FACT & FICTION
Once the group was down the street, Silver looked back to see if they were being followed.
"Good," he grunted. "Glad to be out of that place. The sooner we get to this Nightmare, the quicker we can leave. Let's go find the longboat and get the blasted radar."
Panchito strapped on one of the wristwatches, "Si, but we have to be careful. With this new Graboid and El Blanco around, it's dangerous to walk along the desert. Donald, you and Goofy wear the other two detectors."
As Goofy was putting on his, he looked at the sky, "Will these watches know if that Invisi-bat thing will come after us."
"No, Goof," Marina answered. "They are seismographic. They only sense the vibration in the ground."
"I wouldn't find that flying rat a threat," said Silver. "Let's just find this black wolf with spikes and get rid of it."
"I just hope the Professor isn't worried about us," said Jiminy. "We were losing the signal when we last spoke to him."
"Yeah," said Donald. "We better hurry and tell him we're okay."
"But, uh, where do we start lookin' for the boat?" asked Goofy.
"If I had my sextant with me, I might be able to find that out," Marina crossed her arms.
Silver stopped in his tracks to feel the small desert breeze. He thought of the time the lot of them were stuck on the boulders and measured in his mind how slowly the longboat was drifting and how far it could've gone. He said, "It should be no more than a mile away from the boulders we were on by this time. There's a possibility that the wind changed while we were in the town, but we best get to--" He stopped when something behind the group caught his eye. He didn't make a gesture of alarm but he frowned with fury.
"What is it, Capitão?" asked José.
"That Gummer is watching us," Silver growled. "I'm really startin' to hate that man."
"What should we do?" asked Jiminy. "We can't teleport in their sight. They wouldn't understand."
"Then let us get out of their sight and then find the longboat," Silver marched ahead. "I want to leave this blasted era immediately."
Everyone followed Silver down the road and off toward where they were stranded earlier. Donald didn't take his eye off his wristwatch once while they were walking. Panchito told him, "Don't worry, Donald. The Graboid is at a good distance from us. If it was to come after us, we will know before it did."
"I'm just being cautious, Panchito," Donald looked around him. "This valley is the place to do so."
"I don't blame you there," Marina nodded. "The sound of that Nightmare on the radio seemed different. Truth to say. . . it gave me the shivers."
"Tis a sound I've heard afore, Lass," said Silver. "Nightmares make many more sounds than the ones you are all familiar with. The ones you haven't heard. . . you'll know they are of a Nightmare when you hear it, for they are sounds that can make a hero into a coward."
A cold chill came down Marina's spine at the thought of a frightful sound she may or may not hear someday. The few sounds of Nightmare that she had heard back in Magic Kingdom were frightening enough to her. The new sound she heard within the store was enough to send chills around her. Now there was more to hear and be afraid of. She held her arms and raised her shoulders as she watched around her with caution.
The group was at a far distance from the town within the hour. The longboat was spotted up ahead at last so everyone hurried. Silver grabbed a hold of it and forcefully slammed to the ground, "There! Now get the blazin' radar."
Donald jumped in and pressed the button, "Professor? Professor!?"
"Ja? Ja? Who's there?" Von Drake came on the screen. "Oh, there you are, Donald! You kooky boy! Where have you been?! I've been talking to all of yous for over n hour before I find out that I'm talking to a empty boat!"
"Long story, Professor, but no time for it," said Donald. "Look, we need a reading on the Nightmares right away. The people of the valley just had an encounter with one. We need to know what we're up against."
"Well, what can I do about it? All I can do is show how many there is and where they is." Von Drake frowned. "There. Ya happy?"
A map of the valley came to the screen showing three blinking dots that were separating.
"Just three of them?" Marina asked.
"Where are they heading?" Goofy asked.
"One of them is heading this way now," Donald gasped. He put the radar in his pocket. "Let's get them now."
"And I am not leaving this longboat to float away again," said Silver. "The lot o' ya use that magic o' yers and bring it back to the Argentum. If that Gummer decides to be an idiot and spy on us then we don't want him to see this around."
"Good point there, Capitan," said Panchito.
Donald, Marina, and Goofy brought out their weapons. The three of them touched the longboat at the same time and had it disappear.
José smiled, "Ha ha. It's good to see you are all able to do that old trick. Mickey has taught you well."
"Now let's find these things," Silver nodded once.
"Uh. . . I think they just found us," said Jiminy. "Look!"
Everyone turned seeing a dark figured creature running over the hill and heading straight for them like a raging wolf, but with the speed of cheetah.
"El Nightmare," Panchito frowned and brought out his guns. "Let's get it, amigos."
"Wait 'til I gives the word," said Silver.
"But, Capitão--" said José.
"Steady, mates. Wait for it." Silver ordered. "Wait for it."
As the creature was getting closer and closer, the boys tried not to make a sudden move. Silver stood there with a sinister smile like he was waiting for the Nightmare to get close enough to touch. Marina had the shiver run down her spine once again. She tried to tighten her grip on her sword, but she had a slight shiver around her hands.
José held on to umbrella and prepared to make a move. He just couldn't help but notice that Silver wasn't moving nor looked like he was even going to give a word. So, José untied his umbrella and opened it slightly to get ready.
"Steady," said Silver.
Marina wanted to yell at him when they could attack, but was too frightened to speak. The Nightmare was closing in.
"Silver!" she gasped.
"Wait for it," he ordered.
"No way!" José jumped forward. "É agora ou nunca!" He popped his umbrella open toward the Nightmare sending out a blasting shield. It punched the creature in the face sending it flying back ten feet.
When it crashed, Silver yelled, "What part of 'wait for it' don't yeh understand? Learn yer English more."
"And just when were you gonna give the word, Silver," Donald jumped up and down. "When that thing was done mangling us?!"
"Uh. . . guys," Goofy pointed.
The Nightmare stood up and shook its head like a dog. It glared at the group with its glowing eyes of red. Like a wolf, the beast started to circle the group. Everyone was now getting a good look at what this thing looked like. It was very much to how it was described by Tyler and Rosalita. It was the size and shape of a wolf, black from snout to tail, its paws had claws that were more like eagle talons, on its head were small horns over its cow-like ears, in its rounded snout it revealed its razor sharp fangs, and all of its fur was made of the very sharp quills like a porcupine.
"Carumba," said Panchito. "This one is different from all the Nightmares I've encountered."
"Gawrsh," Goofy gulped. "It looks dangerous to fight this one. Those spikes are tough enough to get stuck on a car."
"Look, mates," Silver whispered. "Stop letting your fear o' this thing get to it. Now, listen. There's only one of it here an' six of us against it. We'll split up and surround it. J'st don't underestimate it. It might have tricks yet to see."
The Nightmare roared at the group and charged. Everyone jumped out of the way and spread out in a circle. The Nightmare continued for José, but the lucky parrot repeated his last move with his umbrella. He batted the beast back to the center of the circle and found itself surrounded. It growled in anger even though it was trapped.
"Let's get it now!" Donald yelled. He aimed his hammer and yelled, "FIRE!!!"
A ball of fire shot out of the hammer. The beast turned, but didn't dodge it. The fire crashed upon it and started burning its back. Instead of roaring in pain, it roared in great anger at everyone.
"Oh my gosh!" Marina gasped.
"J'st kill it!" Silver yelled. He switched his metal hand to his pistol, "All of you quit staring around it." He aimed and shot at the Nightmare, but the creature dodged and roared at him. With its fur burning like feathers against a candle the creature just hissed as it was looking Silver straight into the eye. He looked over at Marina as she was tightening her grip on her sword trying to be brave. For that, the Nightmare looked at her and pounced.
Marina gasped and swung her sword like a bat at the flaming beast. It was thrown back and Marina called out an attack, "WATER!!"
Like a fire hydrant, water blasted out of the blade scorching out the flames on the Nightmare.
"Marina! What are you doing?!" Donald yelled
"Just kill it!" she yelled back. "The fire wasn't working!"
"Look out!" José gasped.
The Nightmare started shaking the water off its back. Doing so made many of its quill-like spikes shoot out like darts. Everyone dodged as much as they could. Goofy blocked the quills with his shield, Panchito ducked down with his sombrero like a turtle, and José took cover under his umbrella.
"YOW!!!" Donald screamed as he hit in the tail feathers.
Silver protected himself with his metal arm, but winced as he was hit a few times in the back.
Marina screamed in pain as a few quills hit her in the shoulder and leg.
The Nightmare roared and looked around angry that all of the quills didn't hit everyone or cause much harm as it wanted to those who were hit.
Panchito looked up and saw who was hurt. He aimed his guns at the Nightmare, "Why that podrido serpiente! José! Todos juntos!!"
"Sim!" José closed his umbrella and held it like a rifle.
"¡RELÁMPAGO!" Panchito yelled.
"¡INCENDIAR!" José called.
Panchito's gun shot out bullets made lightning and bullets made of fire shot out of the ferrule of José's umbrella. The creature was being rattled like a tin can against a machine gun. When it all stopped, it tried its hardest to stand, but it was no good. It collapsed to the ground and started to dissolve into dust.
"Ha HA!" Panchito fired a few shots in the air to celebrate. "Tener que, el Nightmare!!"
Goofy looked over his shield finding the Nightmare gone. He sighed, "Gawrsh, nice shootin', Amigos."
Jiminy hopped out of his pocket, "Captain! Donald! Marina!"
José hurried over, "Marina, are you okay?"
Marina started pulling out a quill from her shoulder, "I think so, Zé-Zé. Ouch!" She winced as the quill popped out.
Silver simply yanked out the few quills he had with no problem. He grunted, "We're only lucky that these t'ings ain't poison. Anybody else hurt?"
Donald turned around and tried pulling out the quills stuck to his rear one by one. Silver walked by him ignoring his pain and came to Marina.
"You're bleeding, Lass."
"Here and there, but---Ouch!" she winced once more after pulling out another. "It's not as bad as it looks."
"We best put somet'in' on those wounds," he came down to check the quills on her leg.
"You were hit too, Silver," she reminded him.
"Naught less than a few mere bee stings," he said. "Nothing to worry about for me. We best get you a first aid."
"Oh and don't mind me," Donald rolled his eyes. "I'll be okay standing up while eating!"
Marina breathed in through her teeth as Silver helped her pull out the quills on her leg and ankle. He looked up at her as she winced one last time.
He whispered, "Sorry."
She offered a half smile in return feeling relieved that all the quills were out thanks to his help. That was when everyone saw a light coming their way. They looked and saw headlights growing from the approaching jeep belonging to Burt Gummer.
Silver stood up and growled, "Blast that Gummer. Who invited him?"
Everyone remained quiet as the jeep got closer. Once it was in front of them and parked, Burt and Tyler came out with confused faces.
Burt wiped his expression off and spoke forcefully, "So, which one of you is gonna be the first to explain to us what the Hell that thing was?"
"Hey! Language, please!" Donald yelled.
"You saw everything?" Goofy asked.
Tyler answered, "We saw one of those things on fire and get shot hundreds of times before it. . . turned to dust." He approached the patch of black dust and kicked it. "Are these its ashes?"
"I guess you can say that," José answered.
"Who cares what it is now," Burt frowned. "What was it?"
"We've told you already," Donald crossed his arms. "It's to difficult for you to understand."
"What I can't understand is what you are quacking about," Burt snapped. "Cut the charade and stop talking funny."
Donald's face turned red and he gritted his teeth. Before he could lose it, Tyler said, "Look, if you guys are here sent by someone to stop some kind of Mixmaster on the loose, we already know about it. We've faced a few of them before."
The group looked at each other not knowing what he meant. Even Jiminy shrugged as he remained hidden to Burt and Tyler. Goofy scratched his scalp under his hat, "Uh, we really don't know what Maxmister is."
"Don't play dumb with us," Burt got impatient.
Marina stomped her foot, "No, we honestly don't know what you're talking about, and we just can't explain it--"
"No. We can," Panchito stepped forward. "I'd say the jig is up."
"Panchi," Marina blinked. "What are you--"
"No, no, Marina," Panchito held up a hand. "The jig is up and they want the truth. So, I'm going to give them the truth."
"The truth out of the mouth of a guy dressed as a chicken," Burt leaned against his jeep. "This oughta be hot."
Panchito approached the men, "I know this is going to be very difficult to believe, Señors, but from what you saw, we have to tell you everything." He looked around making sure there was no one else was around. Then he whispered, "What do you two know of. . . El Chupacabra?"
Burt raised a brow, "What?"
"The Chupacabra?" Tyler blinked. "You mean. . . that thing was. . .?"
"Si, Señor," Panchito nodded. "It's what we were sent here for. I know it's hard to believe, but it is true. There are two left now that this one is dead."
"Are really expecting me to believe this one?" Burt crossed his arms. "The Chupacabra is just a superstitious legend."
"Did you ever think that some would say the same thing about El Graboid, Señor Gummer?"
"He's got a point there, Burt," said Tyler.
Panchito looked back at his friends and winked in secret.
José quickly winked back, "Sim. You see, meus amigos, we were sent here to stop these creatures hoping nobody would know about it."
"But it seems that you know now," Panchito shrugged. "I suppose this means we can use your help, Señor Gummer and Reed."
"But why should no one know about this?" asked Tyler. "If this is the famous Chupacabra, should we at least try and catch one alive? It's like proving the existence of Bigfoot."
"It's too dangerous, Mr. Reed," said Marina as she showed them her small puncture wounds. "See for yourself. We have to destroy them."
"I'm taking a wild guess at this. . ." said Burt, ". . . but I'm going to say that you're not telling us that these beasts are the very ones people tell stories about. If this thing was the actual Chupacabra, it would've left behind more than just dust. They're not mutations of some kind are they?"
"Nay, Gummer," Silver stepped forward. "They're bio-weapons."
The boys and Marina looked at him amazed that he would join in with this fib.
"A group o' scientists 'ave been trying to built a bio-weapon that would be perfect if there was to be an upcomin' war for t'is world. They thought that the legendary beast would be the perfect t'ing for inspiration. But it was a failure."
"Yes," Marina added in. "The Chupacabras escaped. We were sent after them to destroy them to protect the lives of others and to keep the lab a secret. That is why we are remaining in costumes like this. We were a part of a Vegas show since our lab was on a budget. As strange as it may look, we had no other options."
"We just didn't expect that the beasts would lead us here," said Silver, ". . . a place already inhabitant with legendary beasts. So, now I suppose. . ." he paused to grunt in aggravation, ". . . I suppose t'e two of ye are involved."
Burt asked, "This secret lab of yours. . . is it a part of this valley or not?"
"It's not, Señor," Panchito asked. "Ours is a top secret base FAR far away from here."
Tyler mumbled to Burt, "Area 51 most likely."
"You're starting to sound like Larry. So, cut it out," Burt moaned.
Before anyone else could say anything more, the silence of the valley was broken by a loud roar of pain that nearly reverberated everybody's nerves. The group turned around in every direction not knowing where it was coming from or what could possibly make such a horrible sound. Even Silver looked like he have a brief wave of fear running down his spine. Burt and Tyler turned in alarm as this was a sound they knew quite well.
"What in blue blazes was that?" Silver turned around as the roar was fading out.
Burt answered, "It looks like all of you are involved with our problem as well. That was the new Graboid. It's hollowing out and changing."
"Into Shriekers?" Marina gasped.
"Yes," he answered.
"Carumba!" Panchito jumped. "Now we'll see some action of Perfection Valley!"
"Jodi to Burt!! Jodi to Burt!!"
Burt took out his walkie-talkie, "Burt here. What is--"
"Burt! Get over here!" Jodi called. "There's something tearing down the door!! It's that thing!! HURRY!!!"
"The other Chupacabras!" Panchito gasped. "¡Ándalé!"
"Oh, we'll Ándale, alright," Tyler jumped into the driver's seat of Burt's jeep. "Everyone get in. I'm driving. I'll get us there in no time."
Tyler drove everyone back toward the town as fast as he could. Although he went over the hills causing everyone to nearly fall out of their seats and screeched his way back onto the paved road, he was at the wheel knowing what he was doing.
"Geez," Marina held on tighter for the ride. "You turn into a speed demon often?"
"When the occasion calls for it," he answered. "I used to be a professional racer. Trained by Dale Sr."
"Interesting," she said with a bit of sarcasm after nearly falling over again with the boys after going over one last hill.
Along the way to the town, Silver leaned over and whispered to Panchito, "The Chupacabra?"
Panchito shrugged, "It was the only thing I can think of. I didn't know what else to say."
"I think it was brilliant, Panchi," Marina winked at him. "They actually believed it."
Jiminy whispered from Goofy's hat, "Well, we must play along with it. Keep up the good work."
"But, uh. . ." Goofy asked. "Just what is the Chupacabra?"
"Oh, c'mon, Goof," Marina moaned. "Don't tell me you've never heard of it. Everyone knows about it."
Panchito explained, "They say El Chupacabra is just a story to scare children who walk out alone at night, but there have been a few witnesses of its existence. You are looking at one of them."
"You?" Marina blinked.
Donald asked, "You saw a real Chupacabra?"
"Si, amigo. And believe it or not, all this time, the legendary fiera turns out to be an actual Nightmare. It was created by the fear of old granjeros many many years ago."
"Ah," Jiminy smiled, "and the fear in their bad dreams created the creatures that started the whole legend. Right?"
"Si, si," Panchito nodded. "But there's no big threat with the real Chupacabra. They're as weak as they seem. But these Nightmares are much stronger than anything I've come across. It took a lot of shots to bring it down like a grande toro."
"Look!!" Burt stood up from his seat.
Everyone looked ahead at the town and saw one of the Nightmares trying to break down the door with its horns.
Panchito jumped to the head rest of Burt's seat and aimed his guns, "Okay! You asked for it! ¡RELÁMPAGO!" He fired the guns several times and hit the Nightmare each time with the electric bullets. The Nightmare roared in pain as it backed away from the door. Its red eyes glowed in fury as it spotted the approaching vehicle. Like a raging bull, it clawed the floor with its talons, reared on its hind legs, and bolted for the vehicle!
"It's coming!!" Donald yelled.
"Good!" Tyler stepped on the gas. "I'll run it over!"
"No! Don't!!" Panchito tried to grab his arm.
But it was too late. At the right time, the Nightmare leaped into the air so high that everyone had to look straight up to see it. With its claws charging forward, its red eyes glowing brighter, and its sharp teeth ready to sink into flesh, the Nightmare looked like hound of Hell pouncing down to a flock of sheep.
Just as everyone was about to cover within that second, a loud blast was shot from within the cargo bed. A laser ball shot at the Nightmare and the monster exploded in the air.
Tyler hit the brakes as all the pieces of the Nightmare fell to the ground in all directions. He immediately stood up and looked behind him and Burt to the cargo bed. Everyone else looked to find Silver with a small smoking laser cannon attached to his mechanical arm and a smirk on his face.
"Now that was a close one," he sighed in relief.
"What. . . is. . . that?!" Burt was paralyzed from the sight of the large weapon.
"That was amazing!" Tyler smiled.
"I'll say it was," Silver stood up to get out of the jeep. "It was amazing that I decided to bring it along. That beast was smart enough to make a move like that. It must've been the same one that Miz Rosalita hit." He hopped out and everyone watched him as he lifted the right leg of his pants and attached the cannon to the back of his mechanical leg.
"Damn," said Tyler. "He's got a better weapon than any of yours, Burt."
"But. . . what is he?" Burt whispered. "A walking Swiss Army Knife?"