Introduction - Surprise!
The sounds of gunshots filled the crisp winter air, bullets flinging through the air. Windows shattered, thousands of tiny shards of glass falling to the stone ground. Dark figures dashed through Jamaa Township alongside innocent jammers, whose screams filled the air as phantom animals invaded. Some limped, some hopped, and some flew. Not many were standing up against the invaders, as their weaponry would overpower them in a heartbeat.
"Help!" a high-pitched voice beams out from the crowd. "Help, momma! Help me!"
The black, wispy figure of what looked to be a fox with piercing white eyes was stalking up to a young bunny wearing a necklace, who was crouching under a wooden plank. His body was shaking rapidly as the figure approached him, aiming a gun attached to a belt around its waist at the bunny. He let out a scream as the fox showed its razor sharp teeth, the tips of them sharper than knives.
"Don't fear me, it'll be over soon..." it said in a dark voice, almost like a whisper. "Relax, and you won't feel a thing..."
A small, pinkish-purple figure zoomed by, cutting through the fox with some sort of sharp object. The fox let out a scream of agony, a horrifying screech that could make your head feel like it were about to burst. It dissolved into the ground, its body liquefying and deforming. Its muzzle stuck out of the pile of goop as it rotted into the ground, leaving nothing but ashes. The figure bounced away.
Soon, the phantoms had all been killed- well, if they could die. Ashes and glass littered the township. Animals began to come out of hiding, stepping into the opening.
"The phantoms won't stop attacking," said a wolf with a police vest, shaking his navy blue pelt. He adjusted his sunglasses and turned on a walkie-talkie that was on his belt. "We need to call them up."
"No, not them..." said a blurry voice from the device. "We can't do that. They're bad people."
"It's the only thing that's going to keep these phantoms out. Call the Jam Squad up."
Chapter 1 - Retrieve
The prison gates opened, and a group of heavily armed lions began to walk in, their armor shining in the lights. They walked down a long hall, prison cells on every side. The imprisoned animals went silent instantly, the angry screams being cut off once they caught a glimpse of the lions. When they walked out of the room through a steel door, the noise rose again.
"Hush!" one of the lions snapped as they walked out.
The leader of the group, a black lion with stunning yellow eyes, tapped in a code with a pen built into his tail tip and a metal door opened. Danger signs were hung all over the door with a list of precautions on the walls. An alarm was set over the door as it opened, the red light flickering on as it let out a beeping noise.
They approached the first inmate, who was in a heavily built cage in the center of the metal room. The bars had bite marks and dents all over it, and the door had multiple locks.
Inside sat a brown kangaroo with pale star markings. Around his neck were three black shock collars with small lights on them that appeared to be cracked on the tops. Bands were around his wrists with a few tags on them. The guards noticed the burnt tip of his tail, a tiny flame flickering as a puff of smoke rose into the air. Some sort of pins were on the collars, including a smiley face with eyes shaped like an X and a paw print.
When he saw the guards, he let out a laugh and leaped at the bars, gripping them. He poked his head through.
"What'ddya want, mate?" the Australian animal laughed, having a sort of raspy voice that was slightly high in pitch. "Here to give me s-"
"SHUT IT, Rat!" the leader of the group snarled. "Don't speak unless you're spoken to."
"Now what do you want?" Rat laughed, hopping down from the bars, still gripping them.
"We command you to come with us," the lion growled, two of them unlocking the door while one of them went in and snatched Rat up by his waist in its jaws. The kangaroo shrieked as he was carried off into another room with a few familiar inmates.
Blade, a white fox with black eyes and a red moon symbol on her forehead. She wore two samurai swords, along with a studded collar and a tag on her ear. She said nothing, only sitting there with a dark aura surrounding her.
Tank, a bulky white-and-black tiger with blue eyes. A large collar with many boxes that held the shocking device were attached to it, as he looked like a beast himself. A large chain went down from the collar. What Rat noticed was the long stitch that went down his back from his neck to the tip of his tail, fitting his scarred look.
Olive, the overly friendly pale pink otter with freckles and bright blue eyes. He wore no safety collars, since he was the tamest of the bunch, but that was replaced with a wire. He had white spots on his back and face.
Foxglove, a reddish-brown falcon with a creamy brown underbelly. She wore a chest plate that was studded down the middle, along with a band around her left leg. On her head was a rotting flower that never seemed to fully die, a toxic red berry in the center of it.
And last was Leeper, a deep brown cheetah cub with dazzling orange eyes and a brown underside, white cheetah markings patterning her small body. Around her forehead was a dazzling flower crown decorated with roses and lilies. A strange wristband was on her right foreleg, and some sort of lightweight metal rings were curling around her tail.
"We need all of you to help us."
"Why should we?" Foxglove snapped in her naturally quick voice. "You never give us anything in return for anything we ever do."
"I swear, there will be some payment."
Chapter 2 - Explain, Explain...
"So you're tellin' me that we have to go kill a bunch of phantoms?" Tank roared. "For what? We're the BAD GUYS, not heroes."
"Yes," the lion said. "You'll get recognition."
"We're already recognized!" Rat screeched, throwing his arms up with his ears back. "We're destructive, not protective! I blow up things! I don't SAVE PEOPLE, LIONEL!"
"Shut it, Rat. We need all of you to take out the phantoms," Lionel growled. "Even you, Leeper." The cub's eyes lit up as she squealed.
"What's the payment?" Blade yawned, tail swishing. "We don't do things for nothing in return. It's our... trade."
All of them went silence. Lionel had just told them that if they take these phantoms out, they'd be free? They were the worst of the worst. They traveled from town to town in their free days, destroying everything in their sight, crushing dreams and hopes. And then they were just going to let them go after murdering a few phantoms?
"Reaaaally?" Foxglove said, then bursting out into laughter. "Well count me in then!"
"Same for me," Tank said, his voice low. "I'd be glad to really get my paws on something like those ugly things."
"Good to know," Lionel responded. "We have a few target points." He pulled down a map of Jamaa, even the outsides of it. There were red X marks on some parts of the map, including the mountain of Mt. Shiveer, the field of Appondale, and the Adventure Base Camp. There were black spots on the map.
"These black marks represent where the phantoms have taken control," Lionel explained. "The X marks on the map are the places where you guys will be going."
"What do I get to do?" Leeper mewed with an innocent smile.
"You get to lure the phantoms in with your cuteness," Foxglove said. Leeper smiled, her little fangs poking out of her top lip. "And then we'll come after then, like your mommy did when she was your age." "Yay!" Leeper cheered, eyes brightening.
"So where will we go first?" Rat asked, crossing his arms against the chair he sat in, gazing around at the gray walls. "Will I-"
"Yes, Rat, you can blow things up," Lionel snapped, clearly having a hatred against the kangaroo and his remarks. "You'll all be together in the first strike. Tomorrow, you'll all be going to the fields of Appondale to defend from an incoming wave of phantoms. Then, Foxglove and Blade, head to Mt. Shiveer. We'll give you a call when it's time."
The two nodded.
"Tank, Olive, and Rat, the three of you will head to the base camp."
"What about me?" Leeper mewed, ears falling back. Lionel turned his head to the cub.
"Foxglove will drop you off to the phantom's alternate lair. You'll act as a spy. Take back as much as you can get," the lion said in a calmer tone. "I know you're very smart."
He looked back up and spoke, "You'll be accompanied by a good friend of mine, Tyler. He's a brown-and-yellow owl that lives in Sarepia. I'll give him a call when Foxglove and Blade go to Mt. Shiveer."
"What do we do now?" Tank yawned, one of his large teeth sticking out from his bottom jaw.
"You'll all go back to your cells," Lionel growled. "Leeper will stay with the guards for the night so she can learn more about her job."
The lion guards were beginning to escort them back to their cells, moving from their spot by the walls and door. They were dragged out of the room and were lead back to their places. The others were silent, except for Tank, who was put back in his least favorite place- his own cell.
His room was heavily secure, very similar to Rat's, but the walls were made out of steel and other metals. The cage he was in was larger and even heavier, the bars extremely thick with bite marks and dents all over them. The big chains on his collar were connected to the bars, keeping him in place. There were alarms above the door, three of them lined up. The door was heavily built with an emergency hatch on it.
"My gosh," Tank grumbled, laying down after the guards had chained him up to his cage and left, locking the door. "But finally, I get to go outside again."
FUN FACT : Leeper is named after my awesome science teacher