Choose your own adventure: 26

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. After getting help from an unlikely source (a bat named Bartok you meet deep underground), your group goes to rescue Mina, who you find, but at the same time the Jackals are besieged by a familiar Pit Bull and his lizard henchmen!

Now begins Time is a Loop: Episode 26

You tell the group that it would be best to help out the Jackals, and try to make your escape when you see an opening.
"The Jackals? But what about all the horrible things they have done to Mina?" says Ox.
"I... I guess we have no choice Ox. They... weren't ALL horrible things they did to me... And if we can get out of here I will never have to see them again. I just want to get home," says Mina.
Ox reaches over and holds Mina. "I swore I would get you out of here, and I will."

"Aw, isn't true love sweet?" Bartok says to you. Ox and Mina quickly step away from each other, blushing as Bartok laughs.

"There is no time for all that. Here is the plan, we will work our way along the wall, fighting the lizards, and hopefully when the Jackals see us doing this, they will think we are on their side and leave us alone. Then we make our escape," explains Pierre.
"Alrighty! Lets go!" yells Bartok as he runs out into the war-torn room, jumping on the first jackal he sees and clawing it. "The lizards! Bartok, the lizards!" Pierre yells.
"Oh, right!" Bartok climbs off the jackal and helps him to his feet. "Sorry about that," Bartok says, wiping off the jackal. "No hard feelings?" The jackal looks stunned.

"Alright, go, go, go!" Pierre yells, drawing his rapier and charging the closest lizard. Ox follows, with a deep roar, and you follow behind, sword in hand. Mina and the otter child keep to the wall, edging along it.
Ox goes barreling into the lizards, knocking out 4 of them with his girth alone. Pierre seems to be holding off 2 lizards by himself, and Bartok is jumping all over the place. He looks like a schizophrenic dancing, but it is keeping the lizards back. He also seems to be mumbling to himself, but you can't hear him over the clanging of iron. The jackals look confused at first from your team's sudden entrance, but seem to welcome the help and don't confront your group directly.
You engage the first lizard, a medium-sized one, with a short sword as well. You parry a few of his blows and manage to get a nice hit in. He drops to one knee and you whack him on the head with the hilt of your blade. He falls down unconscious. You turn just in time for another lizard. This one is stronger, and keeps you on your toes. You do all you can to keep him at bay, but you can't seem to get a hit in. He backs you up to the corner and just when all seems lost, the lizard screams out and falls to the ground. You look and see a jackal has stabbed the lizard in the back. "That's for not killing me and Paul when you tied us up," it says, and you recognize it as the jackal you interrogated from before. "But don't think this means we like you. After we finish these lizards, we are coming for you!" He turns, smiling, and faces another lizard. As do you.
You face a few more lizards, as your group moves closer and closer to the exit of the large room. You continue to hold your own, only getting a few nicks and bruises here and there, nothing major, but your stamina is depleting rapidly, and each attack is harder and harder to parry. A large lizard comes rushing at you with a spear, and you try to jump out of the way to dodge it, but bump another lizard and get knocked back. The spear stabs you in your side and you scream out in pain, falling to the ground. You look up at the lizard, who is grinning and getting ready to stab you again. He shoves his spear at you, and you just manage to bat it away with your sword, but drop your sword in the process. You stumble trying to stand up and the lizard takes another swing. You watch your life flash before your eyes: you see, what feels like ages ago, your life in THE CITY coming to an end, your fight with your girlfriend and the bar you went drinking at with Jim, and the strange woman who approached you that night. Why did she seem so familiar, and why can't you remember her face? And why is this what you remember right before you are about to die? All these things flash through your head right as the lizard swings is spear at your head.

Just then you hear a cry from behind you, and the room begins to glow. You turn you head and can barely make out what appears to be the otter child, glowing bright white, and floating? Your eyes don't seem to be working properly, nothing is in focus, but you swear the otter child is floating, and the jackals and lizards seem dazed from the sight. They all seem to fall back from the light, even the albino jackal fighting the pit bull seem shocked, and stop their fighting. The room gets brighter and brighter and you think you hear a voice, it sounds like Pierre, saying something about how now is the time to go, as something large and furry picks you up and carries you. You drift in and out of consciousness.

You see Pierre and the otter child running up some stairs, and a bright light shine blind you. You close your eyes and open them again, and see Newburry . You look and see that you are standing in the fountain in the square in Newburry. You close your eyes again.

You hear a voice: "...is he going to be alright?"

You open your eyes. You see Ox's cart, with a wheel fallen off and rotten wood. You hear a voice: "...what happened?" You close your eyes.

You feel something soft and furry and warm rocking you. You hear a voice: "what happened, it seems like we have been gone for ages!" You hear another voice: "I just heard the news, how long has he been like this?"

You open your eyes, but everything is very blurry. You hear a noise behind you: "beep... beep... beep..." on and on. You see shapes moving in front of you. One shape seems to be crying. You close your eyes.

You feel something soft and warm holding you tight. You try to move, but your body doesn't respond. You hear a voice: "what do we do now? We need to get as far away from here as possible." You hear another voice: "Our best bet... be a big..." You don't hear any more.

You open your eyes are blinded again. You see shapes that you think are rocks and the sound of waves. Farther off you see something long and blue meeting a different long blue shape. Behind the sound of the waves crashing, you swear you hear another noise, that beeping from before. You close your eyes.

You feel something press against your lips and something slimy in your throat. You try to cough it up but your body doesn't respond. You hear two people arguing in the distance: "...if you hadn't left him..." "Why is this MY fault?" You ignore the voices. You feel something soft and furry in your hands and you try to hold it. Your fingers don't respond and you remember being especially mad at them for it. You think about how you are going to have a conversation with them later on their lack of manners.

You hear voices again. One seems to be singing a song. You can't make out the words, but the song seems to fill you with energy. You open your eyes. You see a small brown room with wooden walls. Or are they blue? You are not sure. You try to look around but all you see are a vase of flowers and your short sword laying on a table. You turn your head right, but instead your body decides to start coughing. You hear a voice: "He seems to be awake." A blurry figure appears in front of your face. "Lie down, it is alright. You gave us quite a fright," the voice says. "Here, drink this." Something gross smelling slides down your throat. You cough it up. "I know it smells awful, but you need to drink it. Here, try again." You manage to get the liquid down your throat this time. It warms your body slowly and your eyes slowly become less blurry. A large, smiling armadillo looks down at you. "We were all very worried about you. Cassie especially." You look up, confused. "The poor girl," the armadillo, who you realize is Mina, continues. "Surrounded by all these men, none of whom asked her her name. Well, I'm here for you now, and it looks like Mike is coming to, so everything is going to be alright." You look over to who Mina is talking to, and see the otter child sitting by the other side of the bed. It smiles at you, and you realize for the first time it is holding your hand.
Your name is Cassie? you ask it. It smiles and nods. You apologize for never learning its name, and it smiles at you. You try to sit up.
"Hold on mister!" says Mina. "You shouldn't push yourself so hard. Rest up while you can."
But, where am I? What is going on? You ask Mina.
"Oh, don't worry. We are in an inn in Edgeton. I am sure you are eager to find the rest of the gang and get situated, but don't overdo yourself. You have been out of it for a while now."
What happened to everyone else? you ask.
"Everyone is ok. Pierre should be down by the docks, Ox is probably off loafing about by the blacksmith's shop, and who knows what Bartok is up to? He may be at the pub, or off cavorting with god-knows-what. Hells, he could be anywhere. There is no telling with that one. Tell you what, if you really want to get up, take Cassie with you. And take it easy."

You try to stand and find that, while difficult, you are able to. You decide where to go first:
A: You could go see Pierre down by the docks.
B: You could go see Ox at the blacksmith's.
C: You could look for Bartok at the pub.
D: You could look for Bartok in the back alleys.
E: You could look for Bartok at the curious goods shop.
F: You could look for Bartok in the town square.
G: You could look for Bartok at the governor's hall.
H: You could look for Bartok at the park.

(The next episode will be on Monday May 25th. I am going out of town for a week, so you have extra time to think about decisions. Feel free to speculate on what has passed, what is going to happen, what day it is, what happened to Mina, and what is Cassie's deal. And if you know anyone who wants to start playing, or has been too afraid to comment because of all the backstory, the next chapter is about to begin and is a good starting point, so tell them to play. I will do a quick recap and begin chapter next on the 25th. Okay!)

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