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Author Topic: Possibilities  (Read 1000 times)

Offline Chipster-roo

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Possibilities
« on: May 06, 2018, 03:01:53 PM »
This is another Watership Down fanfic.  I have been working on it since November 2016, before finally finishing it in April 2018.  It is based on the series, but with characters from other adaptations of WD (including both books, the 1978 film, the 2016 radio drama, and the BBC/Netflix miniseries) also appearing.  A few forum members will also appear.  I will try to post at least one chapter every Sunday.

This is essentially an alternate third season of the TV series.  Everything that happened after episode 25 (Bigwig's Way) did not happen here.  I hope you will like it :)


(cover made by me using GIMP and Pinta)

==========
Chapter 1: Meet the Rabbits.: ShowHide


“The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”
--Stephen Hawking

The sun was slowly rising over the horizon.  At first, an observer wouldn't have seen anything more than faint light, as the sun was obscured by a large shape.  As it rose further, one could see the high lonely hill of Watership Down, with the shadow of the lone beach tree at the top.

At the top of the Down, several rabbits were lying in the grass, contemplating the sunrise during an early silflay.  It was a peaceful day, no sign of danger anywhere.  The rabbits relaxed, without a care in the world.

Suddenly, one of the rabbits noticed something unusual.  At the bottom of the Down, there was an unusually pale spot in the grass, and it was moving.  The rabbit motioned to another nearby, who went to see him.
-”What is it, Hazel?” the other rabbit asked.
-”There is something at the bottom, Fiver,” Hazel replied. “Do you have any idea what it is?”
Fiver looked in the distance at the strange shape that was approaching, before answering Hazel:
-”It's a creature of some sort.  I know that much.  But that's all I know.  I don't know if it's a rabbit or something else, or whether its intentions are friendly or hostile.”
-”Fiver, go see Bigwig immediately.  Tell him to make sure the owsla is ready to attack if necessary.”
Fiver nodded, and did as he had been told.  Hazel did not move, instead choosing to remain there and face the creature, whatever it was, when it reached the top.

Further away, two rabbits were lying on their side in the grass, sound asleep, when suddenly...
-”Oi!  You two!  Wake up!”
-”Oooh Bigwig,” one of the two rabbits mumbled as he woke up, “why do you always have to be so loud?  I was just dreaming that I was in a field full of giant lettuces...”
-”You can get back to your giant lettuces later, Hawkbit,” Bigwig said sternly, “but right now there is owsla duty to be done.”
-”Bigwig, you should learn to relax sometimes,” the other rabbit said.  “This is too good a day to waste doing owsla training.”
-”This isn't regular training, Dandelion,” Bigwig corrected.  “Fiver told me there is a strange creature coming up the Down, and we have to be ready to fight it if necessary.”
-”Fight it yourself!  Can't you see I'm tired?” Hawkbit said, causing Bigwig to growl menacingly.  “All right, all right,” Hawkbit continued nervously, “no need to get excited.  I'll be ready.”
With that, Bigwig left Hawkbit and Dandelion alone, and went to see Hazel.  Along the way, he was stopped by another, younger, smaller buck.
-”Captain Pipkin of the junior owsla reporting for duty, sir!” he said.
-”It's good to see someone takes owsla duties seriously,” Bigwig replied. “Round up the junior owsla, and if the enemy overpowers us, be prepared to lead everyone through the emergency escape tunnel.”
-”Righty, Bigwig!”
As Pipkin went away to do as he had been ordered, Bigwig went to see Hazel, still sitting on the edge of the Down, tensely awaiting the arrival of the strange creature.  Fiver was also nearby.
-”So how is it going, Hazel-rah?” Bigwig asked.  “Any idea what it is?”
-”It's a rabbit,” Hazel replied, “I can see that now.  But he looks unusual...”
-”Efrafan?”
-”Doesn't smell like it.”
-”Well, that's good news.  I'll go tell Pipkin and the others.  I told him to prepare for an evacuation if necessary.”
With that, Bigwig went away, leaving Hazel and Fiver alone.  They stayed together, looking at the other rabbit slowly climbing up the Down.  As he got closer, they decided to go and meet him.

This rabbit, based on its smell, appeared to be a buck.  He had unnaturally white fur, with the exception of his ears, which were brown, and a few other brown markings around his eyes and across his back.  He seemed to be limping, and his right eye was half closed; it was plain that he could hardly see with it.  His left eye, however, was wide open and shining brightly.

Hazel and Fiver waited for the stranger to introduce himself, but he remained silent.  Finally, Hazel spoke:
-”Do you come from far away?”
The stranger took his time.  He scratched his right ear with his hind leg, and nearly lost his balance in the process.  After he had stabilized himself, he replied:
-”Each rabbit has his or her own definition of “far away”.  Some could say that, yes, I do come from far away, but the place I come from is not really that far, if you know where to look.”
Hazel and Fiver looked at each other.  Neither could really understand what the stranger's reply meant.  Their thoughts were interrupted as he started talking again:
-”Do you know of any warrens nearby?”
-”Y- y- ye- yes, uh, yes, our warren is right at the top,” Hazel stammered.  “Shall I show you the way?  Um...I'm Hazel, I'm the Chief Rabbit.  This is my brother Fiver.”
-”It's good to meet you, Hazel, Fiver.  Would you mind if I spent the day at your warren?  I'm feeling tired, and I could use some rest.”
-”We always welcome any rabbit in need at Watership Down.”
The stranger smiled, and resumed his ascent.  Progress was slow, and it took a long time before he finally reached the top.  Meanwhile, Hazel was talking to Fiver:
-”I really don't know what to make of this rabbit.  How can he survive with fur like this?  You saw how he stands out against the grass.  It's a wonder he hasn't been devoured by elil by now.”
-”His fur is very pale, true, but so is Primrose's,” Fiver said.
-”Her fur is really beautiful.”
Fiver shook his head.
-”I know his fur is unnatural, but it's something else that worries me.”
-”What is it?”
-”I feel something unusual about him.  Something strange.”
-”Is it dangerous?” Hazel asked worriedly.
-”Oh no, nothing like that,” Fiver clarified.  “It's just that, he seems vaguely familiar, somehow.  But I can't remember where we saw him.  He's certainly not from Cowslip's warren, he doesn't smell like that.  He's not from Sandleford either.  I really don't understand...”
By that point, the three rabbits had reached the warren.  Further away, they could hear another rabbit's angry shouts:
-”You mean you woke us up for nothing?  What's the matter with you, Bigwig?”
-”Hey, I didn't know it was just a wandering rabbit,” another rabbit said.  “The price of safety is constant vigilance.”
-”What's going on here?” the stranger asked.
-”That's just the owsla arguing with the captain,” Hazel answered.  “Bigwig!  Hawkbit!  Dandelion!  Meet...what did you say your name was?”
-”I didn't say.  But anyway, it's nice to meet you three,” the stranger said, hopping over to the three rabbits.  “Small owsla, isn't it?”
-”Oh, that's not the entire owsla,” Bigwig said.  “There is also Strawberry and...wait a moment.  Where IS Strawberry?  Why is he always missing during training...”
Bigwig went back underground with an angry look on his face.  The wanderer looked at Hazel and Fiver, puzzled.
-”Strawberry is another buck in the owsla,” Fiver explained. “For some reason he doesn't participate in owsla training as often as Hawkbit and Dandelion.  Our owsla also includes Captain Holly and Captain Broom, but they don't participate very often either.”
-”Oh, then the owsla isn't that small after all,” the stranger said.  “Do you think we could go underground now?”
Hazel nodded, and soon went underground, followed by Fiver and the stranger.  The run was long and wide, and the three rabbits soon came across a blue-grey doe, carrying several leaves in her mouth.
-”Hello Hazel,” she said.  “I was stocking up on healing herbs, our supply was getting low.  I see there is a new rabbit behind you.”
-”Oh, right,” Hazel said.  He turned to the stranger.  “You should really tell us your name.  It would make things much easier for all of us.”
-”I don't see why my name matters,” the stranger replied.  “I am what I am, and my name doesn't really change what I look like, or how I behave.”
-”All right,” Hazel said, slightly annoyed at the stranger's uncooperativeness.  “So, this is Blackberry, our digging and healing expert.”
-”It's nice to m-” Blackberry started to say, but suddenly became silent.  She kept staring at the stranger, with a worried look on her face.  Hazel and Fiver also looked at him, and saw what had attracted her attention: his hind leg on the left side was missing.  The fur had grown back around the wound, hiding it from casual observers.  Only a rabbit like Blackberry, who paid close attention to details, could have noticed it so easily.
-”I lost it to a hrududu, many seasons ago,” the stranger said, having noticed the other rabbits' reactions.  “It's rather hard sometimes, especially when my ear itches, but I can manage, most of the time.”
-”Do you want me to inspect the wound?” Blackberry asked.
-”No, that wouldn't help.  By now, it has healed as much as it ever will.  Thanks for the offer, anyway.”
With that, he moved further down the run, leaving Hazel, Fiver and Blackberry alone.
-”Hrududil are nasty creatures, aren't they?” Blackberry said.  “It's a good thing we don't have those near the warren.”
She picked her leaves back up, and went toward her burrow, where the warren's supply of healing herbs was kept.  Hazel looked at Fiver worriedly.
-”Why does he refuse to tell us his name?” he said.  “It sounds like he's hiding something.”
-”I don't know why he refuses, but that's not what worries me,” Fiver said.  “It's this feeling I have we already met him somewhere.  The more he talks, the more familiar he sounds, but I have no idea where we met.”
-”Neither do I.  I hope you will be able to find out.”
With that, they continued their way and found the stranger again further down the run.
-”I just realized something,” he said.  “I've met several rabbits living here so far, and you mentioned a few more, but so far, Blackberry is the only doe.  You don't have many, do you?”
-”We have a few, but not nearly as many as we have bucks,” Fiver said.  “Apart from Blackberry, whom you just met, there is also Clover, whom we helped escape from a hutch last summer, and...”
-”She was a hutch rabbit?  That's very interesting.  And she's still alive, after almost a year?”
-”Why, of course she is!” Hazel said, surprised.  “Why wouldn't she be?”
-”It's just that I've heard a few stories about those hutch rabbits.  Most of the time, they are killed by elil mere days after being released in nature, as they are unaware of the danger.”
-”Well, it's a good thing there are hardly any elil in the area,” Fiver said, “or she might have stopped running.  Anyway, other than Clover and Blackberry, we have one other doe...”
Fiver was interrupted by a loud sound coming from the Honeycomb, the largest burrow in the warren.  He and Hazel rushed there to see what was happening, with the stranger doing his best to follow them.

As they arrived at one of the Honeycomb's many entrances, they chuckled as they saw what was going on: three kittens were running crazily around the burrow, with a yellow-furred doe trying (and not really succeeding) to catch them.

The kittens tried to dart through one of the runs leading outside, but Fiver was faster and was soon standing in front of the run, blocking the passage.  By the time they turned around to try another exit, they were completely surrounded.  The doe stopped to catch her breath.
-”They're getting more energetic every day, Hazel dear,” she said.  “It's nearly impossible to get them back to the burrow for their nap.”
-”What's going on?” the stranger, who had just entered the Honeycomb, asked.  “There seems to be a lot of excitement around here.”
-”There is always some excitement when the kittens are around,” Fiver said.  “Anyway, this is Primrose, the doe I was telling you about.  She's also my brother's mate.”
-”It's always nice to have a new rabbit join us, here on Watership Down,” Primrose said.  “And as for you,” she continued, turning to the kittens, “it's time for your nap, now.  If you follow me to the burrow, I will tell you a story of El-ahrairah to help you fall asleep.”
Large smiles appeared on the three kittens' faces, and they followed Primrose out of the Honeycomb quietly, excited at the prospect of a story.
-”Nice kittens,” the stranger commented once Primrose and the kittens were gone.  “What are their names?”
-”Snowdrop, Mallow and Gilia.  And they are all mine,” Hazel said proudly.  “They are also part of the junior owsla, and doing a good job of it.  Sometimes, a better job than the regular owsla, actually.”
-”Are they the only kittens in the warren?” the stranger asked.
-”Actually...no,” Hazel said.  “I have a fourth one, Periwinkle is her name.  She doesn't hang around very often with the other three, though.”
-”Let's go back outside, shall we?” the stranger suggested.  “It's been a while since I last went to silflay, and I'm starting to feel a bit hungry.”
The three rabbits went out another run, and made their way outside.  The stranger started to nibble the grass.
-”The view from up here is amazing,” he said.  “I hadn't really had a chance to contemplate it when I first arrived here, but I can't believe how far you can see.”
-”It's really useful,” Fiver said.  “You can see any enemies coming from a long way off, before they can see us.  If we need to fight them, we have the advantage.”
-”But I thought you said that there were hardly any elil around here?”
-”We have enemies, they are just not elil, but other rabbits,” Hazel said.  “There is a hostile warren nearby, called Efrafa.”
-”With a name like that, it doesn't sound friendly.”
-”That's true.  Living there is a real nightmare.  Primrose lived there for several seasons, until we got her out.  Ever since then, they've been sending out wide patrols to find the location of our warren, so they can attack and destroy us.  Thankfully, they haven't been successful so far.”
-”Thank you for the warning.  I'll try to stay away from them in my wanderings.  And good for you, helping Primrose escape.  Did anyone else escape with her?”
-”I think there was another one...a buck, I think...but I can't remember his name at the moment...”
-”Blackavar,” Fiver said.
-”That's right, Blackavar, I always forget his name, thanks Fiver,” Hazel continued.  “We helped him and Primrose escape.”
-”Was there anyone else?” the stranger asked.
-”No, they were the only two.”
The stranger remained silent for a while, nibbling the grass in front of him.  After a while, he said:
-”This is a good warren, Hazel-rah, a positive contribution to rabbitry.  But there are a few unusual things about it, that leave several open possibilities.”
-”What sort of possibilities?” Hazel asked.
But the stranger did not reply.  Instead, he closed his eyes and remained motionless for what felt to Hazel like forever.  Finally, he opened his eyes again, and looked at the two brothers.
-”It's been a good day.  I really enjoyed spending it at your warren, but now, I must leave.”
-”Leave?  But where to?” Hazel asked.
-”I am a wanderer at heart.  It is not in me to stay for extended periods in one place.”
-”It's sad to see you leave, but if that's what you want we can't stop you,” Fiver said.  “But if you ever feel like returning, remember that you will always be welcome here at Watership Down.”
-”Thank you kindly for your offer.  I will keep it in mind.”
With that, he slowly started to make his way to the bottom of the Down.  It took him a while to reach the bottom, as he always had to walk carefully to avoid tumbling down the rest of the way.
-”You know, Fiver,” Hazel said, “I've been thinking there was something wrong with him ever since I first saw him this morning.  But now that he's gone, I can't help but feel that we'll miss him.”
-”He'll never truly leave, Hazel,” Fiver said.
-”But how is that possible?”
-”I've remembered where I met him.  It was in a dream, a long time ago, when we still lived at Sandleford warren.  I was...”
-”Hazel, I've got to talk to you,” came another voice from behind the two brothers.  Hazel turned; it was Bigwig.
-”What's the matter, Bigwig?”
-”I couldn't find Strawberry anywhere in the warren, so I went to search for him in the caverns leading to Efrafa.  I hear someone in there, and it's doesn't sound like Strawberry.  I think you should take a look...”
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:48:11 AM by Chipster-roo »
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Offline Vesper

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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 03:36:08 PM »
:silverweed3 Another exciting fanfic from a very talented writer. :D *Tackle-hugs*
[big][big][small]"Yet, even amidst the Hatred and Carnage, Life is still worth living. It is possible for Wonderful Encounters and Beautiful things to exist."[/small][/big][/big]- Hayou Miyazaki

[big]"I will have Poetry in my life. And Adventure. And Love. Love above all."[/big]
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[big]"The thinker dies, but his thoughts are beyond the reach of destruction. Men are mortal; but ideas are immortal."[/big][/i]- Richard Adams

Offline florapaw

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Possibilities
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 07:37:22 PM »
Wow! This new fic already has me in its grasp. I don't know how you manage to make all your writing sound so exciting all the time. I can't wait for more! ✨

Offline Chipster-roo

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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 09:00:39 PM »
Thank you both for your comments :) I really appreciate your words :)
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 12:11:10 PM »
This new fanfic got off to an interesting start. I'm curious what will happen next. :)
"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Hazel

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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 03:02:00 PM »
Awesome! Awesome! And Awesome!

Quick everybody! Let's hold him to gunpoint until the next part is out :D

Offline Chipster-roo

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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 07:42:15 PM »
Thank you both :)

Good luck holding that gun for a week Claws :D
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 02:05:36 PM »
Here are chapters 2 and 3; I hope you will like them :)

Chapter 2: Meet the Efrafans.: ShowHide

“When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.”
--Peter Anspach, Evil Overlord List

While the mysterious stranger was getting a guided tour of Watership Down, a group of slave rabbits were hard at work in a nearby field.  They were busy gathering flayrah for the leader of Efrafa, the tyrannical General Woundwort, under the close supervision of corporal Moss.

Among the slaves was a rabbit called Vervain, who was previously a captain in Woundwort's owsla.  However, the previous fall, a simple trick had been played on him by Hazel and his gang of outsiders, resulting in General Woundwort declaring him insane and demoting him to the lowest possible rank.
“All these seasons, I've served Woundwort loyally,” he thought, “and look how I end up: a slave!  While that traitor, Campion, is still a trusted captain.  It's totally unfair!  How I wish I could capture those outsiders and deliver them to the General!  I would finally get the glory I rightfully deserve...”
Suddenly, he noticed that further away, Moss had stopped one of the slaves, who had apparently not brought enough flayrah.  Vervain took advantage of Moss' distraction to try to run away.  He dropped the small carrot in his mouth and ran as fast as he could, away from Efrafa.  It did not take him long to hear the faint voice of Moss:
-”Oi!  Where's Vervain?  Owsla, follow his scent!”
Vervain gasped in terror as he heard this.  He was not a particularly fast runner, so he would have to mask his scent and find a place to hide if he wanted to avoid capture.

Luckily for Vervain, there was a river nearby.  He jumped into the water; it was shallow enough for his paws to touch the bottom.  He ran upstream and eventually came to a wall covered with moss, although there seemed to be a small hole behind it.  “This won't be very comfortable, but it's the only hiding spot nearby, so it will have to do,” he thought.

As he jumped through the moss, however, he saw that the “small hole” he was in was actually a large cavern.  “This looks like the lair of the Black Rabbit of Inlé”, he thought.  He walked a little further into the cavern, and stepped out of the river onto the shore.

Suddenly, as he was shaking the water out of his fur, he noticed a few tracks further away, and they were clearly rabbit tracks.  He went to smell them, and the scent was vaguely familiar.  And then, it hit him: it was the outsiders' scent, and it was still fresh.  The outsiders had clearly been there very recently and, Vervain reasoned, this cave might lead directly to their warren.  “The General will be amazed when I tell him this!” he thought.

Excited at the prospect of reclaiming his rightful position as the captain of Woundwort's owsla, and possibly exposing the traitorous Campion, Vervain ran back out of the cavern, straight toward Efrafa.  The warren had been dug beneath the roots of a dead tree, at the bottom of a large pit.  Vervain ran through the first entrance he could find, only to come face to face with Campion, Moss and another officer whose name he didn't know.
-”I demand to see General Woundwort!” he ordered.  “I have discovered the location of Hazel's warren!”
He carefully examined the other rabbits' faces, and could see that Moss was considering granting his request of an audition with the Chief.  However, Campion intervened:
-”He's raving.  Keep him confined to the prison chamber.”
As soon as Campion's order had been issued, Moss and the other rabbit grabbed Vervain by the shoulders and dragged him away.
-”You don't understand!” he cried desperately.  “Campion is a traitor to Efrafa and is working with the outsiders!  General Woundwort will have your ears for this!”
The officers did not react.  They carried Vervain the rest of the way and roughly threw him inside the chamber.
-”Campion, you shall suffer for this!  I promise you!”
-”Fortunately,” Moss said sarcastically, “you never keep your promises, do you?”
Vervain couldn't stand it anymore.  Campion had silenced him, and now Moss was making fun of him.  He was going to talk to Woundwort, not matter how hard everyone was trying to stop him.
-”NO!” he shouted, as he ran straight out of the chamber, knocking all three officers down in the process.  He made his way towards the main chamber, where he found General Woundwort, proudly sitting high on a rock, like a king on his throne.  Vervain bowed in respect.
-“Vervain, explain yourself,” the General ordered, visibly annoyed.
-”General, sir, I have brilliant news for you.  I have new information that will lead to the capture of Hazel and his outsiders.”
At that moment, Moss entered the chamber and pounced on Vervain.
-”I'm sorry for the disturbance, sir, this slave has escaped from the prison chamber, but everything will soon be back under control.”
-”Hold,” Woundwort ordered.  “I wish to hear what he has to say.”
-”Thank you, sire,” Vervain said.  “But I refuse to speak while that big oaf is on my back.”
-”Let him go, Moss.”
Moss sighed, and hopped off the prisoner's back.  At that moment, Campion entered the burrow, while Vervain, unaware of the captain's presence, began to explain his discovery:
-”You know how, near Efrafa, there is this river...”
-”I know about the river, Vervain,” Woundwort said.  “Get to the point.”
-”And how upstream there is a wall of moss...”
-”GET TO THE POINT!”
-”Behind this wall of moss, there is a cavern, and it leads to the outsiders' warren.”
After Vervain had finished explaining his discovery, all four rabbits remained silent for a few moments.  Campion was the first to speak:
-”But General, I already checked that cavern while on patrol, there's nothing there.”
As he heard that, Woundwort growled in anger.
-”Take this troublemaker to the digging squad!  Cut his rations in half!”
-”As you wish, sir,” Moss said.
-”NO!  I'm telling the truth, I swear!  It's all a conspiracy!” Vervain said as he found himself getting dragged away once again.  “Everyone is working for the outsiders!”
Campion, meanwhile, hopped into a nearby run.  He had lied: he had never visited the cavern, and was unaware of its existence until Vervain had mentioned it.  He really was sympathizing with the outsiders, and had silenced Vervain before Woundwort would get suspicious.

However, Campion knew that it was unlike Vervain to imagine things like this; he therefore decided to take a look at the cavern himself.  He hopped over to the river and cleared away the moss; did this cavern really lead to the outsiders' warren?
-”Hazel!  Bigwig!” he called out, receiving no response other than the echo of his own voice.  He walked further into the cavern, and got out of the water.  The outsiders' tracks were clearly visible in front of him.

Campion continued to walk further and further into the cavern; the outsiders' scent kept getting stronger.  Suddenly, after a turn, he came face to face with Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig.
-”Campion!” Hazel said in surprise.  “What are you doing here?”
-”Oh Hazel, I've got terrible news,” Campion said.  “Vervain found an entrance to your warren, the one behind the moss near the river.”
-”That really is terrible,” Bigwig said.  “I guess we'll have to prepare for an attack.”
-”It's not all that bad.  Currently everyone, including Woundwort, thinks Vervain is insane; nobody believes him.”
-”Hmm.  But if anyone else ever discovers this entrance, we can count on you to warn us before it is too late, right?” Bigwig said.
-”And while you're here,” Fiver suggested, “why don't you take a look around, and see what you've been working so hard to protect?”
-”Yes, I would like that very much,” Campion said.
The three Watershippers smiled, and all four rabbits soon went towards the Honeycomb, with Campion staring in amazement at his surroundings.


Chapter 3: Feel the Freedom.: ShowHide

“How many things, too, are looked upon as quite impossible, until they have been actually effected?”
--Pliny the Elder, Natural History

While Campion was visiting Watership Down, Vervain was tunnelling through the rocky soil at Efrafa.  He was supposed to dig a new storeroom for General Woundwort's flayrah, but progress was slow, partly because the soil was unstable, but also because Vervain was not particularly good at digging.  To make things worse, he was digging in the wrong direction, and soon broke into an existing burrow.

“I can't believe I'm forced to do does' work all day long just General Woundwort can have fresh flayrah,” he thought, filled with anger.  “I find the location of the outsiders' warren and he doesn't even believe me, trusting that traitor Campion instead.  Was I ever rewarded for my loyalty?  Of course not, I got nothing but trouble!  Sometimes, I wish he was dead...”
Suddenly, it dawned on him: why couldn't he kill Woundwort?  The tunnel he had dug was connected with the main Efrafa burrow system, which he could navigate by heart.  The guard outside the chamber had only been recently promoted to the owsla and was not paying close attention.  Vervain could easily sneak into Woundwort's burrow, kill him, and return to the tunnel without the guard, or anyone else, noticing.  And that, he reasoned, would be the end of his problems.

Vervain cast one last look outside; the guard was still not paying attention to him.  As silently as he could, he sneaked out of the chamber.  He spent a long time wandering through the most obscure (and least frequented) passages, until he finally came to the great chamber.  Woundwort, as usual, was on his rock and, luckily for Vervain, sound asleep.  He climbed on top of the rock, and sneaked up behind Woundwort when, suddenly, he was filled with fear.  While he had set up a perfect alibi, he didn't know how to actually perform the murder.  He had executed many prisoners while he was in the owsla; in most situations, a single blow to the head was enough to kill them.  But the General was much larger and stronger; killing him would be a massive challenge.

Vervain remained there, sitting next to the General.  He had to make up his mind, and either act or flee.  The longer he stayed on the rock, the higher the chances of him getting caught were.  Eventually, he decided he would have to try, and bit the General's neck as hard as he could.

At that moment, a terrible sound broke from the General, louder than anything Vervain had ever heard before.  He completely panicked, clawing the General's neck, praying to Frith the noise would stop.  And eventually, it did.

Vervain stared at the body for a few moments.  Woundwort was covered with blood; he looked dead, but Vervain didn't have time to check.  With that terrible scream, the entire owsla would probably be there in just a few moments; he had to get away.  Vervain tried to retrace his steps back to the chamber he was supposed to dig, but in his panic, he couldn't think properly, and got lost.  To make matters worse, his teeth and his claws were covered with blood, and he had no idea how he would be able to clean them.

==========

Meanwhile at Watership Down, Campion was walking through the various burrows and runs, amazed at how large the warren was: Efrafan burrows were much smaller, and served the needs of more rabbits than there were at the Down.  But what amazed him the most was how happy everyone seemed.  He had never seen such a cheerful bunch of rabbits before in his life.

For many months, he had been taking advantage of his position as captain of Woundwort's owsla to protect Watership Down, his rank keeping him above suspicion.  As he visited the warren, which he had been fighting to protect for almost an entire year, he thought back on all the events that had caused the war in the first place.

After a long time, he finally made it above ground, where he saw Primrose lying in the grass, with her eyes closed and a large smile on her face.  As he lied down further away, she opened her eyes and turned at him.
-”Feel the freedom, Campion,” she said.
-”What?”
-”Feel the wind of freedom blow through your fur.”
Campion closed his eyes too.  It was rather windy, but he didn't really focus on “feeling the freedom”.  He had something on his mind, and he felt obligated to tell Primrose about it.
-”Primrose,” he asked, “why did you run away?”
-”What do you mean?”
-”Why did you choose to escape from Efrafa?”
-”Campion, you know what life is like in Efrafa.  I vowed that I would have freedom, or welcome death.  Besides, I love Hazel, and I wanted to be with him.”
-”Primrose, why didn't you mate with me instead?  I would have tried to make you happy.  You would have earned a few privileges granted to the families of officers, and Vervain couldn't have bullied you anymore.”
Primrose remained silent.  She had never seriously considered the possibility of mating with Campion; Hazel was the only rabbit she had ever been in love with.  But it dawned on her that if she had stayed in Efrafa and mated with Campion, the war between the two warrens would probably never have happened.  Suddenly, Campion said:
-”Hey, it's getting late.  I should probably go back to Efrafa before Woundwort starts suspecting anything.”
With that, he got up and made his way toward the warren's main entrance.  Before going underground, he cast one last look at Primrose; the cheerful expression she had earlier had completely vanished.  Campion briefly wondered whether he had made a mistake, but nevertheless went back underground, toward the caverns.
-”Leaving so soon?” Hazel asked him.
-”I have to, unfortunately, before anyone gets worried back at Efrafa.  But I'll come back.”
-”You will always be welcome, here at Watership Down.”
Campion nodded, and entered the caverns, with Hazel following him.  Slightly further away, he bumped into another rabbit.
-”Oh, I'm sorry, I...” she started to say.  “Oh, hello.  You're new here, aren't you?”
-”Blackberry, this is Campion,” Hazel said, introducing the two rabbits.  “Campion, meet Blackberry, our digging and healing expert.”
-”I've heard a lot of stories about you, Campion,” Blackberry said.
-”Yeah...and you did a good job digging this warren...” Campion said, rather awkwardly.
-”I wasn't the only one.  But it did take a while to convince some of the others to participate...”
Blackberry and Campion continued to stare at each other, with Hazel awkwardly watching the scene unfold.  After a while, Blackberry said:
-”Well, it was nice meeting you Campion.  And be careful in the caverns.  I was just inspecting them, and the ceiling seems rather unstable in some places.”
-”It was a pleasure meeting you too.  And thanks for the warning, I'll keep it in mind.”
With that, the two rabbits went their separate ways, Blackberry going toward the Honeycomb, with Campion returning to the river.  Hazel followed the nearest run leading outside, and along the way met Primrose, her ears drooping to the sides of her head.
-”What's the matter, dear?” he asked.  “You look like you have something on your mind.  You know I'm available if you want to talk about it.”
-”No, it's all right, Hazel, I'm fine,” she replied, without even looking at him.
Hazel looked at Primrose as she walked away deeper in the warren.  He was sure that she wasn't feeling very well, but he didn't know how he could help.  Hopefully she would accept to talk to him about it later...

==========

When Campion returned to Efrafa, there was a large crowd gathered in the central chamber.  He squeezed his way through the crowd, trying to locate Moss.  He finally found him near the rock.
-”What's going on, Moss?”
-”The General is dead!  Someone killed him!”
Campion gasped in shock.  He looked up at the rock; Woundwort's bloody corpse was still there, where Vervain had left it.
-”Oh Frith help us...”
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:48:52 AM by Chipster-roo »
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 09:19:04 AM »
Well... That was anticlimactic end for good old General. :P
"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Hazel

Pessimist sees a dark tunnel. Optimist sees a light in the tunnel. Realist sees the light of coming train. And the train driver sees three idiots standing on the track.

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 09:55:59 AM »
Wonderful chapters! Commendations to you, dear Chipster!
The General's death had me shook honestly

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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2018, 05:00:44 PM »
Thank you both :) I'm glad you liked these chapters :)

Is the General really dead though?
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 02:36:20 PM »
On the waiting list X_X

 :blackberry
I love Watership Down!
 
Everything is fine =) (?)

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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 03:05:32 PM »
I hope you will like it Acacia :)


Here are two new chapters; I hope you will all like them :)

Chapter 4: It's Not That Simple.: ShowHide


“To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy”
--Unknown (NetPositive web browser Easter egg)

Chaos persisted in Efrafa for a long time.  After it had finally subsided, a few officers carried General Woundwort's body away from Efrafa.  He was by far the largest rabbit in the warren, and it took four members of the owsla to transport him.  A deep hole was dug some distance from the warren, and the body was deposited at the bottom.  The hole was then filled up again, and an officer returned with a few leaves of woundwort, which were scattered over the grave.  The officers then remained silent and bowed in respect for their fallen leader.

A while later, the owsla was gathered in the central chamber.  Moss jumped on top of the rock overlooking the chamber; it was still stained with Woundwort's blood.
-”Today is a sad day for everyone here in Efrafa, and all rabbits everywhere.  General Woundwort, the most fearless, strongest, bravest and wisest rabbit ever, has stopped running today.  He did not die in the line of duty, but was mercilessly killed in cold blood.  We do not know yet who is responsible, but when the murderer is discovered, they will pay the supreme penalty.

General Woundwort was one of a kind.  No other rabbit can replace him, but Efrafa nevertheless needs a new Chief to carry on his legacy.  He did not have a mate or kittens; therefore, according to ancient Efrafan law, the new leader is to be his captain of owsla: Campion.”
As Moss finished his speech, everyone started to cheer, pleased with Campion's promotion.  Only Campion himself was unhappy; as he made his way to the top of the rock, he was filled with a mixture of sadness and anger.  Seeing everyone pressuring him for a speech, he had no choice but to make one:
-“I thank all of you for your kind words, and for trusting me with such an important job.

General Woundwort's main goal, for the past year or so, has been to find the outsiders' warren and destroy it, a task we have failed to accomplish so far.  If we were unable to find the warren in a full set of seasons, how can we be expected to do it now, when we have just lost our leader?  I therefore order that all patrols are to be stopped until further notice.  That will prevent a lot of unnecessary deaths.

The General's death has also affected the outskirters and the slaves.  Many of them are in bad health, and the news of today's tragedy will probably weaken them further.  Disease may break, and if that happens, it would be impossible to stop, and might possibly destroy us all.  Therefore, I order that all rabbits are hereby allowed to silflay whenever they wish...”
-”STOP!”
Everyone turned to see who had spoken.  It was Vervain, sitting at the back of the crowd, his fur completely wet.  He had taken advantage of the confusion following the discovery of Woundwort's body to go the river, where he had thoroughly cleaned himself.  It did not take long for Moss to pounce on him and pin him to the ground.
-”I'm sorry, Campion sir,” the officer said, “this slave must have escaped in the confusion, and now interrupts your speech.  I will make sure this doesn't happen again.”
-”You can't!” Vervain insisted.  “Campion is a traitor to Efrafa!  He is working with the outsid-”
-”Let him go, Moss,” Campion ordered.  “Give him back his old burrow.  The General's murder has affected his fragile mind, give him time to recover.  But remember that he is insane and is to be treated as such.”
-”As you say, sir,” Moss said reluctantly.  Vervain, meanwhile, was angry:
-”You think you can buy my silence with privileges.  Well, let me tell you: you can't.  I will not rest until you are exposed as the traitor you really are.”
With that, he stormed away toward the burrow he had when he was a captain of owsla.  Most of the officers looked at him with contempt; after he was gone, Campion finished his speech:
-“As I was saying, all rabbits may silflay whenever they wish.  And finally, General Woundwort's killer must be discovered.  Nobody in the owsla is to rest until the rabbit responsible is discovered and punished.  That is all.”
With that, Campion walked away from the crowd.  He took Moss aside.
-”Look, take over for the day, will you?” he said.  “I have some business elsewhere to take care of.”
-”As you say, sir,” Moss replied.  “When can we expect you back?”
-”I don't know, but wait until my return before putting anyone on trial for Woundwort's murder.  I want to be the judge.”
With that, he walked out of the warren.  Moss looked at him until he lost sight of him near the river.

==========

At Watership Down, a certain number of rabbits were enjoying a late afternoon silflay.  Hazel was quietly nibbling a dandelion when he suddenly saw a large shadow appear next to him.  He turned to see what it was.
-”Hello Campion,” he said.  “I didn't expect to see you again so soon.”
-”WHY DID YOU DO IT?” Campion asked angrily.
-”Do what?”
-”You know perfectly well what I'm talking about!”
By this point, several rabbits had gathered around Hazel and Campion.
-”What's going on here?” Bigwig asked.
-”You're all pretending not to know,” Campion said, “but I'll tell you.  General Woundwort was killed today.”
Everyone gasped in shock at the news.
-”Do you know who did it?” Hazel asked cautiously.
-”One of you outsiders did, obviously.  You were all keeping me busy, showing me all the wonders of your warren, but while I was distracted, one of you mercilessly murdered my Chief.”
-”Eh, if he's dead, so much the better,” Hawkbit said, only to be cuffed in the ears by Bigwig.
-”I may have agreed to work against Woundwort from the inside,” Campion continued, “but that didn't give you permission to kill him in cold blood like you did.”
-”Campion,” Fiver said, having just arrived, “you don't seriously think we would have misled you like this, do you?”
Campion stared at Fiver for a long time.  Ever since he had first seen Woundwort's corpse, he had been convinced that the outsiders were responsible, but the look on the small buck's face almost proved that they had nothing to do with it.
-”Oh, this is all so MEANINGLESS!” he shouted in anger, before running toward the bottom of the Down, away from Efrafa.  The Watershippers remained motionless and silent.
-”Do you think...Woundwort is really...dead?” Dandelion asked after a while.
-”Campion wouldn't joke about something like this,” Hazel said.
-”I can't believe it,” Blackberry said.  “This war has been going on for almost a full set of seasons, and suddenly...it's over.  Without a battle or anything.”
-”Whoever killed Woundwort saved us a lot of trouble,” Hawkbit said.  “Now that the war's over, Bigwig, you'll stop all these patrols and everything, all right?”
-”The patrols will continue as usual,” Bigwig said sternly.  “This war may be over, but if we ever have to fight another one, we have to be ready.”
With that, Bigwig walked away from the others, when he suddenly bumped into another rabbit; it was Strawberry.
-”Where have you been?” he asked angrily.  “I've been searching for you all day!”
-”I'm sorry, Bigwig,” Strawberry stammered, “there was a patch of clover at the bottom of the Down, and I thought I would visit it.  Once I was there, I met this bird and we had a long, thought-provoking discussion until she flew away.  And then...I fell asleep, I guess.”
Strawberry expected Bigwig to lecture him on his lack of discipline, but that did not happen:
-”It doesn't really matter.  General Woundwort is dead.  The war is over.”
-”Really?  That's good news.  I suppose this means the patrols will stop?”
-”You're the second one to ask me this, but the answer remains the same: no.  Say, did YOU kill Woundwort?  You weren't anywhere in the warren when it happened.  This clover patch story isn't just an excuse, is it?”
-”No, I tell you, Bigwig, it wasn't me.  I wouldn't have been brave enough.  I really wonder who it was...”

The news spread quickly throughout the warren.  Most rabbits were happy that the war was finally over, but shocked at the way it had ended.  The only one who had reservations was Fiver.
-”I'm a bit worried about Campion,” he told Hazel that evening.  “I really don't like the way he ran away.  This could potentially spell trouble.”
-”Don't worry about that, Fiver,” Hazel said.  “He's probably just as shocked as we are.  Give him a few days and he will probably be back to normal.  Then, maybe we will be able to go to Efrafa and begin formal negotiations.”
-”Perhaps you're right, Hazel.  But altogether, I don't like it.”

==========

Meanwhile, some distance from Efrafa, a weasel was wandering through the woods, searching for food.  He eventually came upon some freshly disturbed ground, and a fresh scent of blood.  There was probably a dead creature buried there.

Suddenly, the ground started to move.  The weasel remained motionless, looking at the moving dirt as it seemed to cave in.  After it had stopped, he slowly approached it again.  At the moment when he least expected it, something sprung from the hole.  It was a rabbit, but unlike any other rabbit he had ever seen before.  It was unusually large and covered with blood, with its right eye shining bright red.

The weasel was about to dismiss this strange apparition as a ghost and look for an easy meal elsewhere when suddenly, the “ghost” bit his nose.  The weasel yelped in pain, and tried to get his nose free, to no avail.  After a few seconds, the rabbit let go, and the weasel ran away as fast as he could.  It took a while for the bleeding to stop.

Woundwort finished to dig himself out of his grave.  Vervain had not killed him, but would have succeeded had he not panicked.  Instead, the General had been knocked unconscious, and was still in great pain from the attack.  He cleaned the blood, but it would take a while before he could move his head properly again.

He turned and looked at the dead tree under which Efrafa was built.  It looked unusually calm and silent.
“I made Efrafa great again,” he thought, “and this is how they repay me: burying me alive.  They won't get away with it.  I will have revenge.”
With that, he ran away into the night, thinking about nothing but revenge, against the outsiders responsible for his downfall, and his own owsla, who had deserted him when he needed them the most.


Chapter 5: Let There Be Flayrah.: ShowHide


“Many small businesses are doomed from day one, not from competition or the economy, but from the ignorance of their owners . . . their destiny is already decided because they have no idea how a business should be operated.”
--William Manchee, Go Broke, Die Rich: Turning Around the Troubled Small Business

It was early in the morning, shortly after sunrise.  Hazel peaked out of the warren's main entrance, and went outside.  The sky was cloudy; a thunderstorm was on its way.  He estimated that it would not break until that evening.

Hazel heard a soft noise coming from behind him.  He turned, and saw another rabbit slowly approaching him.
-”Can't sleep, Bigwig?”
-”Not really,” Bigwig answered.  “I know I should be happy, the war being over and all, but that will probably make my job even more difficult.  You know how I've been having trouble getting the owsla to take the job seriously, but now that the war is over, they're convinced that there is no purpose in training.”
-”At least Pipkin takes his job as captain of the junior owsla seriously.”
-”Yeah.  Thank Frith there are still rabbits like him!  I'm sure he will be a fine replacement for me, when I retire in a few sets of seasons.  But until then, the regular owsla is short on useful rabbits”.
-”Why don't you give them a break for a few days?” Hazel suggested.  “I'm sure we could all use some rest, now that the war is over.”
-”Perhaps I could try that.  But you seem to be having problems of your own, Hazel.  You rarely go outside at this time of day, and when you do, Fiver is usually with you, but now you're alone.”
-”I think there's something wrong with Primrose.  She didn't get much sleep last night.  When I told her that Woundwort was dead, she said something about how she was responsible for the war, but when I asked her what she meant, she didn't reply.
Bigwig remained silent, as he tried to think of a decent reply.
-”The only one responsible for the war is Woundwort himself, and he's dead now.  Where did she get that crazy idea that it was her fault?”
-”I wish I knew.  If I did, it would probably be easier to help her.  Do you have anything to suggest?  I'm rather short on good ideas at the moment.”
-”How about going on a nice, quiet little raid on Nuthanger Farm?  No rabbit can resist the rich, sweet, crunchy taste of fresh lettuce.  If that doesn't cheer Primrose up, I don't know what will.”
-”You may have something there, Bigwig.  And besides, the war is over, shouldn't we celebrate?  Why don't we organize a feast?”
-”Brilliant idea, Hazel!  Who else do we bring for the raid?”
-”Perhaps it should be just the two of us.  This way we can surprise the others when we return with the flayrah.”
-”Hmmm, that makes sense.  What do you say we start ni-Frith?”
-”I'll be ready, Bigwig.”
With that, the two rabbits hopped away; Hazel went back to his burrow to check up on Primrose, while Bigwig decided to patrol around the Down.  His mind was full of exciting thoughts about the upcoming adventure, and as a consequence he wasn't paying close attention to his surroundings, causing him to bump into another rabbit.

As he got back up, Bigwig looked at this other rabbit; his fur was mostly brown, almost black, and he had a strange overgrowth of fur on his head, not unlike Bigwig's, but smaller.  He could not remember seeing this rabbit before.
-”Who are you?” Bigwig asked.
-”My name is Blackavar, sir,” the stranger replied.
-”Blackavar?” Bigwig repeated, searching his memory for more information on this rabbit.  “Oh yes, I remember you now,” he lied.  “I'm sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going...”
Bigwig walked away, casting an awkward glance at Blackavar.  “I know I've met him somewhere before, but I can't remember where,” he thought.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Down, Blackberry was lying in the grass.  At first glance, it might look like she was enjoying the feeling of the wind blowing through her fur, but she was actually absorbed in deep thought.  When she had first arrived at Watership Down as part of Hazel's band of fugitives from Sandleford Warren, she had taken part in the digging of the warren.  While several of the bucks also helped, she still ended up doing most of the work.  But that was several seasons ago, and since then, hardly any new digging had had been done.  The only new burrow dug afterwards had been made by Primrose while she was pregnant.  Afterwards, the warren was mostly preoccupied with the war with Efrafa, and she felt like she had done very little to help the others.

She pondered the question of what she had done wrong, and what she could do to help now that the war was over.  She eventually made a decision, and decided to talk to Bigwig about it.

Meanwhile, Bigwig was in the Honeycomb talking to Hazel.
-”I met a rabbit outside just now,” he said.  He told me his name is Blackavar, but I can't remember anything about him.”
-”Oh, I think he's the rabbit whom we helped escape from Efrafa along with Primrose,” Hazel explained.
-”I can't believe I forgot about him.  Is there anyone else living here that I don't remember?”
-”I don't think so.  If there is anyone else, I don't remember them either.  But it's terrible.  When we helped him escape, he seemed like a good, useful rabbit.  A bit loud, sometimes, but a good runner.  Despite this, I can't remember a single mission of importance he participated in.”
-”Hmm.  Hazel, why don't we bring him along on today's raid?  That would be giving him a chance to do something useful.”
-”I'm not sure about that, Bigwig,” a third rabbit said.  Both Hazel and Bigwig turned to see who it was; it was Fiver.
-“How long have you been spying on us?” Bigwig asked.
-”I wouldn't exactly call it spying, but I have been listening for quite a while.  Don't worry, though, I won't tell anyone about your secret project.  I'm just a bit worried about Blackavar.”
-”What's the matter with Blackavar?” Bigwig asked, slightly annoyed.
-”As you said, Hazel, he hasn't participated in a single mission of importance since the escape from Efrafa.  He's been kept sheltered here in the warren for almost a full set of seasons.  And before that, he was in Efrafa, where he didn't learn much about the natural lives of rabbits.  Even Clover has more experience than he does.”
-”What nonsense!” Bigwig exclaimed.  “Clover was born in a hutch, and her parents before her were also born in a hutch, and their parents too, probably.  This lack of natural instincts runs in their blood.  Blackavar, meanwhile, lived in the wilderness all his life like normal rabbits...”
Bigwig ignored the fact that Clover was lying in a corner of the Honeycomb and overheard the entire conversation.  She did not take his comments very well.
-”So I'm not a normal rabbit, eh?”
Bigwig was taken aback, and did his best to control the damage.
-”That's not what I meant...”
-”You said that I lack natural instincts and I'm not a normal rabbit.  I'll admit I'm not as fast or strong as some of you “normal” rabbits, but I still do my best, you know?”
-”I didn't...”
-”I'll be at silflay.  Hopefully I can still digest grass properly despite not being a normal rabbit.”
With that, she hopped out of the burrow.
-”Nice job Bigwig.” Fiver rolled his eyes.  “Anyway, the fact remains that Blackavar's lack of experience has weakened his instincts.  If he wants to participate in any raids, he should at least take part in some basic owsla training before.”
-”You have to contradict me in everything I say, don't you?”
-”Look, Bigwig, you won't get anywhere shouting like this.” Hazel stepped in to resolve the argument.  “Fiver, I understand everything you say.  That is why I will take the greatest care to make sure nothing bad happens.  Me and Bigwig will guide Blackavar throughout the whole experience, and be on the lookout for cats and dogs.  He will be fine.”
-”As you say, Hazel,” Fiver said reluctantly.  “But I still feel uneasy about all this, and if something happens, I don't want to be the one saying “I told you so.””
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:49:28 AM by Chipster-roo »
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Re: Possibilities
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2018, 05:09:48 PM »
Here is chapter 6.  It is the only chapter this week, as the server switch took up most of my free time, but I should be back to two chapters next week.  I hope you will like it :)

@Chibiscuit appears in this chapter.

Chapter 6: Vervain's Friend.: ShowHide


“The pain started years ago, but I'd lived with it for so long at that point that I'd accepted it as an inevitable part of me.”
--Ashley D. Wallis, Leaping

The early spring wind was blowing through the leaves of the many trees surrounding the warren.  Among the many rabbits at silflay was a handsome black-furred buck, who was staring with admiration at a doe, further away.  The two had known each other for a few months, and got along very well.  That day, however, the buck was feeling mischievous.  He slowly approached the doe, who did not appear to have noticed his presence.  Suddenly, he put one of his front paws on her tail, and removed it instantly.
-”Chibiscuit, tail tag!” he said, running as fast as he could the opposite way.
-”Oh Vervain, you rascal,” the doe said, as she started to chase him.
Chibiscuit chased Vervain across the field, before finally catching up with him, putting her paws on his tail and leaping the other way.  Vervain tried to run after her, but she was too fast for him.  He would have to change tactics.

Chibiscuit continued to run across the field, until she suddenly stopped.  She looked around her, and there was no sign of Vervain anywhere.  At that moment, she felt something touch her tail.  She turned and realized she was sitting in the mouth of a hole, where Vervain was hiding.
-”Hey, that's not fair!” she said.
With that, Vervain tried to run away, but Chibiscuit touched his tail again before he managed to get out of the tunnel.

Chibiscuit and Vervain spent most of the afternoon playing their game, with a few other rabbits briefly joining in.  Finally, in an attempt at catching Vervain before he could make it underground, Chibiscuit jumped into his side.  The two rabbits rolled for a short distance before stopping.

Chibiscuit and Vervain remained lying on their sides in the grass for a while, trying to catch their breaths.  They looked at each other, smiling.
-”Chib,” Vervain said, “is it all right if I call you Chib?”
-”Sure, you can call me what you want,” she replied.
-”For a few months now, we've been good friends.  I...”
-”Yes?”
-”I've been wanting to ask you for a while now...”
-”EVERYONE UNDERGROUND!”
Chibiscuit and Vervain turned and stared in shock at the captain of owsla, who had just issued the order.
-”Wha- what's the matter?” Vervain asked worriedly.
-”We're being attacked.  Everyone is to go underground at once.”
He ran into the nearest hole without waiting for a reply.  Vervain looked away, further down the field.  There was a large band of rabbits there – strangers.  One of them was larger than any other rabbit he had ever seen, and his glowing red eyes filled him with terror.

Vervain squealed.  The red-eyed rabbit was no longer there.

Vervain had the same nightmare on a somewhat regular basis, but this time it had terrified more than ever before.

He stared at the walls of his burrow; he had lived in that burrow ever since he had become a captain in Woundwort's owsla.  He recalled how he had first obtained the position.

Vervain never liked being on the losing side of things, except maybe a game of tail tag.  He had quickly realized there was no chance his warren would win a battle against these invaders.  He therefore decided to offer his services to their leader.  While not a particularly good fighter, his knowledge of the warren's defences and several rabbits' weaknesses in combat proved to be extremely valuable to Woundwort.

The battle was over by morning.  Half the rabbits in the warren were dead; the other half were taken to Efrafa, where they remained slaves for the rest of their lives.  While General Woundwort lost his left eye in the battle, not a single of his rabbits was killed.  Vervain was promoted to captain of owsla, and soon afterwards was chosen to lead the attack against Redstone Warren, where he kidnapped Primrose and several other rabbits.  Vervain remained Woundwort's most trusted officer (along with Campion) for many seasons...until the outsiders showed up.  Now, Vervain had been demoted, Campion was a traitor, and Woundwort was dead.  Vervain's entire life had fallen apart.

-“Oh Chib,” he said, sobbing. “What have I done?”
Vervain had never seen Chibiscuit again since that day.  However, her body was not among those of the rabbits killed in the battle, nor was she among the slaves taken to Efrafa.  Therefore, Vervain still hoped that she had managed to get away from the warren, and was still alive, somewhere.

Suddenly, Vervain remembered: the General was dead.  The only thing holding him to Efrafa was gone forever.  He had no reason to stay there.  He was now free!  Free to go and search for his best friend!  Nothing could stop him now!

Full of energy, Vervain ran out of the burrow.  He turned left and followed the run until he was outside.  He stopped to feel the wind; it was very refreshing.
-”Hello Moss!” he shouted at the top of his lungs.  “Wonderful day, isn't it?”
He ran to the edge of the pit, and effortlessly climbed out, with Moss staring at him from a distance.
-”Moss, do something!” another officer shouted.  “He's going to get away!”
-”No, let him go,” Moss said.  “Campion was right: he IS mad.  There is no way he could ever pose a threat to us.  Besides, we have more important things to take care of the moment, such as finding the rabbit who killed the General.”
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

Thanks to Rosie Willowwater for the avatar!


Offline florapaw

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Re: Possibilities
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 10:04:15 AM »
Ah, lovely chapters! I really like Campion as the leader of Efrafa, but its such a shame that Woundwort isn't dead. I hope there's a fight for leadership! But honestly, I adore the way you've written that section about Woundwort in chapter 4. It seems so in character. Aaaaah, it's such a nice little section, especially the last sentence!

I loved chapter 5. Bigwig not knowing who Blackavar was? Hilarious! I mean, he definitely would react like that. I hope Blackberry finds something to do in the warren. And good on Clover for calling Bigwig out. You go girl lmao.

Chapter 6 was a little sad, honestly. The thought of Vervain having an actual friend is so weird and depressing considering how he is in the series. Also, congrats to Chibiscuit for appearing lmaooo