Dressed in his blue overalls, Chichi was happily working in the Hidehole. The motor was a bit complicated to dissassemble, but he managed. Now he was cleaning the various components because they were clogged very badly. And of course the giant boombox, he repaired over a year ago was on with its volume high up, and Chichi was singing along to his favourite album of Alex Complex.
"...yeah all of us have a dream.All of us can only scheme.
We try to get...all that we want.
Live happily...that´s all we want."
As the guitair solo came on, Chichi dropped the last component in a vat of gasoline and jumped, before starting to play air-guitair completly unaware, that the main door has opened.
"Yeah...all of us!"he screamed along with the song.
"...but no one really has, what he would´ve liked.
Some just have no money, and others...love to fight!"
Suddenly the volume went down to a bare minumum. Chichi quickly spun his head towards the boombox.
"LOLA!"he exclaimed as he saw his sister standing there, giggling.
"Jeez, tone it down a bit, squirt."she said still giggling.
Chichi blushed deep red.
"What... what are you doing here?"he stammered as he approached her still red-faced.
"Well, I just returned from my talk with Philips. Plus I knew you would probably be hungry by now."she said good-naturedly, showing him a bag from Burger Palace.
"What d´you mean by now?"he asked confusedly as he wiped his hands on his handkerchief.
"Its almost 1 pm, goofball."said Lola smilingly.
Chichi looked at the clock, which was hung up on the wall. Lola was right.
"Wow. I didn´t notice."he said to himself as the siblings went into the kitchen.
"Can´t imagine why."giggled Lola and Chichi blushed again.
"Sheesh what´s wrong with having a good time."he grumbled as he started to wash his hands in the sink.
"Nothing at all."said Lola shaking her head smilingly as she set the hamburgers she brought on the table and sitting down.
"Well, I´m almost done anyway. All that´s left is to assemble the motor and that won´t take long. How´d your talk with Philips go?"he asked as soon as he sat down.
He took one of the hamburgers and dug in, but noticed that Lola didn´t touch the other one.
"I already had lunch. Our little talk went down in the Rising sun."she explained in responce to his questioning look.
"Wow. That must´ve costed a lot."he said, since the restaurant was probably one of the most expensive in town.
"Philips insisted in treating us, since he wanted to show his gratitude for his pet."said Lola shaking her head.The lunch was in her eyes kinda unneccesary. Compared to the advise he just gave her.
"Chichi, I would like your opinion on something."she said, finding it a bit hard to say what she was about to say.
But she trusted her brother more than enough. She took a deep breath and looked into his curious eyes.
"What would you think, if I entered the Megacity´s Art and Music Academy?"
Chichi looked stricken for a moment. He knew about it, since it was common knowledge, that many of the country´s most talented artists, actors, musicians and producers attended it before persuing their future careers. Also, he probably knew which division she would be likely to enter.
"Art and Music? You want to take up acting?"he asked seriously.
"Philips said, that my marks are good enough for me to try and encouraged me to try and enroll."
Chichi thought about it for a while recollecting various memories and Lola was almost scared for a second, before he looked at her with a big smile.
"That´s a cool idea, sis. I think you´d be excellent."he said happily.
"You really think so?"she asked in amazement.
"Sure. I mean, the school plays, our little schemes and not to mention that duet you´ve had with Rock Flower. You definitely have a talent for the stage."
Lola was very surprised, but joyous of the fact, that her baby brother thinks so well of her. She expected him to laugh or dismiss the thought right out of hand.
"What about the EPO though? I´m still kinda conflicted about this, Chichi. I mean I´ve seen what good could I do if I entered the EPO and helped along with the others. On the other hand I would probably never be happy. But I´m not sure, if I´m just not acting selfishly."she said expressing her greatest concern about this.
"You´re not. This is your life Lola. And there´s absolutely nothing selfish about following your dream."said Chichi sagely.
"But what about Mom and Pop? They´re gonna be really disspointed."she said.
Chichi shook his head.
"I don´t think they will, Lola. Just look at Billy. He explained the thing to his dad and it went ok. Just tell them, I´m sure they´ll understand."he said as he dug in into the hamburger in his hand.
Lola thought about it for a second. Then she smiled at her brother.
"You´re right, Chichi. Time to follow my dream."
As friday arrived Chichi was once more back in school and for the entire day ended up engaged in answering his classmate´s neverending questions. Also the small tokens of appretiation from Chloe, Oliver, some of the girls from lower classes. Then everyone´s attention turned to the pet convention.
"We´ll see you guys there perhaps we can hang out there."suggested Chloe to Chichi,April and Phil as their class sat down in the schoolyard.
"And maybe we´ll even meet Mr Miles there too."added Emily, who was very interested in meeting him.
"Oh he´ll be there all right. He´s booked one of the stands. Wonder what he´ll think of thistime."said Chichi with an eyeroll.
"At least he helped us bilding the stage though."added Phil, who had a bandage on his cheek and also his left hand was wrapped in one too.
"But I you two went overboard to make it in time."commented April, while rolling her eyes.
Indeed in their haste to make it, Phil and Chichi injured their hands more times than once. April was on hand and swiftly patched them up. April indicated to Chichi´s hands, which sported bandages too.
"But we made it. Both the stage and the stands."said Chichi happily."Even with all the distractions the dumbass brotherhood provided."said Phil.
"What d´you mean?"asked Emily uneasily.
Chichi, April and Phil exchanged dark looks.
"Well, they were sneaking around to try and find out what we´re doing. They were making our building kinda difficult with all their examinations of the plans and tools."said Chichi.
"Wiseman even thought, that you were going to attack someone with that hammer he found and confiscated it."said Phil, shaking his head.
"And you two also had to re-build one of the stands, after Nick and Wiseman fell on it."reminded April.
"But all in all everything is done now. So the pet convention is on just as planned."added Chichi waving his hand.
The classmates gave a small cheer of approval. Most were looking forward to the convention very much. Chichi however noticed, that someone was missing.
"Speaking of which... where are the three Wise brothers? I haven´t seen them all day."
The classmates looked at eachother and sported similar looks of bewilderment.
"I think Archie mentioned something about having some work to do with detective Wiseman."said Emily, who was on good terms with Archie, since they are next door neighbours.
Chichi, April and Phil only looked from one to the other before sighing collectively.
"Looks like we´ll soon have the dumbass brotherhood on our hands."said Phil with another sigh.
And indeed, the brotherhood of the Wise has been on the prowl since early morning. Archie and Tex were monitoring the Tofu household from the nearby tree with binoculars in hand.
"Man I´m hungry."said Archie replying to the growling of his stomach."Tell me about it. Damn, we´ve been here for two hours and still nothing happened."growled Tex looking internly on the yard, where Lola and Billy were sitting with Mom, Pop and Buba and seemed to be discussing something.
"...and that´s why I´d like to enroll into Megacity´s Art and Music Adacemy."finished Lola, still gripping her boyfriend´s hand tightly and looking imploringly at her parents.
"Well... is that what you´d really like to do, Lola?"asked Pop while placing a hand on her shoulder.
"You do know of all the good you could do with the EPO. All the trees that could be saved, animals helped, enviroment protected and renewed."asked Mom sighing.
"I know Mom. But I would like to follow my dream. Not that I don´t care about the enviroment or the animals, but I wouldn´t really be happy in there."said Lola looking at her mother, praying that they will accept her decidion.
Mom and Pop looked at eachother and smiled.
"If that´s what you really want Lola. We support your decidion."said Pop in a kind voice, while Mom nodded.
Completly overjoyed Lola stood up and with tears in her eyes emraced both of her parents who returned the hug lovingly. Billy and Buba looked at eachother smilingly. Suddenly they turned to the sound of the voice that called from the house´s door. The three broke the hug and turned too.
"Amyas!"exclaimed Pop happily, while both Mom and Lola wiped the tears from their eyes.
Amyas approached them, but he wasn´t alone. He was holding the hand of a young girl with long blonde hair tied in a ponytail, who seemed to be shining with happiness. As they drew closer, Dixie quickly hugged Lola.
"I can´t thank you enough, Lola."she said joyfully as Lola hugged back sporting a happy grin.
"So he made his move, huh? I hope he didn´t go overboard."she remarked slyly, while her cousin blushed.
"Oh no, Lola it was very romantic."replied Dixie smiling at her new boyfriend Amyas who turned to the rest of the family.
"Uncle Jake, Auntie Violet, Buba, Billy, this is Dixie my collague in the EPO team and also my beloved lifesmate."introduced Amyas while proudly puffing out his chest gesturing to the blushing blonde girl.
As everyone exchanged their greetings, Amyas and Dixie gasped at the site behind the fence.
"Wow, Uncle Jake..."breathed out Amyas completly at a loss for words.
Behind the fence, barely visible was Amyas´ van, looking completly brand new.
"You have Chichi and Miles to thank for this more than me."said Pop proudly.
"Where is my dearest little blond cousin anyway."asked Amyas excitedly looking from side to side.
Lola giggled and shook her head.
"In school, Amyas. Just because we have a day off, doesn´t mean that everyone else has."she said as Amyas and Dixie looked in awe at the van.
"Well Workalot let me off work today because of the convention, but me and Ralph will have to go prepare the stand soon enough."explained Pop answering his nephew´s curious gaze.
"I can´t thank you guys enough. With this I can take my honeybee out on a drive trough the country this weekend. Just like my Pop."said Amyas.
Mom looked at Pop and the two laughed.
"It has become a family tradition I see."said Mom with a giggle.
"Well, it always was, my Pop took Mom out like that too when they got together from what I heared."said Pop with a smile.
Lola giggled again.
"And from what I heared, she pummeled him many times during their adventure."said Lola and everyone shared a laugh.
The two brothers were watching this all from afar.
"What d´you think they could be agreeing upon?"asked Tex.
"How should I know? Can´t hear a thing."
Suddenly Archie´s cell phone went off and in the haste to answer slipped and the two fell from the tree landing painfully on the ground.
"Ouch... yes? Brother... yeah we´re keeping a watch. More people have arrived."said Archie.
"They must be assembling their forces. Something must be in the making... we´ll soon see."said Wiseman´s voice.
As the sun was setting on Beauvillage the Pet convention was begining infront of the city hall. The lights were set on and shone in the various stands and the stage. The ammount of people and their pets was incredible. It looked like almost all of Beauvillage turned out for the occasion. The various stands were holding many products, from pet toys which were provided by the local pet shop, bowls dens and cages which were provided by Home-fix-it, a Burger Palace stand and many stands holding various foods and sweets.The stage held various pets who were besides their respective owners. Cherie was standing there with her fat white cat looking very smug. Besides her stood Steve with his green parrot. Titus was also there standing proudly besides a small fish tank, which held his beloved piranhas, which were jumping at random from the water, before falling back into the tank.
Ralph and Pop were chatting at the Home-fix-it stand along with Mr Workalot.
At the Burger Palace stand stood Beth and Mom, who were busy preparing the burgers and drinks aided by Curly and Suzie, who were aiding the two women as they served various neighbours their beverages.
"Well I never would´ve thought I would see the day, when Beth Hubbub and Violet Tofu served hamburgers together."commented Dr Robert Spock with a smile as he, his wife and Mr and Mrs Robins walked from the burger stand with their drinks and burgers.
"A pleasant change isn´t it? Hm...these are excelent."commented Alexander Robins – Lily´s father, taking a bite from the new Tofu burger.
"And all completly natural and ecological."said Julia Robins with a giggle.April, Chichi and Phil were standing at the sweets stand, licking down their sweet lolipops.
"Hell of a turnout."commented Phil who was looking at the crowd.
The three noticed Phil´s parents looking at the stage before walking up to them.
"Beautyfull work with the stands and stage, boys."praised Mr Conners while clapping the two boys on the shoulders.
"But I wish you would be more carefull when doing your little projects."said Mrs Conners a bit sternly, her eyes narrowing at the bandages on the two boys as she folded her arms.
April giggled and smiled at the two adults.
"Don´t worry Mrs Conners, I always patch them up if they get hurt."
Mrs Conners smiled back.
"Its very good, that you always look after them, April."she said winking at April and the two giggled, the males looked at eachother and rolled their eyes.
"Hey guys."came a voice from a far and all of them turned.
Chloe, Emily, Oliver, Liam and several other of their classmates were waving to them, most with their pets in their hands.
"Shall we join them then?"asked April and the two boys nodded, before the trio started to walk to their peers.
Lily was waiting at the stage while chatting happily with some of her classmates. Suddenly she saw her best friend arrive with her boyfriend and a large gropu of people.
"Lola, Billy, I was wondering when you would turn up."commented Lily as they came closer.
"Me and Billy were showing around the EPO team."answered Lola gesturing to the people standing behind them.
Billy also nodded while Rocky, who was on his shoulder cooed happily.
Amyas and Dixie, holdine eachother´s hands looked around in complete awe.
"Very beautyfull little gathering."commented Amyas and many of the other members nodded also in complete awe.
"A very nice tribute to our animal friends."said Dixie in wonder.
Suddenly before anyone could say anything, a very loud series of crows could be heared troughout the entire convention. Several people turned to the source, others simply ran to the very stand, which was opening.
As it opened, Cracker crowed once more before a man, who was behind the small make-shift stove, where several pots were cooking turned and grinned.
"Chow time everyone!"exclaimed Miles, who was wearing a white chef outfit and a pure white hat, punching the air happily as Cracker crowed again.
"What is going on in here?"exclaimed Lola as everyone ran to the stand.
"What else? My new food stand. I call it Greedilicious."said Miles loudly as Cracker jumped and perched on Miles´ shoulder.
"Gather around, gather around. People, birds, pigs, cats and dogs, simply everyone. I have greedilicious food for you all. Herbivores, carnivores or just plain hungry folk. For a symbolic price of 50 cents, you can have a bowl of my incredible food – CHOWDA!"he said, yanking down his white hat in a theatrical manner while gesturing to the three bowls which were already prepared.
"Chowda?"exclaimed Lola, while both Lily and Billy were heavily surpressing their laughter.
"You got it, Lola. The one and only Chowda. For vegetarians there´s Herb Chowda..."he said gsturing to the first bowl, which had a dark green substance in it.
"...for carnivores, Meat Chowda..."gesturing to the second bowl, the people saw the brighter green substance which had bits of meat in it.
"...and since some like it hot, and I do mean hot, Pepa Chowda!"he finished gesturing to the third bowl, which was slightly red and had bits of sweet peppers in it.
Miles´ antics were indeed drawing the various people to the stand. Most of them were looking curiously. Rocky cooed and flew from Billy´s shoulder and hopped towards the first bowl. Cooing again he took a small piece from the Herb substance and cooed again happily.
"See? He knows what´s good."said Miles with a feral grin and patted the small pidgeon.
This seemed to be the ice-breaker. The people started to line up.
"All right. Time to greed the chef."exclaimed Miles and turned on something under the table.
At once a hip music, popular these days was heared from the speakers and the crowd went even wilder. Miles whooped and started to serve the custumers while being aided by Cracker.
"You gotta be kidding me."said Lola to herself.
"This is so cool."exclaimed Chloe who hurried to get in the line along with Liam and Oliver.
"Hm... this meat chowda is perfect."said Lily, who was eating her own bowl.
"She´s right. You should try some as well."commented Billy, offering some to her.
Suddenly a voice ran from the main speakers calling for attention. Everyone turned to the stage, where Mayor Haveitall was calling for attention, with detective Wiseman standing next to him. Miles even tuned down the music and listened attentively.
"Ahem... before I start the convention, I would like to ask Chichi Tofu, Philip Conners and Michael Miles to the stage."he said in an offcial tone gesturing to the place where stood Pop, Titus and Workalot.
"Woah, gotta go. You guys wait a while please..."he said to the people standing in front of his stand and turned to the purple rooster on the table.
"...Cracker, be a chum and guard the stand for me, kay? Don´t forget, peck without mercy."
Cracker crowed in agreement as Miles jumped over the stand´s opening and hurried to the stage, where Chichi and Phil also were.
"As all of you know, this convention was threatened by the mysterious sickness of the pets. This was fortunatly solved by our own Tofus and the Hubbubs."said the mayor gesturing to Pop and Titus as applause rang out from the crowd.
"And we have these three to thank for the speedy construction of the stands needed for the event as well as the stage – Chichi, Philip and Michael."he said as another wave of applause ran.
"As I promised boys, you will be handsomely rewarded. Your reward..."he said to the three, as Chichi and Phil looked at him skepticly and Miles expectantly took down his hat and was prepared to take any cash, the mayor would hand out.
"...my appretiation. You have my deepest appretiation. As well as the appretiation of our citizens."he finished as the people sprang into applause again.
"WHAT? NO CASH?"exclaimed Miles, but no one really heared over the wave of applause.
As the mayor shook their hands the three sported annoyed looks on their faces, to which the smiling mayor was completly ignorant.
"No cash, Cracker. Can you believe the nerve of that guy? I ought have thunderbolted him for that."grumbled Miles as he was prepraring the pepper dish.
The bird cooed sympathetically.
"Cracker hand me the peppers will ya?"he asked stretching his hand but felt nothing.
"Cracker... oh no."
The pepper jar was completly empty.
"Damn. No peppers. What now."
He pondered for a while. Suddenly an idea sprang in his head and he reached for his backpack. He pulled out a small jar of a powdered red substance.
"Wildfire chilli peppers should do nicely, what d´you think Crack?"he asked and the bird let out a low crow of agreement.
"Excuse me."came a voice from behind them.
"Oh a custumer. Right on your case m´friend. Cracker add some of it to the chowda will ya?."he said as he let the rooster take the jar from him as he flew over the pot.
However, as Miles was dealing with the customer, Cracker shook the jar a bit in his legs, but too much. The wildfire chilli pepper started to pour until the jar was empty.
"Thanks Crack. I´ll stirr it, but now we have a bunch of people to deal with."
A few hours later, Miles had his hands full and barely had the time to talk with his friends, who also had some of it.
Soon enough it was 11pm and the convention was ending.
"Damn, the people cleaned me out completly. All I have left is that pot of pepa chowda. Or in this case, super pepa chowda."exclaimed Miles as everyone was gathering their stuff.
"It was a perfect turnout."commented Lily.
"Yeah and Rocky won the award in the bird category."said Billy happily as he gestured to his little pidgeon perched on his shoulder with a small blue stamp on its feathers.
"But my piranhas didn´t make it to the finals."lamented Titus, who had his forefinger wrapped in a large bandage, since one of his fishies took a hard bite on it.
"Now its time to go home little seedlings."said Mom gesturing to the young ones there, who agreed.
"What about the stands?"asked Miles.
"Oh just leave them. We´ll take care of them in the morning."said Lola.
"You´re right. I´m kinda tired anyway. But I think..."he gestured to the white hat, which was full of money.
"...that I´ll sleep happily tonight."
Lola rolled her eyes, while everyone laughed.
"Ok. Let´s get to bed now."said Chichi as if leading the way.
Nodding to eachother Pop, Mom, Buba, Beth, Titus, Billy, Lily, April, Phil and Miles followed Chichi each of them taking a small ammount of stuff with them, happy that the convention went out fine. Much like everyone else in Beauvillage.Well... almost everyone.
"Damn it! Nothing happened at all."said Nick as the brotherhood sat sadly on the stage, their stomaches grumbling.
"I even positioned myself next to the mayor."lamented Wiseman.
"All the spying since morning was fruitless too."grumbled Tex.
"And we haven´t had a thing to eat all day."said Archie in a low voice.
Suddenly all four stomaches grumbled as well as their respective owners.
"Man I gotta eat something. Anything."said Archie.
"Look brothers!"exclaimed Wiseman potinting to Miles´ stand.
Next to it, there was a large pot.
"Everyone is away now. Let´s just help ourselfs to it."suggested Nick as all of them approached the stand.
"Fine idea, Nick."said Wiseman, finally remembering their names correctly.
The foursome opened the stand and got the bowls out and started to add conciderable ammounts of the red substance into their bowls.
"Well my brothers. We haven´t chaught Miles or his cohorts in the act thistime. But mark my words, one day we will land them in jail. TILL THEY ROT!"he said happily as the four sat down each with a full bowl in their hands.
"Yeah. They stand no chance against the brotherhood of the Wise."exclaimed Nick determinedly.
"I´ll dig in to that."said Archie happily.
All four started to wolf down their bowls. Until...suddenly...
"YAAAAAAAAAOUUUUUUGH!"sounded trough Beauvillage.
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