Several days passed and the Ice Crew had been putting to practice what Vicky had told them to do. It was morning and they heard someone familiar yell something from down the hallway.
“Bandit come baaaack! I need that!”
A furry little fuzzball was bounding down the hallway. It was a ferret.
“Bandit!” the girl called and came into view. It was Victoria. “Dang it Bandit!”
The ferret was carrying something in its mouth and was making adorable grunting and squeaky noises. And was bouncing close by the Ice Crew.
The Ice Crew stepped back to look at the little critter. Ice and Cobra laughed while Fist just smiled.
“Yo! You got a ferret?” Cobra laughed.
“Yes. He’s intelligent. Clever and loves to piss me off!” Victoria said, making a lunge and grabbing up the ferret when she got close. “He’s trained but he chooses to ignore me! Listens to Micky juuuust fine.” she said, grabbing the stylus in his mouth and tried to wrestle it away. “Drop it, Bandit! Little bugger loves pens. He steals them then runs off to hide them. That's where all the writing utensils in Section 13 go. If you find it I’m pretty sure someone has put up some kind of silly reward thing if you find the little guy’s stash. Like a cake or something? I don’t know I just spend a lot of time chasing him down when he gets out of his cage.” Vicky finished, reclaiming her stylus from her ferret.
Ice chuckled. “Sounds fun, yo! Those fuzz balls really are bandits.” he grinned.
“He’s something alright.” she sighed, setting the ferret on her shoulder and he sat there looking pretty.
Tag chuckled. “Ohhhhh indeed! But we love him anyways” he said as he came over to Vicky to pet Bandit, rubbing his hand across his small furry body.
Bandit grabbed onto Tag’s sleeve then climbed up his arm to his shoulder and the ferret stuck his little wet nose in Tag’s ear before trying to climb on top of his head!
“Bandit! My heavens!” Tag laughed as he quickly grabbed Bandit around his middle, pulling him away. “I don't appreciate the wet willie!”
Vicky couldn’t help but laugh and she smiled brightly as she took Bandit from Tag.
“The ferret strikes again!” she grinned.
“If you boys truly do find where he stashed all those pens then I will indeed reward you with a cake! Perhaps some pizza as well” Tag chuckled, “The agents complain when they're looking for a pen and fail to find one!”
“If you want to borrow him for the task. By all means… he can use the exercise. And you might enjoy the runaround.” Vicky teased the Ice Crew, holding Bandit up.
The Ice Crew chuckled. “I wouldn't mind!” said Ice, “I do love me some pizza. We can help ya out.”
“We keep one of Bandit’s cages in Mom’s office. He stays there during the day.” Vicky told them, “Uuunless he’s loose and terrorizing agents by stealing pens and pouncing on their legs.”
“Well we’ll catch the little guy somehow!” Ice laughed, “Ain’t no challenge too big for the Ice Crew!”
Vicky giggled a little. “So how've you guys been doing? Are you following my tips?” she asked.
“Yeah, yo! Ok it ain't always easy when some people sneer at us but we’re tryin’!” Cobra exclaimed. DJ Fist nodded.
“For reals” Ice agreed, “But I guess we gotta learn to ignore all that and try not to lose our tempers on em.”
“Just smile anyway. Positive attitude. And if you need a reminder of what the heck you're working for. It’s your own theme park. Right?” she said with a smile. “I'm proud of you.”
The Ice Crew smiled back at her. “Yo thanks, Vick” he replied.
“Well boys, can I trust you to begin doing some tasks that aren’t oddball as Vicky calls them?” Tag smirked a little, “We could use a lot of help on electrical and mechanical projects around here. Are you up for it?”
The Ice Crew perked up right away.
“Chyeah we would! That would be way better!” Cobra exclaimed. DJ Fist nodded.
“I'm up for it too! Gotta train up for my future theme park somehow” Ice winked at Vicky.
Tag chuckled. “Well then, allow me to escort you to the engineering department. I’ll see you after work, Vicky dear” he told Vicky.
“Bye Dad. And guys whenever you're up for chasing this guy around all creation like some kind of Scooby Doo chase scene he’ll be in his cage.” Vicky smiled and held the ferret up a little. “See ya.”
“See ya” Ice and Cobra waved after she left.
Tag chuckled. “I’ll permit you to end a little early today so that you can go on this ‘quest’. I won't go back on my word regarding the reward if you save the hundreds of pens that have been taken captive.”
Ice laughed a little. “Yo sounds good, T-Man.”
Later, the little thieving ferret was in his cage where Victoria had said he’d be. He was sleeping in a hammock in his cage but his head quickly popped up and he looked at the Ice Crew sleepily when they came near.
“Good luck, boys!” Lydia laughed as she looked over from her typing, “That little critter is GOOD! Section 13 will thank you if you find his mini fortress!”
Ice and Cobra laughed as Ice opened up his cage.
“Hey little man” Ice greeted as he carefully picked up Bandit from his cage.
Bandit looked at him then yawned wide.
“Haha look at him!” Cobra laughed, “He’s cute!”
DJ Fist snorted a soft laugh but smiled.
“Yo I haven't held an animal this small since I was a kid!” Ice exclaimed as he held the ferret and giggled a little at the feeling of Bandit’s wet nose against his hands as Bandit sniffed him. “Got everythang ready, Fist?” he asked DJ.
DJ Fist nodded as he held up the harness and a tiny camera. They had borrowed a tablet with permission so they could use it to track Bandit with the ferret cam.
Ice and Cobra had to use a team effort to keep Bandit as still as possible while Fist gently put the camera into the position that they wanted and then used the harness to secure it against his chest.
“Looks good, man!” Ice said. “Let's start this treasure hunt.”
“Have fun!” Lydia laughed as they walked out her door.
Outside of the office, Ice bent down and put Bandit on the floor.
“A’ight, man. Off you go” Ice said.
Bandit made a few adorable grunting noises and jumped around a bit before taking off in his funny bouncing run.
The Ice Crew followed him around for almost an hour, to no avail thus far. They were annoyed when a couple of agents stopped them and threatened to turn them in when at Ice’s word, they called Agent Tag and he confirmed the Ice Crew’s “task”. Ice was tempted to give the agents a piece of his mind but he was able to restrain himself. He didn't smile at all like Vicky told him to but he figured that she should at least be proud that he didn't lose his temper and beat the agents up.
The Ice Crew followed Bandit down to the basement, which was vast in of itself. The vaults that once held the talismans, talisman powers, Oni masks and demon chi were down there.
“Yo how are we supposed to find his lair now?!” Cobra complained, “A place as big as Section 13, it could be anywhere!”
DJ Fist smirked as he took a pen he swiped from Lydia’s office out of his pocket.
“How ‘bout we do an experiment?” he said.
Ice and Cobra looked at him quizzically.
“What? I’ll put it back” he retorted.
DJ Fist bent down and gave the pen to Bandit, who quickly snatched it into his mouth.
The trio followed him around for a little longer, until Bandit disappeared behind some pipes.
They waited around for a minute, as Bandit liked to sniff around and go in and out of small places. Their curiosity peaked when they noticed that Bandit came out without the pen.
“Ahaaaaaa” Ice grinned. “I think we just hit the jackpot, boys.”
The three walked over and looked over the pipes and to their astonishment and amusement, there was a large pile of pens stacked higher than an anthill!
The Ice Crew suddenly burst out into laughter, doubling over.
“Yo! That ain't no stash! That's a mountain!” Cobra gasped.
“I know, yo! Wow man, you're crazy!” Ice laughed at the ferret.
After they calmed down, Ice picked up Bandit while Fist and Cobra both picked up their share of the pile.
“You're a sneaky little man!” Ice laughed as he cradled Bandit.
Bandit squirmed a bit then looked up at Ice and he squeaked before he opened his mouth and licked his chops. Looking perfectly lazy right there.
Ice chuckled. “Let's go cash in on our reward.”
Tag, Vicky and Micky were hanging out in Lydia’s office when the Ice Crew came back into the room triumphantly.
“Mission complete, yo!” Ice grinned big as he and his crew walked back into the office, Fist and Cobra walking behind with all the stolen pens.
“Yaaaaay you did it!” Vicky cheered and clapped for them, “I knew you could!”
“My oh my, look at all those pens!” Tag laughed out loud, “Bandit! You are the worst hoarder I've ever met!”
The ferret just yawned.
Vicky giggled as she watched Ice take off the harness and camera from Bandit and put him back in the cage.
“Woo hoo! Ice Crew finds lair of the pen bandit and busts him! All pens look accounted for.” Vicky grinned
Ice laughed. “Yo I gotta hand it to Fist. He used one of Lydia’s pens to get em to take it to his fortress! And it worked!”
DJ Fist took said pen out of his pocket and handed it back to Lydia with a shy and sheepish grin.
Lydia laughed. “If stealing pens from me is the worst things you guys do then ya’ll will be just fine!”
“You're a nutter, Bandit!” Micky giggled, “But we still love ya!”
“Well! I suppose formal congratulations are in order for you three!” Tag grinned at the Ice Crew, “Pizza and cake it is, if you would be inclined to dine with us! What’ll you have?”
“Supreme” Cobra said and DJ nodded in agreement to.
“Yo ham and pineapple for me” Ice grinned wide, “And the crew and I like chocolate cake with vanilla icing.”
“Oh my gosh no way. Pineapple and ham is my favorite kind of pizza!” Victoria said excitedly.
“Awesome, yo!” Ice grinned even more, “You got good taste!” he said as he held his hand up for a high five.
Vicky high fived him. “I usually get vetoed on pizza night cause I’m the only one who likes it in my family.” she said, looking at her parents and sister. “Three against one.”
Tag chuckled. “Sorry, darling. You know we’re partial to the good ol classic pepperoni. But I am quite fond of supreme as well” he grinned at Cobra and Fist.
“Alright so two large pepperonis, two large supremes, two large ham and pineapples, a vanilla iced chocolate cake and some pop! Because we don't have enough sugar” Lydia teased. “Requests?”
“Pepsi or Root beer… I can’t decide.” Vicky sighed
“You kidding? Root beer is the way to go!” Micky exclaimed. “Pepsi is for the Super Bowl halftime show only!”
Tag chuckled. “Boys?” he asked the Ice Crew.
“Root beer sounds good to me…” Cobra said.
“What he said” Ice added.
“Classic root beer it is!” Lydia said as she dialed her phone to order the pizzas.
Some time later, the seven were eating pizza in Lydia’s office, eating happily and conversing casually.
“Mmmm…yo…It’s been so long since I last had this” Ice hummed happily as he finished another slice. “First job I ever had was a delivery boy at this place. I always liked their pizza.”
“It’s so good. But I know this place down by the beach by my favorite surfing spot that’s even better. Sounds like blasphemy I know but it’s true.” Vicky smiled before taking a drink.
Ice chuckled. “I ain't opposed to tryin’ new places. It's probably a step up from this stuff if it's by the beach.”
“Well maybe I’ll bring you a pizza from there sometime.” she smiled. “Now… how good of a boarder would you say you are?” her smile turned into a devious grin.
“Psh, are you for reals?” Ice grinned back in the same way. “My boys and I got SKILLZ!”
“Oh I know you do. But would you say yo advanced? Or a pro like me?” she asked
“I dunno, we advanced fo so but we've never competed or nothin’” Ice replied, “Guess you're gonna have to be the judge!”
“Well we’ll just have to find out and I can’t wait to see what you got. You best believe that we’re not gonna shred that skate park. We’re gonna demolish it with our skillz.” she said
Ice and Cobra laughed in amusement.
“Yo it sounds like we’ll be in the right company then!” Cobra grinned.
“Heck yeah. Especially if I get my crew together. Just my best friends anyway. And I told Pit Viper about you guys. Her legit response was ‘Bad boys who skate well? Sounds hot.’ I kid you not word for word.” Victoria chuckled
The Ice Crew found themselves blush a little at that comment.
“Ahhhhhhh great. Not this again” Micky sighed.
“Dear oh dear! This may not be a good idea after all” Tag teased.
“Please, Dad.” Victoria rolled her eyes then pulled out her phone and pulled up a picture of her best friend. She showed the Ice Crew and the girl had dark black hair with neon blue-green in her hair, multiple ear and eyebrow piercings, one on her nose, and a set of snakebite piercings on her lower lip and the most vibrant green eyes. “This is Pit Viper.”
MC Cobra stared at the picture of Pit Viper and quickly felt heat traveling to his face. She was beautiful! And he loved her style!
“Wow, yo! Yeah this girl is for Cobra fo so” Ice grinned as he and Fist started to snicker.
“Hang on, I got another good one of her. Dad get the camera ready. Pit Viper will wanna see what their faces looked like.” Vicky started to snicker as she went and looked through her photos.
Tag sighed as he raked his hands through his hair.
“I’ll take one for the team, sweetheart” Lydia chuckled as she grabbed her phone.
“Here it is.” Vicky grinned and showed them the photo. Pit Viper was making the 'rock on' hand sign and her mouth was open and her tongue was out. She had false fangs in. But that was overshadowed by the fact that she had a forked tongue.
Cobra stared at it in fascination and felt himself blush even more. She was gorgeous!
“Wowwwwwww” Lydia shook her head and laughed after she snapped a picture of Cobra’s face, which ended up having a big ol goofy, dreamy grin. She sent it to Vicky. “Does this suffice, my dear?”
“Almost.” she said, letting Ice and DJ see the picture better. “That’s an unaltered picture by the way.” she smiled.
“Yo somebody is loveeeeeestruuuuuckkk!” Ice teased as he and DJ laughed. This was amusing to them!
MC Cobra rolled his eyes a little but continued to blush and fawn over the pictures of Pit Viper.
“Pit Viper is nice but her tongue though! Ewwwwwwwwww!” Micky stuck out her tongue, “Sorry Vick, but that thing is what nightmares are made of!”
“I honestly have no idea what she was thinking when she decided to do that. But if you're nice to her she’s nothing but sweet… If not she’ll destroy you in two point five seconds.” Vicky stated and went to put her phone away.
“Yo it sounds like we might get along with yo crew!” Ice said with a smile, “When are ya’ll gonna get together next?”
“Me, Pit Viper and Roundabout get together about every week at one of our houses to basically act like children. Build a blanket fort and stage a, somewhat, hostile takeover of the living room. And me going for an engineering degree it’s fun to look for new ways to build em. And then we go and eat snack food and play video games and watch movies from our fortress. The next one is in a few days and it’s my turn to host. You can join us if you like.” Vicky smiled
The Ice Crew lit up at that and looked to Agent Tag as if they were asking him for permission.
“Well...what do you think, Liddy darling?” Tag asked his wife.
“I say they can come over! Let them have some teen socialization time. Just make sure none of you guys tear down the house!” Lydia laughed, “Six older teens is a big group!”
“Then there was Micky the last time we were at my house. ‘Oh my gosh guys! Stop singing so loud!’ And in response we only sang the songs louder and purposefully went off key a few times too. You can’t not sing along when the Lion King is playing.”
“You guys are such children.” Micky muttered.
“Thank you for noticing” Vicky smiled sweetly at her.
“I’m going to go hang out with Jade! Even Uncle can be better company at times rather than you guys!” Micky huffed.
“I am not opposed to that” Tag chuckled.
“Careful though, Mick! Or Uncle will make you eat mung bean sandwiches and play mahjong all day!” Lydia laughed.
“Mahjong ain’t bad!” Micky protested.
The mention of ‘Jade’ and ‘Uncle’ got Ice’s attention. So THAT’S what seemed so familiar about Micky! She was friends with Jade Chan, his second biggest enemy behind the Chan Man himself! Similar characteristics too! Did this mean he might have to run into the runt every now and then? That would be worse than sweeping floors! He felt himself frowning and going distant as negative memories about the Chan clan came back to him.
“Oh wait I remember now. The reason why we were so obnoxious last time Micky Mouse. Was because you and Jade called us babies. Uh naw. Two engineering majors and a culinary school student. We need time to blow off steam that’s not illegal. No underage drinking or crazy rave parties. So that energy is better served on forts and and Disney movies… and keeping Roundabout away from caffeine.” Vicky said to Micky.
“The forts and movies and games and snacks and stuff are cool but I'm gonna go deaf before I'm twenty at this rate! And I don't like Lion King. I'm soooorrrrryyyy I dooooooon’t. That ‘In the Jungle’ song is one of the worst songs everrrrrrr! That’s down there with country music!” Micky complained.
“Haha and you wonder why Ash makes a point to crank up his music when you’re around. Your reactions are funny.” Vicky grinned. “Those Stronghammer twins are like night and day.”
“No kidding! Kaine is WAY better! We have the same taste in music! Ash needs to go to Texas or something. He would fit riiiiiiiiiiight in with his cowboy and yodel twangy music antics!” Micky replied.
“Be nice to the poor boy. Seriously. All music types are good. You just have to hunt for the good songs in each. And our group is about helping others find their place. And if Ash wants to be a cowboy to be set apart from his identical twin brother. I say let him and don’t criticize him for it. It's like makin' fun of me and the boys for likin' the music we do.” Vicky scolded.
“Your sister speaks words of wisdom, Micky dear! You would be smart to listen to her and take some words to heart” Tag stated.
“Tch, I’m not ready to grow up” Micky muttered as she crossed her arms.
Vicky shook her head and sighed.