Lone Soldier

by Starling

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Ermine Thaddeus Snowfluff hated his middle name. It was the kind of name that always made him the center of constant ridicule by his peers. They always teased him, with their sideways looks and their innocent remarks. They only wanted him to think that they liked him, when they were really laughing at that stupid name. The name was so high brow, so snooty, so human, that Erm had never forgiven his parents for giving it to him. Not that he had that option anymore.

As he trudged along through the rain on almost all fours, he thought almost nostalgically to his childhood. There he was, surrounded by laughing, kicking bunnies hating himself almost as much as they hated him. "Thaddeus, Thaddeus..." they chanted over and over again, until the word sounded like a curse half spitted, half hissed. He remembered the fights, catching his tormentors alone and separated from their mob, and leaving them with bruises and bloody gashes that they never admitted he had caused. Thaddeus was a terrible name, but oh how well it had taught him to fight!

As the years grew on, and he put on bulk, he finally started making a real name for himself. Feared and respected among the other bunnies, he found that he enjoyed the rashness, the danger that came with being on top of the gang. Much to his parents delight and approval, he joined the front line, top fighting forces of the Cheyenne warren. Growing in strength, and ferocity, he became the example that grandmabunnies and grandpabunnies would use to show everyone how the Cheyenne warren was strong enough to withstand any attack.

Dear Mother, the Fudds had come out of nowhere, shouting battle cries like "For Elmer!" and "For the Ever Swift Death of Bun--." Erm didn't hear how that last Fudd chant ended since he was busy tearing his opponent's throat out before the stinking Fudd could finish. The Fudds were tricky, but they had been slowly losing ground. The bunnies were winning, fighting with superior numbers, even with a whole dozen Bunnyarmored bunnies! If only his flank could have surrounded them. Cut the Fudds off. We had almost made it...

...ah the bitter twists Fate casts into the heat of battle. Suddenly there was a narrow corridor of Fudds between the warren and their trucks. The Fudds spread outward in a swath, hacking for dear life with fireaxes. As the middle of the corridor cleared away, trucks came roaring down the hill, directly towards the warren. They were small innoxuous grey pickups with 10 gallon drums in the back, and stupid lisence plates like "DABEAST2" and "SPAMHATER". If only the warren had known what those drums contained... some bunnies might have escaped.

Spam bombs had taken out the first truck, but the second one made it all the way up to a side entrance of the warren. The first truck reeled on the slimey spam and crashed on its side, killing the driver and sending barrels flying everywhere. As a black liquid spewed from the barrels, and a sinister sizzling sound filled the air, we knew our death was upon us.

We had no chance. Moxie. No... Moxiemoxiemoxiemoxie.... Nobun grows up these days free of the fear of that chemical Fudd weapon. Even though the stuff loses its potent killing power after the carbonation fizzles out, Moxie is probably the most effective way to kill devilbunnies without a fireaxe. Moxie.... Erm still couldn't cut out the screams as the half eaten bodies fell to the ground, melting into goo, and some bunnies that ended ankle deep in Moxie, stumped away painfully until the Fudds chopped them down. A blow on the side of his Bunnyarmor send Erm sprawling. He snarled in rage as the older Bunnyarmored bunny drew its foot back from striking him. Erm went tumbling. There were 10 bunnyarmored bunnies left, and about 50 shouting Fudds surrounding them. That was the last thing Erm saw before his roll took him off the edge of a cliff.

Covered in Moxie, barely protected by his Bunnyarmor, Erm had thought he was going to die. If only he'd been so lucky. The warren had been built on the edge of a cliff for defensive purposes to keep bunnes safe. Erm could only reflect on this hilarious irony for a moment, before he hit ground, shattering the Bunnyarmor on his backpaw.

<<paaaiiinnn>> coursed through him as he felt the Moxie burn his leg's flesh away. The half carbonated stuff gave out after a few seconds, but Erm couldn't move for at least 5 minutes afterwards, paralyzed by the awful pain. Worse than salt in a wound, worse than taking a blunt rusty knife and worrying it inside a gash, Moxie HURT! But Erm wanted to get back to the top, to see what had happened. He tried to move--.

<<pain>> kept him from getting up on his damaged leg. Curse it all! What was going on up there? He had to go and fight! Then, Erm heard the death screams of the kits.

There was no one but Fudds left on the battlefield. The Fudds poured all the Moxie they had down the holes of the warren. Nobun survived. Babylike wails filled the air as defenseless bunnies kicked their last breath, falling into sad, dead goo. The day waned and night came on as Erm tried to turn his ears away from the occasional sound of a fireaxe chopping, the whoop of triumph. He cursed the day he was born, and cursed every Fudd that walked on this planet, and swore to _singlehandedly_ carry out the Great Plan, but then he got tired and fell asleep from his wounds.

He woke up a bit more pragmatic. Carefully rising from the rubble, he discarded his useless Bunnyarmor, and found that he could hop, slowly, on 3 feet. Humiliation was far from his mind as he hopped up the hill to the warren. He had to see it once. Someone had to know. He saw it...

And definitely didn't want to remember that now. He remembered screaming in rage, collapsing in grief, screaming in rage again. Finally, knowing that there was nothing else for him to do, Erm left. He had a vague plan to warn everybunny about the unknown Fudds in this place.

Fudd movement had previously been confined to more northern regions, with the greater part of central United States being dubbed ‘devilbunny' territory. Not that any Fudd would admit it, but aside from Texas, Florida, and the northern states, most people were bunny controlled. They were either kept oblivious to devilbunnies, or else they were simps. It was something Ermine learned from his lessons with pride.

Why were the Fudds so deep into enemy territory? How had they breached the premises? How had they smuggled Moxie so far past the line? Something was seriously wrong, and Ermine refused to let a weak emotion like grief keep him from his duty to warn everybun.

Erm looked up in the storm. The cascading rain slid across the black road extending on past the horizon. Whenever it rained like this, he remembered the bunnymothers always snuggled with the kits, and warm cups of spam were passed all around. Erm felt his ears droop down as he wished he was a kit again. "Shut, up, wimp." he whispered dejectedly. There was no one but himself to talk to anyway.

He trudged down the road, passing an occasional tree that seemed to lean over in the rain like a sentinel. His leg kept twitching painfully, but he had one consolation: at least he could still feel it. He wasn't crippled. Now if only gangrene could please not set in. If Erm could get to a warren with a BUNIX terminal, there would be banter like they'd never seen on adb, at least since last week. If only he could just send one BUNIX encrypted message. His warren would be avenged. He swore.

And tripped, falling alongside the road. A passing truck blased a stream of water over him and he rose hacking and hissing. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore. Here he was. Him! Ermine Thaddeus Snowfluff, the top fighter in Cheyenne warren, shivering and wet, too wet even to fluff anymore.

The road was long, long and hard, and he had many miles to go before he reached the warren. Erm reflected as the tender drops of rain rolled down his ears, that Cheyenne warren might not have been so strong after all. "It's funny how we get to thinking that we were strong or powerful, when the only reason anything worked at all was because we were out in the middle of nowhere. We saw how weak we really were when those Fudds tore us apart."

Erm refused to stop saying ‘we'. It was his last grip on sanity. In the misty rain, he imagined he could see all the rabbits of the warren walking with him. There was his pap and mam bunny. There was the bunnymother giving him and the other kits a lesson on throat piercing. There was the old doe who only came once a day down to the water hole to tell heroic stories of bunnies in the past. They were all with him, he knew. Somewhere in his torn little heart they were there, and ‘we' were going to make those Fudds pay.

Thunder boomed and every mote of calm leapt off of him, he screeched, "[PiG-13] it! If we weren't out in the middle of nowhere, I wouldn't be here, standing in the [PiG-13] rain next to a [PiG-13] road, with no [PiG-13] idea if I'm even close to the other warren or not!" The headlights of a car coming down the road caused him to panic. Run. Ruuuun. He ran into the bushes, pushing all the specters of his kin aside. Where were all the real bunnies? He had to find them-had to kill the Fudds-had to escape.

"Run, no don't run. Flee, for the Black Lapine is gnawing on your tail. He comes in the dark of night and snaps bad kits up like popcorn. He eats ‘em and gnaws their bones like a fox. Look out kitlings, because the Fudds have never seen ‘im, and nobun that's seen him has ever survived." the old doe leered out of the rain, slurring her ancient and most fearsome tale. He could see her-dodge to the right!-no good. She was everywhere! "Run." she told him. It was her. She was making him do it. For Mother's sake, stop!!!

Erm stopped, skidding so hard he fell, falling so hard, his nose dragged in the mud. Only now could he feel the awful paroxysms that tore through his injured leg. [PiG-13] it! Why did he panic?! Now, the warren seemed farther than ever, and the pain in his leg told him that there was going to be no walking for a long time. He'd completely torn the tender muscle that had just started to grow back, all the way up to his hip. Erm raised his head to... to curse Mother, and then wished he hadn't.

A Fudd stood over him. Fireaxe poised, smiling grimly. "Time to die bunny." the man said, raising the fireaxe above his head. Erm closed his eyes. He fought the terrible scream building up inside him. He wasn't going to give this Fudd the satisfaction of hearing his death wail. He wasn't. He wasn't. He wasn't--.

He wasn't dead? Erm opened one eye, to see the prone body of the Fudd lying next to him. There was not much left of the back of the Fudd's neck, all torn and gashed apart, kerchief torn aside. On the Fudd's back, there was an apaloosa spotted devilbunny, looking at Erm with concern. "He almost got ya there (wetworryfluff). You okay?"

Erm found himself focusing on the Fudd's right arm, and he realized that the fireaxe, still clutched in the dead fingers, had landed inches away from his neck. Erm, the mighty devibunny, the pride of CheyenneWarren, fainted dead away.



****Widebeam to all warrens****

>>>>Commander <name> authorized message:

Attention, all bunnies, there is a fluffer here who has something to say:

"We are under attack. (injuredfluff) The Fudds have (mournfluff) destroyed CheyenneWarren. Only I was able to escape alive. Everybun else is presumed dead. (shudder) I don't know where they came from (shudderpoof), or where they are holed up, but I fear that they might strike again. (stomp) Watch out everybunny."

We at SidneyWarren will be on maximum alert until this roving Fudd menace has been (stomp)ed out. We encourage other warrens to do so as well. Repeat, there is an unknown contingent of Fudds last seen moving east, after the destruction (enragedfluff) of CheyenneWarren. These Fudds are armed with Moxie and dangerous, and we have reason to belive that they aren't in Kansas anymore. Err... (poof) excuse me? (nosewriggle) I'm on a secure line. What--? Oh.

Correction. The warren destroyed was CheyenneWarren, Wyoming. Kansas has not been yet attacked. Repeat, Kansas has not yet been attacked.

****End Widebeam****



"(bounce) There is nothing I hate worse than formal messages. (bouncebounce) No bouncing or even (cutefluff) allowed. Such serious matters call for nothing less, but (snarl) Frith I wish those Fudds would leave well enough alone. I mean, we're only trying to eliminate their species from Mother. (sighfluff)"

"Sir? (querywiggle)"

"Nerves, captain. Just nerves. (poof) How is our hero doing?"

"He's still unconscious. Hasn't woken up since he relayed the message."

"Will he recover?"

"He's had a lot of Moxie, but the doctors think he's going to pull through."

"Excellent. When he's recovered, inform him that he is under direct orders from me not to seek out the Fudds."


"(snidefloof) You underestimate me. If I know anybun, when he hears that, he'll be after the Fudds before you can say (wigglepoof). Then, all we have to do is follow him, and he'll lead us right to them without any of our rabbits risking their lives."

"Brilliant plan sir. (submissivefluff) I'll get right on it."

"See that you do."


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Last Updated: Saturday January 22, 2005 (13:55:48)