the five Muppets hid beneath the table, not wanting to be seen by whatever was bursting out.

    Once it finally did, it let out another monstrous howl that vibrated every part of the room including the table Scooter, Fozzie, Gonzo, Bunsen, and Beaker were hiding beneath. The five Muppets peeked over the corners to see what it was that had escaped. What they had seen was something they could barely believe. It was a seven- (or maybe eight) foot tall beastly creature, wearing a long dark purple cape and dark blue pants. Its eyes were bright blue, and it had horns, claws, and razor-sharp fangs. This beast stood over what was once the door to the chamber, lying on the floor in a bent condition.

    After letting out another fierce roar, the beast situated itself on all fours and began charging out of the basement, moving up the stairs and busting its way out through every door in the theater until making it outside. With the beast gone, Scooter and the others climbed out from underneath the table and surveyed the damage that was caused to the chamber door. Beaker meeped a worried inquiry to Bunsen. “Beaker, this is no time to fret about a door! We have another subject who has escaped from the ‘Disneyverse’!”

    “That thing came out of a Disney cartoon?” Scooter cried.

    “One from the future, to be precise.” Bunsen indicated. “And we must bring him back here, before he causes any harm out in the real world.”

    Fozzie and Gonzo exchanged a terrified glance, knowing exactly where this situation was going. Before either of their names could be brought up, they told Bunsen and Beaker…

    “Well, good luck with that!”

    “Yeah, we’ll send you a postcard from Fiji!”

    The two were just about on their way out of the basement, until Scooter shouted to them, “Hold it, you two!” Fozzie and Gonzo stopped in their tracks and turned to Scooter, looking very afraid. “As much as it scares me to admit it, Bunsen is right – we have to get that thing back here, if we’re going to fix whatever’s going on.”

    “How are we supposed to get something that big and hairy back here?” Fozzie asked.

    Bunsen pondered hard over Fozzie’s question, thinking of a perfect plan for achieving that task. Then he focused on two words that Fozzie used in describing the creature – “big” and “hairy.” It reminded him of a situation that involved a big and hairy friend of theirs. “Scooter, do you remember last Christmas when Sweetums went on a wild rampage after consuming large quantities of special-flavored ice cream that Beaker and I made?”

    Scooter shook his head in disgust. “Ugh, how can I forget? It took weeks for NASA to find Miss Piggy, after he hurled her up into deep space!”

    Reaching into one of the table drawers, he pulled out a purple aerosol spray canister and handed it to Scooter. “This is the ‘Mind Control Spray’ that I used to calm him down. Use it on that beast, and he’ll be under your complete control.”

    The gofer took the can and looked down upon it, seeing how much it resembled an ordinary aerosol spray can used to get rid of bad smells in houses or – more accurately – restrooms. “Thanks, Bunsen,” he said before turning to Gonzo and Fozzie and adding, “Alright, guys. Let’s go find that beast!” It was something he could not believe he just said…and – for that matter – neither could Fozzie or Gonzo.


    Realm Zone – 1991 (After Temporal Displacement)​



    One fine morning, a young girl in a blue and white peasant dress with a white apron walked out from her home and headed in the direction of a nearby French village. She had majestic brown eyes and wonderful long brown hair that she wore with a blue bow. Even her name was magnificent – Belle. A beautiful smile was donned over her gorgeous face while she happily waved to the birds flying over her and carried a small basket. If her appearance was not enough to express how picturesque she was, then certainly her voice would, as she began singing upon her journey to the village.

    Little Town, it’s a quiet village. Every day, like the one before. Little town, full of little people, waking up to say…

    “Hola!”

    Belle stopped as soon as she noticed two peculiar strangers standing in front of her – one was a young woman who was not much older than her with black hair and red highlights and the other was…well…she was not quite certain what it was, but if she had to guess, she would say it was a king prawn. But was it her imagination or was the king prawn actually talking to her? Taken aback, she stammered a response, “Uh…m-may I help y-you?”

    Seeing the exasperated look on the face of the young woman with the strange hair, Belle heard her whisper to the odd creature, “I told you that you should’ve hid in the bushes while I handled this.”

    “Oh, like jou are any more normals than me, okay?” The king prawn whispered back to her.

    “Oh, don’t even start with me you little fish, I’ll…”

    “Excuse me!” Belle spoke up, clearly hearing the whispering between the two getting louder with each retort. “Where…did you both come from?”

    Neither the young woman nor the talking king prawn knew how to respond to that question. But the young woman did her best to explain anyway. “Well…we definitely come from somewhere that’s a lot far from this place. We…uh…” It was certainly a lot harder than she imagined it to be. However, she found an easier approach – this was, of course, Belle she was talking to, someone who loved reading fantasy tales. She told the Disney Princess, “We’re mystical beings from another land.”

    “Say what now?” Pepe uttered in surprise.

    Belle almost seemed amused by what she heard from the young woman. “Mystical beings from another land? Oh, my!”

    The young woman nodded with a smile. “Yes. My name is Ciciley, and this is Pepe. We’ve come very far to find a couple of friends of ours.”

    Pepe began to see where Ciciley was going and added, “Sí, okay. One looks just like me, except he’s ugly and talks funny.” He noticed how Ciciley was giving him a cold look and said in his defense, “What? He is!”

    Before the conversation could go on any further, the three of them suddenly heard commotion happening within the nearby village. They turned their heads to see a large crowd of villagers gathered around a fountain in the center of the village. From how they were shouting and screaming amongst themselves, it was evident that it was more of an angry mob than just a simple crowd of villagers. In realization of that, Belle, Pepe, and Ciciley ran into the village and approached the angry mob.

    Looking over a few shoulders, they could see what had to have been the strangest standoff ever. A tall, very masculine, extremely muscular, blue-eyed, and handsome man in a red shirt with a golden collar, a brown belt, black pants, and heavy-action boots was aiming his large gun directly at the most bizarrely dressed stranger Belle had ever seen. Ciciley and Pepe, on the other hand, were well-acquainted with the stranger, as well as the “lively” frog accompanying him. They recognized them both as Kermit the Frog and Buzz Lightyear.

    “Gaston?” Belle exclaimed, her eyes directed to the man aiming the gun at Buzz, who was aiming the laser on his right arm at Gaston, a huge red dot shining at the center of his forehead.

    Pepe, witnessing the standoff between the two characters, voiced his amusement. “Ay caramba! Now dere’s something jou won’t see every day, unless it’s on one of dose Ditz-see fan forums, okay.”

    Kermit, who was shielding himself behind Buzz, tried his best to ease the incredible amount of tension coming over the area. Clearly, the crowd of villagers was not use to the likes of a high-tech spaceman and a talking frog. “Everyone, please! We don’t mean any harm! We’re just two strangers from a very far place!”

    “They’re bewitched! They’ve come to cast a curse upon us all!” One of the villagers exclaimed, frightening the crowd even further.

    In the meantime, Gaston and Buzz were not once taking their eyes or weapons off each other. Buzz aggressively told the huntsman, “Lower your weapon, humanoid! I repeat that I come in peace!”

    “You lower yours, monster!” Gaston demanded while he glanced at the laser device being aimed at his head. “Whatever it is…lower it, before I blast you to smithereens!”

    Belle turned her attention away from the altercation and focused on Ciciley and Pepe, pointing to Buzz and Kermit. “A-Are those two strangers the friends you were looking for?”

    Ciciley was at a loss for words. As much as she wanted to tell Belle that they were not, she could not help but to wonder if Kermit and Buzz were in fact who they were looking for, albeit unexpectedly. If they arrived there in the same fashion that she and Pepe had, then they would have to continue convincing Belle of their story. In response to Belle’s question, she told her, “Uh…yes! They are!”

    Again, Pepe was surprised by her remark, but he kept telling himself that it was all part of a plan that she seemed to be making up as she went.

    “Then I must stop Gaston before he hurts them!” Belle exclaimed, right before she pushed herself through the crowd of angry, scared villagers and approached the huntsman. “Gaston, stop! You can’t shoot them!”

    Gaston refused to take his eyes off Buzz, even as he addressed Belle. “Stay out of this, Belle! This is no place for a beautiful girl like you!”

    “But they mean us no harm.” Belle told him.

    “You don’t know that for certain!” Gaston snapped. “They’re witches! Demons! Evil beings sent to destroy us all! And I am the only one who can stop them!”

    Ciciley and Pepe pushed their way past the crowd as well to get closer to Kermit and Buzz. When some of the villagers took notice of their presence, they instantly became more alarmed, standing very far away from the two. It was not until they all became aware of them when Pepe told Gaston, “Jou should really chill out on dose horror flicks, okay.”

    Gasps sounded all over when Gaston and the villagers stared at Ciciley and Pepe, whose appearances shocked them more than Kermit and Buzz’s. “Egad! There are more of them!” Gaston quickly aimed his gun at the two other strangers, which forced them to raise their hands indistinctively.

    “Yo! No need for all that, homey!” Ciciley cried.

    Gaston raised an eyebrow in confusion at the one word uttered in her exclamation. “H…Homey?”

    Noticing how distracted the huntsman was, a short, chubby man with a big nose named LeFou – who was Gaston’s biggest “worshipper” and “friend” – shouted to him, “She’s trying to curse you, Gaston! It’s a curse word!”

    “Homey isn’t a curse word.” Pepe clarified.

    “No, but if he shoots that gun at us, I’ll have a whole lot of them to spew out.” Ciciley stated.

    Kermit gawked at the two of them, seeming a bit enthralled by their appearance for reasons that differed from the villagers surrounding them. He was somewhat relieved to see another Muppet – one whom he had never met before, of course – there and then. “Who are you people?”

    Pepe was a little surprised by his question. “Kermin…it’s me, Pepe. Jou know…de King Prawn?”

    The frog looked long and hard at the Muppet and shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I’ve never met you before my whole life. Are you a new addition to our Muppet Show cast?”

    Pepe glanced over to Ciciley, who looked just as surprised as he was. “I don’t believe dis. Have I entered De Twilight Zones or something?” He then looked over at Gaston, who was still aiming his gun at him and Ciciley. “And jou? What is up with jou, okay? Shouldn’t jou be going after dat Beast guy who lives in dat castle?”

    Hearing this from the king prawn, Gaston lowered his gun slightly and asked, “Beast? What beast?”

    Ciciley realized what was happening and whispered to her Muppet friend, “Uh, Pepe? I think you’d better…”

    “De one dat lives in de castle outside dis village? Dios mío! Am I de only one who can remember de movie?”

    Gaston and the villagers were heavily startled by the information that Pepe had given them all. Some of the women screamed, while others either fainted or gasped. The men began murmuring over each other, already formulating a plan of action. One of these men boldly yelled, “This beast must be their leader! If we kill it, then we should rid ourselves of this curse placed upon our beloved town!”

    All of the men in the crowd then chanted in bloodthirsty manner, “Kill the beast! Kill the beast! Kill the beast!”

    The chant brought a fire within Gaston that he never felt before. It was a fire that only a true hunter like himself could experience when he was fully aware of a prey – a formidable foe – that he should confront to prove himself. The huntsman stood upon the base of the fountain, so that all of the villagers could see him, and declared, “I will lead a cavalry of men to this castle! All women and children stay in your homes, lock your doors, and bar your windows! You each have my word that by dusk, this beast’s head shall be ours!”

    Every male villager roared with zeal over Gaston’s enthusiasm. Ciciley lowered her head in despair, realizing that events were happening completely out of sequence with the original telling of this story. Gaston and the villagers were not supposed to have known of the Beast’s existence until after Belle had met and fallen in love with him, not before. Even as she glanced over to the Disney Princess, she could see how alarmed she appeared to be over the news of the Beast. It was a definite chance that she would not fall in love with him in the same way she had in the original storyline.

    “And you accursed beings!” Gaston exclaimed, pointing to her, Buzz, Kermit, and Pepe. “You all shall be locked away, until your leader falls at my hands!”

    That, of course, was highly unacceptable to Buzz Lightyear. No innocents, including him, were going to be falsely imprisoned for crimes that neither of them committed. As Gaston gestured for a few male villagers to subdue them, Buzz’s hand went to the left side of his suit where he pressed a large red button that activated a pair of large wings from the back of the suit with blinking red and green lights. Everyone stood back and stared in awe at what Buzz’s high-tech spacesuit had just done, while Buzz knelt down on one knee and turned to Kermit, Pepe, and Ciciley. “Grab onto my wings!”

    “What?” Ciciley remarked, a bit stunned by his proposal.

    “They are a terillium-carbonic alloy and will support each of your weights! Now grab on!”

    Ciciley, Pepe, and Kermit each looked very perplexed, but they eventually got what Buzz was asking them to do. They grabbed onto his wings and hung on tightly, just as they began to feel a strong vibration and a loud humming noise from the space ranger’s suit. Streams of white smoke poured out fast and heavy from the bottom of the wings, where the boosters were located. This was certainly something new that Ciciley was witnessing from the Toy Story character, who – as she remembered – was not a real space ranger. But, apparently, from the way his wings were igniting, he was!

    To infinity and beyond!

    Buzz exclaimed his often repeated catchphrase as he lifted right off the ground and away from the crowd of startled villagers, soaring high into the morning sky with Kermit, Pepe, and Ciciley clasped onto his wings. The three “passengers” were screaming frantically as they were soaring fifty feet across the air. Ciciley’s bright blue eyes were shut tight during the entire ride. Kermit and Pepe, on the other hand, had theirs wide open – as they always seem to be – looking all around from the white clouds they had flown through to the lusciously green trees passing below them.

    Kermit expressed a mixed reaction of fear and joy as he shouted, “He can fly! He can fly! He can fly!”

    “Wrong Ditz-see character, Kermin!” Pepe informed through his immense trepidation.


    END OF CHAPTER TEN​
  20. GonzoLover85

    GonzoLover85 Member

    I'm really enjoying this story MW... but something I noticed in the last chapter:
    You've got the time zone set at 2010. When I believe it should have been 1977.


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