Choose your own adventure: 25

The story so far:

You awoke on an island full of anthropomorphic animals not remembering how you got there. Among the many adventures you have had, you met a crazy old English blackbird, found an otter village destroyed by an evil Bulldog and his lizard henchmen, rescued the only survivor of the otter decimation as well as your new friend, the Penguin Pirate Captain Pierre. You were almost killed by a scary fairy and a black lake monster, and recently have been traveling with some friends, Ox, Rand and Mina to Edgeton, to find Pierre's ship.
Currently, you have all been hiding from a group of Jackals in a ghost town, when Mina goes missing. You find a secret lair underground where apparently the Jackals have been using for a slave trade. You free some of the slaves from the Jackals and send Rand out of the lair with them. The rest of the team goes on in search for Mina. Your group finds what is supposed to be the room where Mina is being kept, but it is guarded by many Jackals. You backtrack deep into the mines to find a deep, dark pit with something down at the bottom, who volunteers to help fight the Jackals in return for help out of the pit.

Now begins Time is a Loop: Episode 25

You discuss the options with your group and decide that the voice in the pit could be very helpful against the army of Jackals, so you throw down a rope for it to climb out of the pit with. You, Ox and Pierre holding one end of the rope, waiting. All of a sudden you feel a sharp tug from the rope, and a heavy weight on the other end. After a few minutes the creature must have climbed to the top, as the tension on the rope goes away.
"Well, that was fun! What should we do for an encore?" says the voice.
"How about take on those Jackals?" says Pierre.
"O! K! Lead the way!"
"Um, actually, we think you should go first. Just keep going down this path, we will follow you," says Pierre. To you he says, "I don't just trust the guy yet, so lets not turn our back to him right away."
"Good Plan! I don't trust me either, and I've known myself for at least twice as long as you have known me! I think..." says the voice.
"I guess he heard me," Pierre whispers.
"WHAT?" says the voice. "Yeah, I heard you. I was joking with the 'what.' It was funny. Haha."
"Alright, lets go," says Ox. "We need to save Mina."

As you march on, the voice asks you all sorts of questions, like who Mina is, what day it is, who is the president, is the milk still good, etc. You answer him truthfully at first, but then begin to realize he is babbling and doesn't appear to be planning on shutting up any time soon, and you begin to ignore him. As you walk, the room gets lighter and you begin to see just what your new companion looks like. The first thing you notice is his large head, with huge pointed ears, and his small body, thin legs and long arms. It seems he is wearing some sort of cape as well that is tied to his arms. You introduce your group to your new friend, and ask his name.
"My name? My nom de familiar? My feuilles de papier?"
"Yeah, that one."
"Oh. Its Bartok. But you can call me Captain Awesome!"
"Alright Bartok, how long have you been in that pit?"
Bartok turns around to look at the group. "Not as long as I have been alive. But longer than most," he says as he waves his wings, emphasizing the point.
Wings? You look at Bartok in the better light. He appears to be a giant bat.
"Wait, you are a bat!" points out Ox. "Why did you need our help climbing out of that pit. Couldn't you have just flown?"
"Huh," says Bartok, looking at his wings, puzzled. "So I am. Who knew?"
"Surely you did," says Pierre.
"Couldn't you tell from your mother or father what you were?"
"My mother was a hampster," says Bartok in response, "and my father..."
"Smelt of elderberries?" you suggest.
"What? No. Well, maybe he did. I don't know. My father died left us when I was very young. He said he was going out for some ciggies one rainy night and never came back. But thanks for making light on my traumatic childhood memories."
You decide not to try to be the funny one in the group anymore.

Finally the group approaches the area with the Jackal guards.
"Shh, we need to be quiet from here on out," says Pierre.
"Okay, quiet. We can do that. Just stop talking everybody, especially you, little one. You just go on and on, and it makes me worry about future generations if we can't keep our children civilized and polite like..."
"I mean you, Bartok. Quiet. No speaking."
"Yes sir, no speak. Me. Got it."
"Good, now start now."

You peek around the corner to see the lay of the land. Huh, that's weird, you say.
"He can speak but I can't?"
You turn back to the group and explain that from what you can see, it looks like all the Jackals guarding the room are lying on the ground, either dead or unconscious.
"Yeah, that was me. I took them all out real quick with my super-speed. Its one of my mutant abilities."
"That and never shutting up," says Pierre under his breath.
Your group walks out into the room. Sure enough, about a four jackals lay on the ground bleeding. None seem to move when you walk in. You look down the hall, but the doors at the other end are closed, and you don't hear any noise. You walk over to the door they were guarding and perform a listen check. You roll about a 15, but because Bartok is still blabbering you get a -4, and can only hear muffled voices from the room, but no context. You look up to your group to see if they are ready. Ox has his axe drawn and nods, Pierre looks tense but excited and the otter child, while shaking slightly, seems to be as ready as he will ever be. Bartok, of course, is off in his own world, and is licking one of the Jackals' necks. Gross. You open the door.

Inside you see a large room with a luxurious bed and fine furniture decorating it. In one corner you see a pile of mats, and some chains, where the captives must have been tied up. There seems to have been people tied up there recently too. You look around some more and see another door. Behind that door you hear the sounds of iron clanking, which you assume to be fighting. You move towards the door when -BLAM!- the door comes flying off its hinges, as a large, albino Jackal comes flying through it.
"HAHA," cries a voice from the other room. "Nice try, but you should know better than to spar with the legendary Santiago!" In walks a very large pit bull wearing a sombrero, and twirling his moustache. "Now get up, you vile cur, and face me!"
"Legendary Santiago? Hah, is that what you call yourself now? says the albino Jackal. "More like the Pit-iful bull."
"Pit-iful bull, I like that one," Bartok says.
"You may have had the element of surprise for your last shot, but not now. Now you face my wrath!" With that the albino swings his massive blade up and rushes the pit bull.
"Huh, that was unexepected," says Bartok.
"What is going on?" asks Ox.
You look around and think you hear other voices coming from the room the two enemies were in. For now they are too busy fighting to give you any notice, but if you were to wait, surely they would turn to your group. You run by two fighting into the other room. Sure enough, there is Mina, tied up to a chair. She looks distressed, tired, and... older somehow.
"Mina!" Ox yells, as he rushes over to her to untie her. "Are you hurt?"
"Ox, is that you? Where have you been? Is my brother here? I gave up hope waiting for you."
"What are you talking about? You disappeared this morning."
"No, I've been a prisoner here for what feels like months now."
"Who is this?" says Mina, looking at Bartok.
"I am Sir James Wilson Bartowski the Third, esquire, at your service Mi'lady. A pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"Look, we can discuss things later," says Pierre. "Right now we need to get out of here."
The room you are in is a dead end, you look out to the main room, and see that the two have taken their fight to the larger room with the dead guards. You look out there and see that another group of Jackals have arrived to the scene, but they seem to be fighting a group of Lizards who have gathered around the Pit Bull in the sombrero.
"That's a really nice sombrero," says Bartok. "I wonder, do you think, madam, that I could pull off that look?"
Mina looks at Bartok puzzled.
From what you can tell, you are going to have to cross the small war going on in the main room to get out of here. (There is no way to get to either door without engaging in some of the fight.) Your best bet is to perhaps help one side against the other. They appear to be evenly matched, there isn't one particular side that looks better off than the other. You think about what to do to make your escape:

You could:
A: Take the Pit Bull and Lizards' side.
B: Take the Jackals' side.

(Vote by Thursday)

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