Choville is my hometown. Citizens live in blissful harmony with many pleasures. Nobody lives with me, but I have many friends that live near me. One of them, however, is named Feni and is my best friend. She has a wild temper and never lets anyone close to her house except for me. She collects coins in a damp hole for when a depression starts, though we all doubt it will happen.
“You will know someday why I do this, for I'm the most powerful of all!” she shouts every day. Many of us feel like we are driven insane from this shouting.
Some people on our street with me, of course, have started a sort of “Rebellion” against the rulers of our city. I know I said “blissful harmony” earlier, but it’s in a controlled sort of way. Everyone is monitored heavily. The government forces high prices for anything. Sites are monitored. I haven’t told you yet, but my name is Lenio and I’m a squirrel.
Years ago human scientists put a special chemical in us that allows us squirrels to process information as fast as possible. They underestimated our strength and with the help of a human we call “Za’Ichi,” all of us were able to escape. We declared that Za’Ichi was to be leader and help us in life. After many generations of squirrels have passed, Za’Ichi still never comes out of a giant house on top of the hill that a great battle was fought on. Few of us actually remember him except for the elders and the ones who have heard their stories.
The elders say that he was able to help and perfect our craft of weapons and strength to create “Ninja No Risu,” Ninja squirrels. The elders say that Ninja No Risu could hide in broad daylight and never be found, that in half a second they could climb to the top of a tree, that with a piece of lint they could take down an army of humans, and they could understand puzzles that were seemingly impossible and craft them instantaneously just walking into a room. Za’Ichi had created an army that was unmatched anywhere, until the Samuraishimarisu came. They were samurai chipmunks. The Samuraishimarisu wanted the land our ancestors owned, but the Ninja No Risu wouldn’t give it to them. The Samuraishimarisu rushed us, but the Ninja No Risu just dashed away. They battled for 3 moons, never getting any rest and the battle was dead even, until my great great great grandfather was struck down. With the loss of a powerful ally and a dear friend to many, the battle shifted to the favor of the Samuraishimarisu, and they eventually got what they wanted, our land. They set up the government to always control as long as they want. People wanted to move on from this controlled bliss even if it meant a common city with crime and poverty.
That’s the story of of our race, and we are still under the rule of the Samuraishimarisu. But the Rebellion will change that, so tomorrow we are marching up to Za’Ichi to ask him for the extra enhanced chemicals and training.
We were walking up the steps one by one carefully after the last night’s rain, prepared for anything. Some of us took watch for the government. If they found out, who knows what would happen.
“Wait up for meeeee!” came a screeching voice, we turned around and saw Feni bouncing up the steps to us.
“What are you doing here?” I said. “You could get us all killed!”
“I know what you guys are up to, trying to become the amazing Ninja No Risu,” she replied. We all knew that there was no way of convincing her to leave, so we just kept walking. “Wait up!” she continued to shout. We walked up next to her and we explained the story. She seemed to understand and feel more comfortable. She said, “Let me go too. I want to help to earn true freedom.” The Rebellion huddled and talked everything over, the pros and cons and everything in between. We walked over to Feni and talked to her. We told her that she could join but had to try to “tone it down a bit.” We continued walking until we were at the giant, menacing door.
“How will we ever get up this?” I said. Ideas were rushing through my head, and I was testing things physically as well. CLUNK! Biklen, one of the senior members fell on me.
“Watch where you’re going, Biklen,” I said as I turned around, but then I saw a giant tower of squirrels wobbling their way to the door. They fell, but one latched on and turned the doorknob. The giant doors creaked open as we crawled in, scared.
“So. You’re finally here,” a booming voice said from what seemed like all around us. We walked forward, seeing paintings of battles, bottles of brandy, and a sword that shined brilliantly in the light. Ahead of us sat a man shrouded in a cloak that was tinted so slightly he blended in almost perfectly with his surroundings. He had a beard colored grey from age, and scars deep from battle wounds. The Rebellion carefully walked forward until we were at his feet. He picked us up and set us down on his lap.
“I know what you are here for and you may have it,” he said pointing to a table in the corner of the room. Drinks that were our size were set up there with a turquoise liquid in it. We ran over and dipped our hands into the hazy liquid, then we dropped a bit of it into our mouths. Our bodies’ response was instantaneous, but it wasn’t what we expected. We started to fall off the table and scream in pain. We didn’t know what to do, for nothing like this happened in our semi-paradise. As the pain continued Za’Ichi stepped over to us and said “Lesson 1: Always be prepared.”
When we woke up not knowing that we had ever actually fallen asleep, Za’Ichi was standing over us. “I do actually know what you’re here for,” he said, “but I wanted to start our first lesson off with a ‘BANG’.” After some more explanation and a drink of tea he told us that he had a course for us set up in the house.
“Where’s the lesson?” we all asked.
“I just said, the house,” he replied. We were all puzzled so we started to walk around in hopes of finding what we needed. We walked around checking for any possible ‘Trial’. While doing this we came upon a large door. We climbed up to open it, but at that exact moment Za’Ichi shouted “NO!”
“Why?” we all asked.
“I may or may not tell you at another point in time….” he said, then he walked over to his chair and sat down. We kept on looking but at one point we found one of our new recruits lying down, knocked out. The only thing near us was a vase and we couldn’t think that it could do anything to us, but the flowers were possible. Joe, the Jack of all Spades, walked up to the flowers investigating them, but right as he did that a boxing glove came out of the vase and hit him off, making him going to land on top of us. Using our tails we created a soft landing for him. It was at this point where we realized that when he said house, he meant house.
Now we looked at everything with more depth, thinking of every possible thing that could happen. Every painting we looked at was examined more carefully looking for anything that could happen, and many things did happen. A tongue from a painting paralyzed Jiffy, a boulder fell on Jimmy, string strangled Jibby, and the sword we saw earlier sliced Jilly. Now everywhere we went something was there and this kept happening until it was just myself and Feni. Za’Ichi walked up to us in a slow manner. His long beard swayed side to side and his hands giving us a very slow clap.
“So, you two are the last ones,,” he said. “We will go to lesson two, STAMINA!” he stated, and with that he walked away and opened a door. Light streamed in, and we blindly went out. When we came out, I came upon a table of hot dogs and a track that went around the yard. I instantly bolted for the hot dogs, but Za’Ichi stopped me in my path. “You must have patience, for only I know how bad temptation is.” After he said that, it looked like there was remorse on his face, but all curiosity I had for that was shaken off soon after when he put us to work. It’s tough and tiring, but the hot dogs at the end are so tempting I had to keep going. We saw some of our friends walking into the yard. Just like me they bolted towards the hot dogs. A few of them made to getting one bite or so until Za’Ichi stopped them and started them to work. After a few hours we got to relax in the swimming pool and drink some fresh lemonade. There were some of us that couldn’t do it (mainly “Fat Eddy” and “Fat Freddy”, they came almost only for the monthly cookouts). It was starting to become dusk and it was about time to go inside.
“When are we going to leave?” I asked Za’Ichi
“I said it was stamina didn’t I? We’re going to stay outside doing work until your body can handle enough… ‘work’,” he replied. While our muscles were tired, the cold night’s breeze was a nice “refreshment” of sorts. At the end of our 2,397th lap he let us stop for a breather, though most of us just blacked out from the abrupt stop in running. Those of us who didn’t black out from the running got to go at the hot dogs. We didn’t bother chewing--we just stuffed the entire thing down our throats until after eating so many hot dogs most of us just went to sleep right on the ground and had dreams of getting to eat more. When we awoke in the morning Za’lchi was already standing over us “Get up!” he said commandingly. My stomach ached from yesterday’s hot dogs but the brisk morning air was nice against my fur.
“Why must we wake up now?” I asked, I'm not a morning person. As we woke, the rest of us up, I tried to fall back asleep, but his loud voice forbade it. My muscles ached and it seemed like everyone else’s muscles weren’t at the top of their game either.
“We all must get up early to be able to work at any time, you never know when someone will try to attack you… Like this!” Za’Ichi replied as he started to rush toward me, I wasn’t thinking but my body was and I jumped into the air grabbing a nice sized stick from a branch spun around and whacked Za’Ichi on the head, hard. After recovering from the shock of all that just happened I walked over to Za’Ichi to see how he was doing, after many of us checking we declared him knocked out from hitting him on the head. We ran all over to try to get some smelling salts. We couldn’t find any in the medicinal cabinet, so we continued looking everywhere else. After an hour passed, we still hadn’t found any smelling salts.
“Why don’t we go into that room he wouldn’t let us in before?” a member asked,
“I don’t see why not,” I replied. We all walked over to that large door. We heard some strange noises coming from the room. Curious, we went in. After some tripping and falling we opened the door. A man was gagged and tied up. Worried and not thinking about any consequences, we untied him.
“Thank you so much, little friends,” he said, “I'm Za’Ichi.”
“But what abou-”
“His name was Sonohoka, he’s my twin brother,” Za’Ichi started “He was a child with fear, fear he turned into anger. Our father, Toshiwototta Otoko, was the head of a group of researches. Their division focused on enhancement for the human race. The project they were working on at the time was on human strength. They tested on squirrels, your ancestors. My brother was my dad’s right hand man. They had no mercy on your kind. I was only a researcher at that point, but sometimes I was able to go up to you and see the experiments, I was devastated every time I saw one. So one day I planned an escape, and it payed off. I was able to get all of your ancestors out of there. I was the only one I couldn’t save. My brother captured me and stole my identity. I was left here.” We couldn’t leave him there so we finished untying everything and showed him out of the house. “Before you go, take this,” handing us a small bottle. Without words I knew what it was. I ran around dripping a bit into each of our mouths. Instantly I felt stronger, healthier, less tired and leaner. We ran over to Sonohoka ready with our lives. He was just getting up. All of us started at him, the Fat Brothers being first. Turns out even though they look thinner now, they still weighed the same. I think he realized that we drank the potion, and he just gave up. We pushed him over to the room where Za’Ichi was originally held. We got a chair and tied him to it. We asked questions and got some answers. Turns out the Samuraishimarisu were sent by Sonohoka to start the experiments again. This backfired though because Za’Ichi was too rebellious, so he spent his time subduing him. We were ready to ask more questions but a shiny glint took my eye, blinding me. I looked towards the glint, it was a sword, engraved on the blade was a dragon. It was the perfect size for me, and there were many copies behind it. I grabbed the dragon sword and brought the others down with me. my friends grabbed some and proceeded out the door, making sure Sonohoka couldn’t escape. We heard knocking at the door. We scattered and took hiding. The Samuraishimarisu got through the door and started searching. When any of them came near me I would knock them out, then the Fat Brothers would come and eat any snacks that were on them. It seemed like endless waves of Samuraishimarisu. We realized that this will take a while to end, and we didn’t have that time. As I started working my way out others noticed my movement and followed. We had to save some less agile allies more than once. As soon as we got out we rushed to the government’s building, Okina Tatemoto. We knew we were being seen, we knew we were being watched. But we just ran. Okina Tatemoto was closing in.
“Brace yourselves!” I shouted. We crashed through the building’s tall stained glass windows which showed pictures of the ruler.
“Did we have to-” Freddy got cut off.
“Yes,” I replied, “It looks cooler that way.” It looked like we landed in the library. We didn’t see people in our immediate vicinity. Ducking next to the bookshelves we crept around until we found the stairs down. Going down the stairway we saw many people throughout all the windows. We weren’t sure how many were important figureheads but we just needed the leader. We came upon a door. It was almost as large as the one at Za’Ichi’s house and studded with pearls. We heard a booming voice from the other side.
“Do you think we need to lower the taxes you fool! They’re low enough already! If that idiot Sonohoka didn’t force me to make the taxes a good level they would be 3 times what they are now, I mean, I'm the ruler of this place!” The booming voice said.
“Come on!” whispered Joe, “Let’s just break through this door and get ‘em.”
“We can’t do that,” I replied quietly, “We have the advantage right now and we can’t let it slip away.” We looked around for solutions to get into the room. We looked around cautiously, knowing that this was our only chance. We saw a crack in the wall. Nimbly, I slotted my sword into it and sliced. A small opening emerged and I walked into it. Everyone else followed suit and soon an army of Ninja No Risu was inside the wall. We crawled around, searching for a perfect place to attack. We wondered where to go until we heard his voice again.
“Lower the taxes!” said the booming voice in a mocking tone “I'm done with this!” He started to walk towards the door. Everyone knew he was coming and was ready to pounce. We all piled up over the next to the door, drew our swords and jumped out. The scream of a squirrel isn’t something you want to hear, imagine nails scratching a chalkboard mixed with a hyena screeching. We shouted, piling on top of the man and started tying ropes around him that we got from tying up Sonohoka. Everyone else had fear in their eyes and tried to run. We got the rest of them tied up soon after and carried them over to our town square. “Attention citizens!” I shouted “We are no longer being controlled by the government! We will watch over to make sure things don’t get too chaotic, but… Welcome to New Choville!