Four cubs, two sets of twins, both being 1 boy and 1 girl, where sneaking around in a cargo hold of a ship.
"Are you sure about this," whispered Sam, an anthro fox. "If we get caught..."
"Shhh," shushed Lee, an anthro otter. "Everything will be fine, nobody's going to be in here."
As they crept around the hold, Jenni, Lee's twin sister, noticed that the hold was quite full.
"Have you ever seen this place this full," asked Jenni.
Lee stopped to look around, "Now that you mention it, no I haven't," answered Lee.
"What does it mean," asked Sandra, Sam's twin sister.
"Don't know," answered Lee. "Could be stuff to trade, might be going somewhere new."
"But we didn't pack a lot of stuff," whined Sam, pointing out their small bags.
"Ehh...We'll think of something," said Lee. "Here we are, got the window so we can look out."
The kids dropped their bags and sat underneath the window. They started to play some card games to pass the time. After a few hours, they saw that the boat sailed into real heavy fog, as some fog rolled into the cargo hold through the window. The kids got up and looked out the window, and they weren't able to see anything. As they looked out the window, they felt a sharp pain in the head, and then the next thing the cubs remember, is getting woken up by 2 soldiers. The soldiers lead them up out to the deck of the ship, they find that the ship is moored, but they are nowhere that they could recognize. On the deck, the soldiers led them over to two dragons talking, one a mix of dark grey and light gray scales, the other a light shade of blue. The blue one, is Krystal, the adopted mother of Jenni and Lee, when she saw the four kids standing there, at first she felt a wave of anger, but it was quickly suppressed by a feeling relief mixed with some disappointment. She said something to the other dragon, who also looked over at them, he slightly shook his head, and looked back at Krystal talking back to her. She waved over to the other soldier standing with the cubs, he lead them over to Krystal. Once they stood in front of her, Krystal got down to look at them in eyes.
"I'm very disappointed to you four," she said. "Sneaking on this ship, when we told you to stay away. You are going to punished for this, but not by me. We're going to the castle, and AJ will deal out your punishments."
She, along with the two soldiers, took the kids and walked down the gangway to where a rowboat was partially beached. Everybody climbed in the boat while another soldier pushed the boat out into deeper water. The soldiers rowed the boat up the river that the main ship was moored at the mouth of the river. While the kids were wondering about why they were in a rowboat, they found out shortly, they pasted a line of rocks that were sticking up from the water, and right after that there was a small, stone bridge.
It took them 30 minutes to row to where they needed to go, during the trip, the kids, while quiet, were looking around in awe. They grew up in the outskirts of old human cities, among the ruins of smaller towns and villages. Here they didn't see any of that, it was just wilderness everywhere, save for the bridge they past under, it didn't seem like there were any old ruins anywhere. They did see, once the boat got to a small dock, there was a small church, and up a hill there was another building. They moored the rowboat at the dock, the kids got out first, while Krystal told the soldiers to go back to the ship with the boat.
Krystal took the kids and lead them up the hill, towards the building at the top. When they got to the top, they saw yet another building just like the one they are standing next to, and behind that, was a very large castle. A soldier, who was carrying supplies, saw Krystal and immediately knew who she was looking for.
"AJ is inside the main chamber," said the soldier. "Use the main door on the other side, though, he wants to keep the back door locked, for now."
"Thank you," returned Krystal.
She took the kids and they walked along the side of the castle, until they reached the front. There was a worn dirt path, that showed that people did come out here. They found the main entrance, guarded by 2 elite guards. They saluted Krystal as she lead the kids past them, and into the castle. When they entered, the kids were in awe of the place, they were only in the antechamber and yet it was huge, Krystal, had to push them to get them past the entrance and into main room. There they found another dragon, he has mixed color scales, a fire red patch over his left eye, and blue scales a darker shade than Krystal's. He was standing with a black pantheress, talking to her and pointing things out around the room. Without Krystal saying anything, the dragon noticed her presence, he looked over at her, then he saw the four cubs. He frowned, said something to the panther, and motioned for Krystal and the kids to follow him. They followed him up a set of stairs on the left wall, up to the balcony above. The dragon opened the door at the top of the stairs and held it open for the others, the cubs felt frightened as they walked past the dragon. He closed the door and then lead them over to where there were 2 doors, one on each side of the hallway, he opened the one on the left and motioned everybody to enter. When the kids entered it looked like the entered an office, a nice desk, a small couch, a couple of bookshelves and a display case off to their left, but there was more as there was a small set of stairs leading to a room in the back.
"I want you four to stand there," said the dragon, pointing to the bookshelves.
The cubs moved over past the desk and stood in front of the bookcases. They stood there, as Krystal took a seat on the couch, while the other dragon took the desk chair and sat down facing the cubs.
"Why," asked the dragon, looking at the cubs, standing there, looking down in shame. After a moment when nobody answered, "Okay, better question, did any of you think that the trip could be dangerous?"
"No," squeaked Lee.
"No," repeated the dragon. "So I said that you couldn't come because I knew this was going to be fun?"
"But Dad," said Lee, tears starting to form.
AJ sighed and got up from the chair, he kneeled in front of Lee, "Listen, I'm disappointed that you, well, all of you didn't listen and stowed away. However, I'm happy that you're here."
"Huh," said a surprised Lee.
AJ sat back down in the chair, "I fear that we're stuck here."
"What," exclaimed the kids.
"We were headed to an island chain to the south," started AJ. "It was once known as the Philippines. We thought it was deserted, but word came that the southern islands was inhabited. My father asked me to travel to see about trading with any towns we could find. However, sometime after leaving, we entered a dense fog bank, then the next thing we remember, is seeing this land in front of us."
"Is mom here also," asked Sam.
AJ looked over to Sam, confused by what he asked.
"What he means is, did our mother come too," explained Sandra.
AJ thought for a bit, thinking about who she is, "Oh no, I didn't ask her to come because I knew she had you two to take care of," said AJ.
"Mom," whimpered Sam, tears starting to form.
"Fuck," whispered AJ, getting up and walking away.
Krystal already knowing about Sam and Sandra's mother, got up from the couch and kneeled in front of the two cubs.
"Things will be alright," she said, taking both of them in her arms. "You'll be with us, I'll can be your mother, and you have your friends here with you. You'll never be alone, not with us."
Sam didn't say anything, he just gripped Krystal and cried in her arms, Sandra though almost crying herself, managed to say thanks.
Lee was surprised about what just happened, he didn't consider that Sam and Sandra's mother wasn't going to be here with them. Then it hit him, and he ran to his mother crying also.
"I'm sorry," sobbed Lee.
AJ looked over at the group, he sighed, and he quietly left the room. While he was gone, Krystal tried to calm the cubs down, reassuring them, that everything will be okay. Once she finally calmed everyone down, she turned to ask AJ a question, but he wasn't there. She stood up and took both Sam and Lee's hand and lead them out of the room and back into the hallway. Just as Jenni was reaching out to open the door to the main room, AJ appeared from another door.
"And where did you go," asked Krystal.
"Had to make some arrangements," answered AJ, walking over to them. "Come, follow me."
He walked past them and towards the first door they came in, Krystal leading the kids following behind AJ. AJ walked past the first door and walked over to a door on the far wall at the end of the hallway. At the door, AJ stopped and looked at the kids, "You did bring extra clothes right," he asked.
It was then, that is dawned on the cubs, that they forgot their bags on the ship. "Umm...yeah," answered Lee. "But we...uh, forgot them on the ship," finished Jenni.
AJ looked over at Sam and Sandra, "Yours on the ship too," he asked.
They didn't answer, they just looked ashamed, AJ just sighed, "Alright, I'll get your stuff, but for now, this room is for Jenni and Lee." He then pointed down the hall to the right, "There is another room on the left side," he stated. "That room is for Sam and Sandra, I'm going to go back to the ship and find your stuff."
After that, AJ turned to leave, "Krystal would help you get settled while I'm gone."
AJ left them and entered the main hall, while Krystal took the kids and showed them around their rooms. They first looked in Jenny and Lee's room. There is a large king sized canopy bed, centered along the back wall, and a small nightstand on either side. On top of the nightstands, sat an oil lamp, and a small box. In the left far corner, was a small fireplace, a poker and a small pile of wood logs. Next to the wood, along the left wall is a long dresser. In the left hand corner next to the door there is a circle table with two chairs and in the corner is a small two shelf bookshelf. In the far right hand corner, there is a tall dresser, while in the corner next to the door, there is a small coffee table also with two chairs. They left that room and headed over to Sam and Sandra's room, opening the door they saw that the room is exactly the same as the one they left. The only differences was that the colors of the bed sheets, the canopy cloth and the cloth on the chairs were different colors. Krystal explained that the five bedrooms in this section of the castle have the same layout, just different colors. After they poked through their bedrooms, Krystal took them back to the first hallway. There she told them that first three doors lead out to the main chamber, while the fourth door lead to another room. She opened that door, and they entered the kitchen. There they found a couple of people, a human and a silver fox, working away making food. Krystal explained to the cooks that she was giving the cubs a quick tour of the castle. They just nodded their heads and went back to their cooking. She pointed to a door hidden away in an alcove to their right, she said that door went out to the main chamber. They quickly walked past the cooks and headed out through the door on the other wall, and entered the dining hall. The dining hall was a good size, there were three tables. A smaller table was set up with four place settings, backs to the wall and facing the other two tables. The other tables are a bit larger each sitting up to twelve people. Walking past all the tables, they left the dining room and exited back to the main chamber. Though this time they were on a balcony on the other side of the room, and just to their right was the other set of stairs that they saw when they first entering the main room.
"That room over there," said Krystal, pointing over to a doorway on the other side of the room. "We don't really know what that place is for, but we'll figure it out within a couple of days. Come on, a few more things I need to show you."
As Krystal lead them back down the stairs, Sam looked back at the door, wondering what could be behind it. Back on the ground floor, Krystal took them back to the small hallway that split the main chamber and the entrance room. There she pointed out a door to their right, "That leads to the basement," she started. "However, nobody is allowed down there, the doors are locked."
"Why aren't we allowed down there," asked Lee.
"It's not just you aren't allowed in the basement," answered Krystal. "Everybody isn't allowed, even AJ isn't going down there."
"How come," Sandra.
"We found...creatures down there," answered Krystal. "Instead of trying to clear them out, we'd decided just to lock the doors leading down, and barricaded the last door."
"Oh, sounds creepy," said Sam.
"It is," said Krystal. "This other room here," she said turning around and walking over to another door.
"This is the armory," she said, opening the door.
They walked into a large room, in the center of the room there were empty display cases, along the walls there were racks and racks of many different swords and axes. On the other side of the display cases, there was a line of chests and a very large table.
"You can be in here," started Krystal walking to the center of the room. "But only with supervision, I don't want you to get hurt."
"They are all sharp," asked Sam, looking at all the weapons sitting on display.
"Yes, and quite dangerous," said Krystal. "That door over there in the corner leads to the soldier barracks. I don't think you'll ever need to be in there, but still at least you know where it is. Finally, one last place to show you."
Krystal took the cubs out of the armory and back to the main room. She took them behind two chairs, to one last door.
"We're calling this place the green room," said Krystal leading them into a hallway lit up with green light. Even though they couldn't see anything due to a wall right in front of them, they could definitely smell that they were in a greenhouse.
"As you can tell," started Krystal, walking around the hallway. "We have a greenhouse."
"However," said Krystal, stopping at a room. "There are no windows."
They cubs looked into the room, it was shaped as a square, with the far two walls lined with plants, while in the far corner sat a statue.
"There are three other rooms, just like this one in each corner," said Krystal. "But with a different statue in it."
"While here in this center room," said Krystal taking them away from the first room. "There are five statues, along with the plants."
The cubs saw a statue sitting in each corner with one right at the center. "Do you know who they are," asked Jenny.
"They have a label on each of their bases," answered Krystal. "But we don't know who they are in relation to this world."
"But you'll figure it out soon, right," asked Sam.
"Yes," answered Krystal. "There is another door, but that leads to the rear of the castle, where you saw those two buildings as we walked up the hill. Final thing, I believe you noticed one thing, there are no bathrooms here in the castle."
"Yeah, where are we supposed to go," asked Sam.
"The building right outside the backdoor," started Krystal. "It has a full bathroom, but we're going to be making plans to get the castle loaded with both running water and also electricity, but that's going to take some time. But we're also going to be building a walkway from the bedrooms over to the building. We're going to be doing some major changes to this place, but we'll all have to have some patience until we get things complete."
The cubs had a dejected look, but Krystal took a preemptive strike, "Come on, let's go back and wait for AJ to get back with your stuff."
The kids left with Krystal, not liking that they'd have to run out of the castle just to go to the bathroom, they reentered the main room and then waited for AJ to come back. After a little while, AJ walked back into the room, carrying four small bags, what he saw made him smile. He saw Krystal sitting in one of the chairs watching Lee and Sam running around playing tag, while Jenny and Sandra were using the other chair and were playing with each other's hair. He looked around and saw that any guards and soldiers that were in the room were standing there with smiles on their faces watching the kids playing. Though when they noticed AJ walking in, they stiffened up standing at attention, AJ saw this and just waved them off. They returned to their duties as AJ announced himself by clearing his throat. The kids stopped their playing as they saw AJ standing there with their bags. They quickly got up and stood in front of him, waiting patiently for their bags.
"All right," started AJ. "Whose bag is whose?"
"I have that red one," said Sandra, pointing to the one in his right hand.
"The black one is mine," said Lee.
"The other red one is mine," said Jenny.
"Blue one," stated Sam.
As AJ handed the bags to their owners, "How much did you pack," he asked.
"Uhh...only for a few days," answered Lee.
"Four days," said Jenny.
"Three," answered Sam.
"Also three," said Sandra.
"Hmmm...," thought AJ, looking over at Krystal. "We'll have to make clothes."
"Didn't we have some bolts of cloth in the hold," asked Krystal, standing up.
"Yes, but I don't think it'll be enough for everybody," answered AJ. "We'll have to find more."
"We can always go back to that town we came through," said Krystal.
"I thought I saw some cloth in that store," said AJ. "We'll have to make plans about everything we need to do."
"But for now," AJ returning is attention to the cubs standing there. "You kids go put your stuff away in your rooms, and then get ready for dinner."
The kids walked up the stairs and went to put away their clothes in their rooms. The cubs worked out their own side of the room, putting away stuff in their respective dresser. The rest of the day, they had their dinner, and for a short time they were allowed to play around the main room, before they were told to go clean up and get ready for bed. After they got cleaned up, and as they got back into the private rooms, Krystal and AJ were waiting for them.
"Tomorrow, you all are going to help out," said AJ. "It'll be your 'punishment' for doing something you were told not to."
Their expressions saddened as they expected something bad.
"You needn't to worry," said Krystal. "It's not going to be anything bad."
"It's going to be some little things that I was going to have some guards to do," said AJ. "But I'll have you do them, while the guards can be free to do the heavy work."
"It'll be okay," said Krystal, kneeling down. "We'll tell you what you're going to be doing tomorrow after breakfast. For now though, get some sleep and we'll wake you up in the morning."
"Good night, kids," said AJ, patting each cub on the head.
"Good night," said the cubs in unison.
Krystal and AJ stepped past the kids and entered the main room, while the kids went to their rooms.
"What do you think we'll have to do," asked Sam.
"Eh, knowing 'dad'," started Lee. "It's not going to be anything hard, just something that'll take some time to do."
"Don't really worry about, Sam," said Sandra. "It might even be something fun for us, but a waste of a grown-up's time."
"Maybe," said an unconvinced Sam.
"You worry wart," said Sandra, lightly punching Sam in his arm. "Let's just go to bed."
The kids said their goodnights to each other and went into their rooms. They crawled into their beds and fell asleep. Tomorrow is going to be a new start of their lives in this strange new world.