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Zootless: Missing in Action

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TwoHeadedLlama, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. TwoHeadedLlama

    TwoHeadedLlama Active Member

    (So, for starters, I know that everyone and their grandmother has their own head canons about Zoot's past and personal life. Still, I might as well add mine to the pile, lol.)


    Zootless


    Chapter 1: Electric Loyalty


    “Alright, we ready?” shouted Kermit from his director's chair, positioned behind a large studio camera. “Fozzie ready?”


    “Ready!” shouted Fozzie, holding up a pair of rubber chickens.


    “Gonzo ready?”


    “Ready!” Gonzo shouted from offstage, the sound of a motorcycle engine overlapping his voice.


    “Chef ready?”


    “Rudu!”


    “Scooter ready?”


    “You bet, boss!”


    “Muppet labs?”


    “Meemee!”


    “Piggy ready?”


    Miss Piggy smiled brightly. “For vous, always!” she cooed.


    “Rowlf ready?”


    “Yep!” shouted Rowlf. He placed his paws on the keys of the grand piano. Miss Piggy was sitting on top of it, wearing a silky, violet dress. She fluttered her eyelashes at her beloved frog, causing him to turn a bit pink as he commanded the stage.


    “Band ready?”


    Only silence answered Kermit. The muppets looked around the studio in confusion.


    Kermit cleared his throat and repeated the question, slightly louder this time.


    “Electric Mayhem, are you ready to perform?”


    He thought his use of slightly bigger words might get the attention of the band's leader, Dr. Teeth, but again, there was no response. Kermit sighed in frustration, and rose from his chair.


    “Has anyone seen the Electric Mayhem?”


    “I dunno,” Fozzie shrugged. “Maybe they went out to get snacks?”


    “Why the hay would they be getting snacks, Fozzie? They know we're on a deadline!”


    Kermit sighed again and frowned in frustration. All the muppets in the studio began to mumble to each other sheepishly. Their boss was angry, and none of them wanted to cross an angry frog. But Kermit was justified in his anger. The Muppets were filming a summer tv special, and they were two weeks behind schedule, with the special airing in only a week from that moment. No one knew exactly why they were behind, but it may have had something to do with the tapioca pudding on the stage, or the rats throwing a party in the piano, or another similar incident. But as the date of the airing loomed, tensions were high, and they were especially high for the amphibian in charge of corralling it all.


    Kermit turned to face his assistant, who stepped forward in earnestness.


    “Scooter, could you check the dressing rooms?”


    “Sure boss,” Scooter said. In a flash he was out the door.


    Kermit sat down in his chair, and was just beginning to wonder what he would tell the TV network when they found about the delays, when suddenly, a pair of double doors that led to the parking lot swung open. A familiar rat entered the studio.


    “Rizzo, you're late!”


    “Sorry about that,” Rizzo said, trotting over to the stage. He stopped for a moment and looked at the grim expressions everyone wore.


    “Hey, why the long faces?” he asked.


    “The band's gone missing,” replied Rowlf.


    “The Electric Mayhem? I just saw those guys.”


    The eyes of every muppet in the room widened.


    “Where?” said Kermit.


    “They're right outside the door.”


    Kermit hopped (not literally) from his chair and rushed towards the studio door.


    “Sit tight guys. As soon as I get back, we're rolling.”


    He pulled open the heavy metal slab, and stepped out onto the concrete. It was nighttime, and the tall buildings of the city twinkled like rectangular Christmas trees. Kermit used these lights to pinpoint the location of the Electric Mayhem. They were leaning up against one of the studio's brick walls, and were being unusually quiet. Even Animal stood still.


    Kermit began walking towards them. The sound of his flippers seemed to get the band's attention, so they turned to look at him.


    “Guys, what are you doing??” Kermit cried. “We need to start filming, and you're just standing around out here!”


    “Zoot's outta sight,” Floyd said, crossing his arms.


    “What?”


    “Zoot's gone missin',” said Lips, who was standing closest to the frog. “Haven't seen 'im all day.”


    “Gone!” bellowed Animal.


    Kermit rolled his eyes. “Zoot's always late! That dosen't mean you have to stand around until he shows up!”


    “But, like, we're ruly worried about him,” Janice said. “He's never been this late before.”


    Kermit started to say something, but then stopped. Janice had a point. Zoot was always late, but he usually showed up before sundown at least. The frog sighed.


    “Well, Zoot or no Zoot, we're going to have to start filming the song soon, or the network guys will have my head!”


    “And your legs,” said Floyd. “On a plate.”


    The bassist chuckled at his own joke, but the rest of the band remained grim. Dr. Teeth, who had been leaning up against the wall in silence, finally spoke.


    “Look Kermit, us musicians consider ourselves part of an eternal brotherhood, a family of sorts. As such, we would never be so uncouth as to leave one of our fellow familiars behind.”


    “Yeah, man,” said Floyd. “Zoot's been in the band since it's conception. We can't just leave him out stone-cold.”


    Janice nodded. “Bottom line, we can't perform unless he's, like, here. Fer sure.”


    “Need Zoot!” Animal grunted.


    Kermit covered his face with his hand. Next to Piggy, the Electric Mayhem were among the most stubborn Muppets in the group. Under normal circumstances he would let them have their way, or scream at them to do their job, but desperate times called for desperate measures.


    “Please guys,” Kermit pleaded. “Please come in and perform the song. It's an emergency!”


    “No can do, webbed wonder,” Floyd replied, shaking his head slowly. “Unless you give us a reason.”


    “Well, for starters, the network will probably never let us do a special again,” said Kermit. “And they'll probably fry me for talking them into it.”


    The band members looked at each other. Floyd shrugged, and Kermit bit his lip.


    “Besides, Zoot isn't even in this song. Or...come to think of it...any of the songs in our special. He just kinda stands around and doesn’t do anything.”


    “Kinda sounds like he's doing your job for ya-”


    “It's alright, Floyd,” Dr. Teeth suddenly said. “We'll be there in a couple of minutes.”


    Kermit stared at Teeth. The other band members stared too. Apparently their leader's response had come as a surprise to all of them.


    “Oh. Ok...” said Kermit, backing away slowly. “I guess I'll...see you inside.”


    He turned around and walked back the way he came. As so as he was out of sight, the band turned to look at each other.


    “What was that all about, Doc?” asked Floyd. “I didn't even get to finished the joke!”


    Dr. Teeth sighed. “The frog is in the right, I'm afraid. There's a multitude of things hitching a ride on this program.”


    “Like, we'll probably lose our jobs!”


    “Don't think it'll go that far,” said Lips. “But he's right 'bout one thing. Zoot's got no part in the song. Come ta think of it, I don't got one either.”


    Lips paused for a moment and looked thoughtful. Then he said,


    “Tell ya what. Y'all go inside and record the song. I'll stay here and keep an eye out for 'im.”


    “You sure, Lips?” said Dr. Teeth. “We haven't really had the opportunity to congregate in this melodious manner with you for a while”


    “It's ok. I spent over a decade outta the spotlight. It don't bother me none if I have to wait a bit longer.”


    Dr. Teeth nodded slowly, and began to lead the rest of the band back to the studio, while Lips stood silently in his vigil.


    “I hope Zoot's all right, man,” Floyd said quietly. “Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.”


    Dr. Teeth didn't reply. Somehow Zoot's absence wasn't what worried him most.



    **************************************************************************


    “Alright! Good job guys!” Kermit's voice rang out over the parking lot. “See you tomorrow!”


    The lot was soon swarmed with Muppets. They were all chattering excitedly, their worry from earlier had vanished completely. The song had been filmed in one take, and Kermit was once again his cheerful, happy-go-lucky self. The whole thing couldn't have worked out better, except for one thing...


    Zoot still hadn't showed up. Lips stood outside for a full three hours after the band went back in, and there was still no sign of the blue-haired sax player. Needless to say, the Electric Mayhem was becoming rather worried.


    “Do we have his phone number?” Dr. Teeth asked the group when they were all gathered together.


    “Sorry, Teeth. No dice there either,” Floyd sighed. “I think the only dude around here with his number is the boss, but I can't find him anywhere.”


    “Like, we even checked all the back alleyways,” Janice spoke up. “But he wasn't their either.”


    “What could have happened to him?”


    Animal, who had been standing silently during the whole conversation, suddenly perked up and began to sniff the air. He circled around the band members, moving around and around as he tried to catch the scent. Suddenly, the wild drummer looked up, eyes widened.


    “Zoot! Zoot!” He shouted.


    The band members looked in the direction Animal was facing, and sure enough, there was Zoot, walking slowly towards them.


    The five of them ran towards their missing member, but were surprised when Zoot walked right past them and continued to move closer to the studio.


    “Hey, Zoot! What's the big idea?” shouted Floyd. “Where are you going?”


    “And, like, where were you?” Janice added. “We were ruly worried about you!”


    Zoot stopped in his tracks, and turned to face his friends. Somehow, his haggard, burnt-out expression seemed more haggard than usual.


    “I'm goin' to work,” he said. “What are you guys doing?”


    “Our employment has ceased for the day, Zoot,” said Dr. Teeth.


    Zoot's tired face suddenly showed a trace of suprise.


    “Oh...ok,” he said gloomily.

    “Yeah, man, we even filmed everything without you!” Floyd said.


    He immediately regretted his words.


    Zoot shut his mouth tight. His lip trembled. He almost looked angry, which shocked his fellow musicians. They had almost never seen Zoot get upset.


    “What'd you do that for?”


    The band members looked at each other worriedly.


    “Well, Zoot, The boss was getting pretty insistent,” said Dr. Teeth.


    “And you didn't have a part in the song,” added Floyd.


    Zoot lowered his head. The Electric Mayhem stared at him.


    “Alright,” he said quietly. “That's ok. I mean, I can't remember the last time I played sax with you guys anyway, so I guess you don't even need me around anymore.”


    “What you talkin' about? Of course we need ya!” Lips suddenly shouted. “You've been part of this band forever.”


    Zoot was silent. The others approached him slowly. Floyd put a hand on his friend's shoulder.


    “C'mon, Zoot,” the bassist said. “No one's mad at you.”


    “I'm goin' home,” Zoot muttered.


    The shocked faces of his friends did little to sway Zoot from his mission. Without even glancing up, he began to walk away. The others were too stunned to do anything as they watched their sax player leave. Soon he was gone.


    “Come back tomorrow!” Lips shouted after him.


    But it was too late. Zoot couldn't hear him anymore.


    “Now I know something's wrong,” said Floyd. “Zoot's gloomy even on his best days, but to see him get all riled up like that, it's nothing like him.”


    Janice put her hand on his shoulder.


    “Don't worry about it, hun,” she said. “Like, he'll probably be back tomorrow.”


    “Knowin' Zoot, he won't remember nothin' and will be ready ta play bright and early,” Lips added.


    The five of them nodded at each other, but somehow, deep down inside, they were still filled with concern.

    (To be continued...)
     


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