The next morning, the silence in the hallway was broken from the sound of a piano playing music. Jiminy Cricket was hopping his way down from his guest room following the swinging tune until he came to the opened door of Marina's room.
At the bench, Marina played away the old song and hummed the intro while lightly bobbed her head to the beat. With each key giving away a note, Marina smiled for the lyrics she prepared to sing. Before she came close, she heard the sound of someone humming along with her. She looked up at the corner of the piano and saw Jiminy smiling and tapping his foot to the beat.
"Why, Mr. Cricket," she smiled back. "Good morning."
"Just like the song you're playing: Good morning to you," he sang.
"You know the song?"
"Very well," he answered. "But I didn't expect a young woman like you to be into such old tunes like this."
"Oh, I love them, Mr. Cricket," Marina giggled. "You see, the library is one of my favorite places in the castle where I can read about other worlds. Every once in a while when Mickey comes there for some of his work, he turns on the old phonograph playing tunes of his old days. All of the old timers like Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Nilo Menendez, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Glen Miller, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and my favorite, George Gershwin."
"Ah, many of my favorites as well."
"Really?" Marina's heart thumped with joy. "I think this is gonna be the start of a great friendship. It isn't often I meet someone outside the palace who's into old swing music."
"Oh, I sing a lot of it myself," Jiminy walked closer to the sheet music. "Would it be too much to ask if you would sing?"
Marina paused in her playing as her cheeks turned pink, "What makes you think I sing?"
"Well, you are kinda singing when you're talking," he answered a little shyly. "You're eyes are kinda singing now."
With her cheeks turning from pink to cherry red, Marina smiled all flustered. She giggled, "You're very charming for a cricket."
The two of them chuckled together until Marina started playing the song again on the keys. She took in a breath and started singing,
Good morning, good morning
We've danced the whole night through
Good morning, good morning to you
Good morning, good morning
It's great to stay up late
Good morning, good morning to you
When the band began to play
The stars were shining bright
Now the milkman's on his way
It's too late to say 'Good night'
So, good morning, good morning
Sunbeams will soon smile through
Good morning, my darling, to you
(Jiminy hopped on Marina's shoulder and sang the bridge)
Here we are together,
A couple of stand-uppers
Our day is done, breakfast time
Starts with our suppers
Here we are together,
ah, but the best of friends must party.
So let me sing this party song
from the bottom of my hearty
(Marina) It's a lovely morning
I said good morning
(Marina) What a wonderful day
(Both) We danced the whole night through
Good morning, good morning to you
(Marina) I said good morning
(Jiminy) See the sun is shining
(Marina) Good morning
(Jiminy) Hear the birdies sing
(Both) It's great to stay up late
Good morning, good morning to you
(Jiminy) When the band began to play
The stars were shining bright
Now the milkman's on his way
It's too late to say 'Good night'
(Both) Good morning, good morning
Sunbeams will soon smile through
Good morning, my darlin', to you
Marina played the last few notes and tapped on a low B flat. Jiminy clapped his hands, "Very good, Ms. Seadrift. You sing and play the piano beautifully."
"Thank you, Mr. Cricket," she bowed her head. "You have a wonderful voice yourself."
"Thank you," he tipped his hat. "But you can call me Jiminy."
"And you can call me Marina," she winked at him.
"Very well. . . Marina," he hopped back to the piano. "So, where did you learn to play so well?"
"Mickey taught me. I took lessons from him since I was six. When I was ten, he said I was getting so good, he gave me his piano here for my birthday. After some years of all the simple stuff, he taught me how to play swing music, some jazz, and a bit of other old beats like that. Eventually, I started playing other good styles I got into. Y'know some of the slower beats; The more modern bits."
"Then I shall say, His Majesty taught you well."
Marina smiled and held her hand over to him, "Shall we head down to breakfast together?"
"With pleasure," he nodded before hopping to her palm. As she stood up, he hopped to her shoulder, "So, tell me, Marina. How come a young lady like you is living in a palace like this?"
Marina started walking out of the room, "I was born and raised in this castle. You see, my mother was one of Minnie's Ladies in Waiting and a dear friend and my father is the High Lord Chancellor Darren Seadrift to Queen Illysa. Mother died when I was five and since my father's duty keeps him too busy for him to raise me, he asked Mickey and Minnie to take care of me while he comes to visit me every month."
"My condolences to your loss, Marina," Jiminy sat down on her shoulder. "But it must be quite the life for you. Living in a castle, raised like a princess under a great king and queen, getting everything needed in life."
She smiled as she started down the hall, "Mickey and Minnie may be great rulers and all, but they were always a second father and mother to me. Donald and Goofy were always brothers to me ever since I was a baby. As much as I love my real father, everyone in this palace is my family."
"What is Captain Ward to you?"
"An old friend," she answered. "He was like an older brother to my husband."
Marina sighed, "Robbie died years ago when the Procyon Armada started in the Terran Empire."
"Oh, I'm s--"
"No, don't be," she held up a hand to stop him. "I'm okay now. I may miss him at times, but I'm not saddened by it as I used to be."
"I'm glad of that."
"Good morning, Marina," said a voice down the hall.
She and Jiminy looked up to find a woman with curly strawberry-blonde hair and a sweet smile on her face. Marina smiled back, "Peggy. Good morning."
When the two of them came together, Peggy said, "I was on my way over to tell you breakfast is ready. I heard you playing from the kitchen so I thought I'd come get you."
"No need. I was on the way," Marina winked. "Oh, have you two met? Peggy, this is Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy, this is Peggy Kingston, Captain Ward's wife."
"How do you do, Mrs. Kingston," Jiminy tipped his hat.
"Nice to finally meet you, Mr. Cricket," Peggy nodded. "King Mickey told me about you this morning."
Marina and Peggy walked side by side the rest of the way when Marina asked, "So, tell me, Peg. . . has any silverware in the kitchen disappeared?"
Marina crossed her arms, "Minnie told me last night that Mickey's letting Captain Silver stay in the palace for a while."
"Oh, I know of it," Peggy smiled. "He's in the kitchen right now cooking up a storm."
"He's what?!" Marina blinked heavily in shock.
When they came to the family dining room, they found everyone waiting at the table, including Chip and Dale at their miniature table near the centerpiece. Except for Donald and Clarabelle who were standing next to the door to the kitchen peeking through the cracked door like spies.
Mickey stood up at his regular seat at the head of the table, "Ah, there you are, Marina. Good morning. And good morning to you, Mr. Cricket."
"Morning, Mick," Marina kept staring at Donald and Clarabelle. "Uh. . . what with them?"
Minnie lowered her brow, "Oh, they've been like that all morning spying on Captain Silver ever since he offered to make breakfast for us."
Donald looked over his shoulder trying not to be heard from the kitchen, "Well, you can't trust a pirate in a kitchen. He might be planning to poison us. If not, he might not even be a real good chef and give us food poisoning."
"That or sneak a few of the silverware in his pocket," Clarabelle added.
"Oh, don't be silly," Mickey shook his head. "I had a sample of Silver's cooking earlier. A bit of ham and eggs and I'm tellin' ya: Hot Dog! Was it good! I can't wait for a full serving of it."
"Ah, phooey," said Donald a second before the door flew open and smashed him against the wall.
Silver stepped out wearing a white apron while carrying a large serving tray full of steaming hot breakfast goodies. From pancakes to ham and eggs to jam and toast to fresh cut fruit to hot buttered biscuits, but all together it smelled great for everyone in the room.
Silver smiled, "Ah, a top to the mornin' to ye all. And to you, Lassie and Mrs. Kingston. Hope the lot o' yeh are hungry."
Mickey was wringing his hands all eager to eat up what smelled the best to him, the ham and eggs. As Silver placed the tray down, Mickey told him, "It all looks delicious, Captain. I can't wait."
"And there be plenty more if yeh ever want second helpings, Your Majesty," Silver handed him the plate of ham and eggs. "And for you, Your Highness and Milady. . ." he handed Minnie and Daisy their plates, "A bit o' strawberries in honeydew melon with half a grapefruit."
"Thank you so much, Captain Silver," Minnie smiled.
"Short stack for you, Mr. Goof," he handed a plate of pancakes to Goofy.
Goofy licked his lips, "Gawrsh, thank you, Cap'n. Sure smells good."
"And. . . where be the duck?"
Daisy pointed her thumb back to the kitchen door. As Silver looked, the door slowly closed revealing Donald nearly flattened against the wall and with a sour look on his face.
"Ah, there you are," Silver chuckled. "No time to play your games now, Mr. Duck. Yeh don't want a cold breakfast."
Donald peeled himself from the wall and grumbled to himself. His face was slightly turning red with anger as he sat at his seat. But as Silver served him his plate of eggs, bacon, toast and jam, he grew a smile as the smell of it was remarkable. He took a big whiff of it and was entranced. Forgetting why he was spying on Silver in the first place, he immediately took a fork and knife and dug in.
"And for the Lassie and Mrs. Kingston. . ." Silver placed down two more plates in front of Marina and Peggy, "Eggs benedict with ham and toast. His Majesty, told me this be your favorites."
"Top favorite," Peggy start carving into the egg. "Thank you very much."
Chip and Dale were enjoying their regular breakfast of roasted nuts when Chip said, "Yes, Sir! Just the way we like it as well."
"Mm-hmm!!" Dale nodded with his cheeks stuffed.
After the first taste, Marina swallowed and nodded, "Very good. You certainly give a good meal."
"Me pleasure, Lassie, and to all of ye," Silver bowed his head. "Although, if it's too much to say, I didn't expect I be serving a royal breakfast in such a casual setting. I nearly believed the lot o' ye be eatin' in some enormous dining room with a mile long table."
Mickey looked around him with a cheek full of food seeing at how the dining room truly was quite casual. Unlike most of the castle, this room looked like any normal dining room one would find in a residential house. He swallowed and explained, "We only eat there on special occasions. This is the family dining room. There's really no need for us to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in such a large room when we would rather all sit together and enjoy conversations together like any regular family."
"Yup," said Goofy not realizing his mouth was full. "We maybe livin' in a castle, but that doesn't mean we have to always be so fancy every second."
"But speaking of family," Marina looked to the door. "Where's Ward? Isn't he joining us again?"
"He set out on duty early today," Peggy answered.
Mickey explained, "Even though Madam Leota says that the kingdom is clear of the Nightmares, he's just checking to see if there's anything suspicious. Y'know, just in case."
"I don't think yeh have anyt'ing to worry about, Your Majesty," said Silver. "If there be anyone controllin' the Nightmares, they won't be findin' 'im out there."
Jiminy hopped to the center of the table, "I'll have to agree with you, Captain Silver. Besides, there's nothing to worry about with Nightmares during the daytime. Everyone knows they can't survive being in light."
Mickey wiped his lips with his napkin and said, "Which is why I'm glad we're all here. This includes you, Silver."
Everyone had their attention on Mickey.
He leaned in and spoke, "I know we're all quite upset about what happened last night with Merlin. Of course, we won't have to worry about his life just yet because there's no doubt that the Nightmares want him alive and unharmed. However, it has come to mind that it's possible that the Nightmares will try again to get Madam Leota."
"Wull," Goofy swallowed a mouthful of food. "We don't have to worry about that. The Nightmares can't come into the palace with our security."
"Are you forgetting what happened last night at the party, Goof?" asked Marina. "They got in and chased the chipmunks and me down to the library."
"She's right," Mickey nodded once. "Because of the distraction at the party, there's a possibility that they'll try again when our backs are turned even for a second. That's why I'll be setting out to see my master and I'm taking Leota with me."
"You're leaving us?" Daisy blinked.
Peggy set down her fork, "So, that's why I saw the HMS Minnie coming in the bay this morning."
"Can we come with you, Mickey?" asked Goofy with a big smile.
"This is what I'm getting to," Mickey added. "It's a long way to the Master's place. . . and I just know that the Nightmares will go after others like Merlin and Leota and most likely Master himself."
"Just who are these. . . 'others', Your Majesty?" asked Silver.
"I don't know," Mickey shook his head once. "That's why I should head for other worlds along the way to my Master's place. There may be a chance that the Nightmares would be appearing in those worlds in search for the others. We all need to be there for them."
"We?" Donald asked.
Goofy smiled excitedly, "So we ARE going with you? A-hyuck! Let's start packin'!"
"Not so fast, Goofy," Minnie stopped him. "You won't be going with Mickey."
Marina raised a brow, "I don't get it."
Silver leaned upon the corner of the table. "His Majesty, here, told me all about it this mornin'. While he be goin' one way to see the Great Sorcerer, the rest o' yeh will be going another way protectin' other worlds from the Nightmares. Simple enough that a child can understand."
Dale leaned towards Chip and mumbled, "Run out and find us a child. I can't make head or tail outta this."
Chip bopped him on the head, "Pay attention!"
"It's elementary," said Jiminy. "And I think it's a good idea. While you go one way protecting other worlds, Your Majesty, the others will protect the other worlds and eventually all of you will meet again and fight together. After all, Sire, it'll be easier and faster to protect many others in separate ways then bouncing from one world to the next and losing precious time."
"Precisely my point," Mickey lighted banged his fight on the table. "I'll go with Pluto and Madam Leota. Along the way, I might make some allies to help out. Donald, you, Goofy, the chipmunks, and Marina will go on another route. Take Mr. Cricket with you too. Maybe you'll come across his home and get him back there."
"That's very kind of you, Sire," Jiminy smiled.
"Wait!" Marina spoke with her heart punching her chest. "I'm going too? Seriously?!"
"Of course," Mickey answered. "We're gonna need all the help as possible."
"But, Sir," Peggy objected, "Marina can't bring out her sword when she's on her own. It's a big risk for her."
"I know she'll do fine," Mickey had confidence in his voice. "Marina, as long as you stay close with Donald and Goofy, you'll be able to fight any Nightmare as a team. And besides, this is your greatest opportunity to finally become the explorer you've always wanted to be."
Marina was speechless with excitement as her breath was shortened and a smile was spreading across her face. Every single thing she wanted to do for this journey was going through her mind so fast that she couldn't think straight.
While she was trembling with great happiness, Goofy asked, "So, Mickey. What ship will we be takin'? Your other one, the HMS Minnie II?"
Mickey answered, "I have to admit that she may be a great vessel, but her speed won't be good enough for you guys, that why I'm. . ." he paused and looked at Minnie. He asked awkwardly, "Should I tell them?"
"Tell us what?" asked Chip.
Silver nudged him on the shoulder, "What's there to hide, Your Majesty? It's a job I'm happy to take for yeh."
"Huh?" Goofy scratched his head.
Silver explained, "All of yehs will be sailin' with me on me ship, the Argentum."
That got Marina's attention as Donald stood up from his seat.
"We'll be WHAT?!" he yelled.
Goofy repeated, "He just said that we'll be sailin' with him on his--"
"I heard him the first time!" Donald plopped a hand over Goofy's mouth. "There is no way we are going to be sailing with the likes of him, Your Majesty! It's out of the question! He's a pirate."
Silver leaned in towards Mickey and whispered, "You understand what he just said, Sire?"
Donald's face started turning red.
Mickey elucidated, "Donald, Silver is no longer a pirate under our eyes starting now. I have all the documents to clear his name under my seal of approval. Captain Silver, here, is now a privateer for our kingdom and has volunteered to help us out with this mission. He has agreed to assist us through everything that is to happen. He'll sail you to your destinations as captain and you go to each world and fight off the Nightmares and find who they are after."
"And I am just to tell yeh with all do respect, mates," Silver reminded. "Even though all of yeh are residents of a great castle. . . being on me ship will be no pleasure cruise vacation. I'll be havin' a skeleton crew with you. Which means there will be work."
"Work?" Marina face dropped.
Daisy asked, "But didn't you say that your ship is self rigging and capable for you to sail it by yourself?"
"Self rigging when it comes to the rigging part, m'dear," Silver replied. "But everyone knows that there be more to a ship than undoin' the sails. A deck's not gonna swab itself."
"Don't worry about it, Captain," said Mickey. "They'll do their best. I'm sure of it."
Goofy smiled, "I won't mind a little work here and there, sir."
Donald remained quite as he was still a little steamed about the thought of sailing with a pirate. Marina sat back in her seat with her arms crossed like a stubborn child.
"What's wrong?" Peggy asked her.
She whispered in a low tone, "There is no way this guy is gonna get me to do a chore."
Jiminy asked, "But, Your Majesty, how will we know which world to go to? I mean, how will we know if we come to a world that has Nightmares?"
"Every world has Nightmares, Jiminy," said Chip. "They can just be very weak because of people not remembering their bad dreams."
"Yes, but I think they are finding ways of getting stronger," Mickey pointed out. "The ones that attacked us last night were pretty tough. However, I went to the Professor last night and asked him the same question about detecting the Nightmares. He told me he has the solution for all of us and wants to see us in the lab after breakfast."
After breakfast, Donald was leading the way down the castle hall ways to the laboratory. When they came around the last corner, Minnie spoke, "I wonder what the Professor wants to show us."
"Knowing him... there's no telling," said Daisy.
Jiminy was on Goofy's shoulder when he asked, "Is this the same Professor Ludwig Von Drake I've heard about who--?"
Marina counting her fingers, "--was arrested for counterfeit after inventing a money increaser machine, caused a major traffic problem when he accidentally invented a teleport machine out of his bathtub, re-invented the telephone, caused the explosion in the Science Convention of Duckburg ten years ago when he was making a baking soda volcano that he wanted to be more realistic--"
Jiminy interrupted, "--I meant the one who revolutionized the way of traveling the Etherium when he invented the Engine of Silence, the solar powered engine for light ships that run so silent that you'd think you were sailing on a cloud."
"Oh yeah," Marina spoke awkwardly. "I sometimes forget the good things."
Minnie giggled, "Oh, yes. Professor Von Drake has his flaws at times, but on the other hand, many of his inventions have made wonders around the galaxies."
"And he is your uncle, Duck?" asked Silver.
"By marriage," Donald answered.
"That's fascinating," Jiminy smiled. "I never would've guessed it."
Daisy added, "Bet you also didn't guess that Donald's other uncle is Scrooge McDuck, one of the richest duck in the Universe."
"Really?!" Jiminy blinked. "That's something."
Donald stopped at a door in the middle of the hall, "Daishy, ix-nay on Unca Roog-scay when we have a irate-pay in the alace-pay."
Goofy tapped on Marina's shoulder, "Uh, you know Spanish, Marina. What did he just say?"
Mickey answered Minnie's question, "Well, Professor just told me this morning that he has a lot of things that will be very handy for this mission."
Donald then opened the door and took a step in, only unaware that the door was leading to nowhere but a three story drop outside the castle. After hearing his scream dim out and a loud thud, Jiminy gasped, "Oh my goodness!"
Daisy moaned, "Don't panic. He'll be okay. This happens almost all the time."
"What the devil?" Silver looked through the door to the drop. "What kind of trick is this? A door to nowhere?"
"You'll understand in a minute, Captain," Mickey smiled while shaking his head.
Marina leaned out the door to the outside shouting, "Donald! You forgot to knock again!"
Donald was laying in a hole that was made by his body the last time he fell through the door mumbling to himself as Marina closed the door.
Mickey explained, "Two years ago, Professor Von Drake invented a dimensional door. He only made it after hearing the story of the you and young Mr. Hawkins, Captain."
Silver asked, "Ah, you mean the portal to the other worlds, aye? The trick Captain Flint use to roam the Universe."
Minnie nodded, "That's the one. The Professor was inspired by the technology of such a map that he did some research and invented a door that leads to his laboratory. He moved in here after he made a lot of money off of it. Hundreds of scientists are bringing such great use to it."
Goofy smiled, "And the only way to get inside is to knock before you enter."
Marina knocked three times and said, "Uncle Luddy! Are you in?"
"Who is it?"
The door opened up and revealed not the outside, but Professor Ludwig Von Drake in his large laboratory.
He adjusted his glasses and smiled, "Ah! Hello there!!! And welcome to Von Drake's House of Genius!! This is the house and I am the genius!"
"Good morning, Professor," said Minnie. "You sent for us?"
"Yes. Yes, indeed I did, My Queen," Von Drake bowed. "Please, come in. Come in everyone. Oh? Where's me good ol' nephew Donald?"
Mickey answered, "Oh, he forgot to knock again."
"Again?! Oh, that kooky boy. I know his mother taught him better than that."
"Well, you know him," Marina crossed her arms. "He'll be back in a few minutes."
"Baaaaaaahhhh!" everyone heard Donald screaming angrily from outside.
Marina squinted her eye, "Would you believe a few seconds?"
As they were stepping into the lab, Goofy said, "Oh, Professor, this here is Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy, Professor Ludwig Von Drake."
"How do you do, sir," Jiminy tipped his hat. "I heard quite a bit about you."
"And a howdy do to you, Mr. Cricket," said Von Drake. "Welcome to my laboratory."
Mickey introduced Silver, "And this is Captain John Silver. Silver, meet the Professor."
"Pleasure, Prof," Silver tipped his hat.
Von Drake quickly came up to Silver and shook hands with him, "Ah! Hello there, Captain Silver! It's indeed an pleasure to finally meet you. The stories of the trip to Treasure Planet is a great inspire-ation to me! You'd be surprised of all the things I have invented after hearing about you. You can see that this door is a good idea."
"Aye," Silver looked upon the door. "And more simple. A knock on the door from t'e other side to open it. Clever."
"Danke shoen, Captain," Von Drake finally noticed that he was shaking hands with Silver's cyborg hand. His eyes widened and his heart thumped heavily, "Ah, Captain. . . the works of your cyborg parts. They is most astounding! You must have me examine it someday."
Mickey leaned over and whispered behind his hand, "I warn ya, Silver. . . whenever he plans to, run, don't walk, to the nearest exit."
"Hear ya loud an' clear, Sire," Silver nodded.
When everyone else was inside, Donald came dashing up to the door like lightning with his feathers all ruffled. As he was panting, Von Drake chided him, "Donald, how hard can it be to remember to do a simple knock on my door? That's the fifth time this month."
Donald marched inside, "Dog gone stubborn door with the--"
"Stop with the mumbling, boy, we has business to tend to," Von Drake closed the door. "Ah, perfect. We have Pluto with us. Perfect for the experiment."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Mickey came down to Pluto. "You promised there would be no more experiments involving Plu. Remember the last time?"
"Oh, no. Nothing like that, Sir," said Von Drake. "I've just finished these last week and now it's time to see if they work of animals like Pluto. Come now, you'll just love these!!" He hurried to one of his lab tables and picked up a small box, "When I found out about your journey starting today, I just knew that these would come in perfect handy."
"What are they?" Minnie asked.
Von Drake opened the box in front of the group and revealed a dozen of small hearing aid-like objects.
"My friends, I give to you perhaps my greatest invention: The Great-Super-Duper-Ludwig Von Drake-Fancy-Shmancy-Earlobe-Sized-Fauna-Vocabulary-Paraphraser!"
"Animal Translators?" Jiminy rephrased.
Von Drake frowned, "Well, anyone can make it sound easy."
Mickey picked up one of the devices, "Professor! You actually made animal translators?!" He placed it in his large round ear, "Hot dog, Professor! That's amazing!"
"And that is why I'm happy that Pluto is here," Von Drake explained. "The translators have been successful with all of me guinea pigs and hamsters and even a wee robin that landed at my window."
Marina took one, "Are you most certain about the robin, Uncle Luddy? Most animals can talk in the first place like Chips and Dale can. Even Sir Merlin's owl, Archimedes, speaks nice and clear."
"And yours truly, of course," said Jiminy. "And I have no need for such devices. As a cricket born of Nature, I can understand the language of other animals. Plus, I am fluent in seven other languages. After all, I do travel quite a lot."
"Ah, but these shall come in great use than just having an interpreter," said Von Drake.
"I think it'll be awesome!" said Marina as she placed one in her ear. "Now we can finally, after all these years, hear what Plu has to say!"
Pluto wagged his tail and barked ever so happily as Donald and Goofy took a translator of their own. When they placed them in their ears, Pluto was barking more and more as he was prancing around the group.
Minnie and Daisy quickly place a translator in their ears as Von Drake asked, "Well? how does it feel to hear what Pluto has to say?"
Pluto stopped and bowed in a dog's playful position with his tail wagging so fast. He barked a few times more, but... no one in the room with the translators heard a word coming from him.
Minnie pressed her translator in little more, "What's that Pluto? Speak again."
Pluto stood straight and barked once more... but alas... no one heard a word less than a bark.
Everyone looked at Von Drake. He looked at them confused of their expressions, "What? What did he say?"
Silver answered, "I think they are looking at you to say that the dog simply spoke in clear words. The words were 'Bark' and 'Woof'."
"Wha?" Von Drake frowned and took a translator of his own, "Oh, what with the kooky translator acting so stubborn?! They was working fine this morning!"
Pluto's tail stopped wagging. He started whimpering. When Von Drake didn't hear any words as the others, he kept tapping on his translator like a broken hearing aid.
"It's no matter," Marina scratched Pluto's head, "Plu here speak to us every day. He speaks to us with all of his expressions. Right now he is telling us--"
"That he is sad in disappointment that it doesn't work," Mickey finished her off. "No translator is needed to let us know how Pluto feels." He stroked his head, "Don't worry about it, Pluto. We all know what you say through your eyes. That's the way it's been for many many years."
Pluto offered him a smile.
"It's okay, Plu," Marina smiled. "I've always loved your barks anyway."
"Same here, boy," said Mickey.
"Oh," Goofy sighed. "I really wanted to hear Pluto talk to us."
"Silly people, they never get it."
Everyone but Von Drake and Silver paused when they heard that tiny voice somewhere in the lab. It was slightly tinier than Chip's and yet had more squeak to it.
"Who said that?" Daisy looked around the lab.
Von Drake was still trying to get a sound out of the translator, "Oh, that's just one of my hamsters. Hamsters? You heard them?"
The group looked over to Von Drakes few cages of hamsters and guinea pigs. One of the hamsters stood up near it's wheel and said, "See what I mean. They don't get it."
"Whoa!!" Marina blinked.
"Holy cats! They work!!" Daisy rushed over to the cages. "Say something again, Fluffy Guy!"
"My name is Sylvester," the hamster frowned. "Friends call me Sly for short."
"Wow! Cool!" Marina came to the cage with the others. "And what about you, fella?"
"You mean 'lady'," the other hamster stood up.
"Oops," Marina said awkwardly. "Sorry."
"I'm Sylvia," the hamster told her. "Friends call me Sill."
Minnie asked, "What did you mean when you said we don't get it?"
"Simple," Sill shrugged. "Simple enough that even the Professor can understand."
"I heard that!" said Von Drake, who was still trying to get a word out of Pluto.
Sly explained, "There are three kinds of ways of talking for us animals. In other words there are three different kinds of talking. There's the animals that can talk loud and clear like your chipmunk friends, Chip and Dale."
Sill calculated, "That's one-third of animal population, not counting the higher evolution of animal like all of you guys. Another one-third are the kind that talk just like us."
Sly added, "To any other ear like yourselves, you hear a simple squeak, bark, meow, chirp, and so on. To all the other ears of animals, they are perfect words and phrases. That's what your hearing with those fauna translators."
"Which leave the animals that speak only through expressions," Sill concluded. "Think of it as though they were mutes. The only way of them to speak are simple barks, meows, squeaks, and chirps. Even we hear only barks, meows, and all that, but anyone can see what they are saying."
"So... you're saying that..." Marina sadly came back down with her arms around Pluto, "All this time... Plu's a mute?"
"Nah," Sly waved a wrist, "Most of them just feel better off just saying the animal language. It's like a person who speak only English watching a Spanish movie without the subtitles."
"That's..... weird," Marina raised a brow. "And confusing."
Sill smiled, "But hey, there are lots of critters that can actually hear what they're saying. It's kinda rare, but it can happen. Hey, maybe on your venture out into the Etherium you'll meet a person or two who are able to."
Everyone's head turned to face Jiminy.
"You?" Von Drake asked.
"I didn't want to say anything right away," Jiminy smiled. "Apparently, these two hamsters are quite explanatory about the whole thing."
Sly crossed his arms, "Hey, when you live most of your life in a laboratory, you learn a lot."
"Well, at least you guys can take it!" the guinea pig in the neighboring cage. "All of these kooky projects are getting me to go-- GREAT! Now I'm talking like the Prof!"
"Down boy," Sly moaned. Then he explained, "That's Harry. He always complains and rants about everything."
"I do not!"
"Anyways!" Daisy interrupted , "This could be great for you guys. You've got animal translators and an interpreter if the translators don't pick up anything."
Marina smiled, "Uncle Luddy, once again, you've made a success."
"Vonderbul!" Von Drake smiled. "So, now I can give you my other invention! I've been working on it all last night! Which reminds me..." he gave out a long yawn. "I needs my coffee."
As Von Drake was walking over to his coffee machine, Marina smiled to the others, "All the same, this is really awesome! We will get to listen and talk to animals on this journey. This is gonna be great!"
"A-hyuck, it sure is!" Goofy smiled. "I feel like that ol' Doc Domuch."
"That's Dolittle," Donald corrected him. "And this journey is not for us to go around to talk to cats and dog. We are going to protect people from the Nightmares!"
"We know that already," Marina frowned. "But we don't act sour about it all the time. Some good will come of it.
"And this is the device that will come in great use as well," said Von Drake after he sipped of his coffee. He pulled out of his lab coat pocket two devices the size of a palm pilot, "Viola! The Von Drake-Fancy-Schmancy-Super-Duper-Out-of-this-World-Other-World--"
"Professor!!" Donald shouted.
"They is Nightmare Radars," Von Drake moaned as he handed one of the devices to his nephew. "They can scan an entire planet on the planet itself, outside the atmosphere, and up two a few days distant travel from the planet. If you is heading for a certain system, you will now know which world to go to and what area the Nightmares is roaming."
"How do you know it works?" Donald looked the scanner top to bottom.
"I be working on this scanner for the past many years, me boy," Von Drake answered. "Only last night the scanner started to work for the first time. Apparently, the library was the first place they attacked. But it looked like you guys wiped them out good."
That caught the attention of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. Even Marina was getting intrigued that she took as step closer to Von Drake.
"You no believe me?" Von Drake coyly. "I counted the numbers and there be twelve in the attack."
Marina retraced her memories back to the library. She remembered that she and the boys each fought against three Nightmares. She smiled, "You're right, Uncle Luddy. There were twelve of them."
Von Drake chuckled in triumph, "Now you see what a genius I be!"
Donald tested him, "And where exactly did they get--"
"The gardens," Von Drake answered. "Ha ha! Got you again. All twelve got through the garden gates and came right into the palace."
Mickey smiled, "Professor, this is wonderful. It will come of great use everywhere. If every world had this, everyone would be prepared for a Nightmare."
"Precisely why I am making more. A number of worlds with the high technology will love these things. Of course, first thing I needs is to think of a better name for it."
Marina crossed her arms, "I think Nightmare Radar is fine."
"Fine. Make it sound easy," Von Drake shrugged.
"Wait a minute," said Jiminy. "If the radar detected the Nightmares in the gardens... and possibly at Merlin's home... then did it pick up a signal of who was controlling them?"
"Oh yeah!" Marina blinked. "Anyone who's powerful enough to control the Nightmares--"
"Nine," Von Drake sighed. "No big reading was on the reading but the regular Nightmares." He scratched his scalp, "Maybe a I could add a few more upgrades and--"
"NO!!!" everyone jumped in defensively knowing how Von Drake is when it comes to upgrades on any of his inventions.
Minnie smiled nervously, "I'm sure something will be dealt with when they reach the other worlds."
"Okay, have it your own way," Von Drake shrugged. "Ah, and here be the best thing yet to come!" He went to the desk and took a cloth off a thick disk in the shape of a donut and the size of a football with a few gears in the center. He picked it up and said, "These shall come of great use. Captain Silver, I think you shall be most interested in this one."
"Oh?" Silver stepped forward. "You have my interest, Prof."
"Watch and be mezzi-merized," Von Drake pushed the button. The gears hummed to life and center of the disk opened up. Coming out of the opening was a forcefield that was clear like glass, but as it was surrounding Von Drake like a giant bubble, he disappeared within it.
"Whoa!" Marina gasped.
"Professor!" Goofy blinked. "Where'd you go?!"
Von Drake's voice reverberated in the clear bubble, "Hee-hee! I told ye you'd mezzi-merized. I shall call it the Von Drake-Fancy-Smancy--"
"Professor!" Daisy stomped her foot.
Von Drake sighed, "It's a Cloak of Infizzy-bility."
"Hot Dog!" Mickey smiled. "That's amazing, Professor."
"Yeah, but. . ." Marina rubbed her chin. "I don't think the name, Cloak of Invisibility, will work out."
"Why not?" Von Drake asked.
"It's already been used," said Daisy. "I know what she's talking about. I've read the books myself."
"Just an invisible shield will do," said Mickey.
"I find it genius, Prof" said Silver. "J'st how wide can this forcefield get?"
Von Drake answered, "Ah! You can make it big enough to camel-flage an entire ship. But I must suggest that it come of better use for the longer boats."
"The long boats?" Donald asked. "How is it better for them?"
Von Drake turned off the disk so the gang would look straight at him for his explanation, "Well, it be clear that you is going to visit many worlds that are not familiar with such technology as flying ships. It is very likely that we don't want to make a lot of confusion with them."
"I get ya," Mickey smiled. "So while the ship stays out of the atmosphere, the longboat comes in, but know one of the world will see it or find it. The last thing we want is for someone of a Renaissance era world to see a flying ship and hovering long boat. All of us would be suspected of witchcraft or elite with the Nightmares. And modern era worlds just aren't ready for these light ships and other technologies. With this, they won't cause confusion or panic. It's perfect."
"Beats the blazes out of the cloud camouflage I have on me ship," Silver smiled. "This can revolutionize all light ships everywhere. Von Drake, I have to say this could go down in history."
"Thank you, Captain," Von Drake smiled with pride.
"Is there anything else we'll need, Professor," Mickey asked. "All this is great, but is it all."
"So far, You Majesty," he answered. "But if there is anything else I can do, I will let you know. I will even keep Ajax delivery in mind. I will have new things delivered to you AQAP."
"What?" Marina raised a brow.
"As quickly as possible."
"Perfect," Mickey nodded. "That will be all for now, Professor."
"Yes," said Minnie. "Thank you very much Professor."
"Well, does this mean good-bye to us all?" Von Drake asked.
Donald answered, "The ship leaves tomorrow noon."
"We've got a lot of packing to do," said Daisy.
"Oh, vonderbul! I'll be there to see you all off."