1) The Meeting
Wayne and his family are traveling back to Hotel Transylvania. It's been a rather peaceful year, and he's looking forward to seeing Drac and the others again. Of course he heard that Mavis and Jonathan had returned from their trip so that they may celebrate Mavis' 119th birthday with everyone this year, so there was no way that he'd miss the chance to see the crazy-fun human again.
Nothing had been the same since that kid showed up unannounced last year. Since then, Wayne didn't feel so nervous around humans. Of course, he was still cautious. Just because that kid and the other humans he'd encountered that day were not the torch and pitchfork types, and even seemed to actually like monsters (who would've thought?), that didn't mean that those kinds of humans weren't still out there, so he wasn't taking any chances with the safety of his family.
Still, as he drove by the town where the Monster Festival was being held again, some of the fans saw them and asked if they would come sign some things for them. Wayne politely declined to do it right now, as he needs to get the family settled in first, but promised that they would talk to Drac and see if they'd like to come by later. As they continued on and evening started to fall, he looked over at his wife Wanda cradling the triplets she gave birth to a few months ago and wondered if life can get any better than this.
He was so lost in thought, he almost didn't see the shooting star until it was almost on top of him. Luckily, he managed to swerve in the nick of time, as it impacted the road where he would have been if he'd continued straight.
"What was that?" his wife Wanda said fretfully as the three babies woke up and started crying.
Looking in his rearview mirror, Wane saw that what hit the road was no meteor. It was smooth and capsule shaped, it's exterior a silvery shine that showed no signs of scorch marks from a fiery entry. As he watched, a tripod of legs emerged from one end and a protuberance from the other that resembled a security camera.
Or a cannon.
As it swiveled around, a mechanical voice said, "Scanning….scanning…" Then it fixed on their location and said, "Targeting monsters."
Wayne had heard enough. He shifted his car into gear and put the petal to the floor just as a brilliant ray had shot towards them, and the car leaped forward as the beam carved a crater where they had been seconds ago.
If he had been expecting that the strange and hostile machine would simply let them go, Wayne would have been severely disappointed. As it was, he was taken aback by the device's speed as it easily kept pace with the car he was currently red-lining.
As he saw the machine aiming at them again as the clinical voice announced, "Targeting monsters," Wayne swerved again to avoid another deadly blast. As he kept dodging the blasts, Wayne found himself grateful that the killer device wasn't able to fire very quickly. "Daddy?" his daughter Winnie fearfully asked. "It'll be okay kids," Wayne promised, hoping it would be true, "If we can get to the woods then we'll lose it in the trees."
But the strange device had other intentions. Changing tactics, the machine said, "Targeting," as it blasted the road in front of the car. Having no time to dodge this time, the car plowed into the crater, the front end crumpling into a ruined heap.
"Get out!" Wayne screamed to the others, who wasted no time arguing as they vacated the car and got out of the crater just in time to miss being vaporized along with the car.
As the machine took aim at them, Wayne saw that there would be no outrunning or out maneuvering it again.
"Wayne?!" Wanda asked him fearfully.
Wayne gathered them all into a group hug and whispered, "Close your eyes."
They all did as he said, the pups all whimpering, so none of them saw the shadow that was growing quickly on the device, nor did they see the turret aim straight into the air as it said, "Targeting mon…"
Krrranngggggg! The ringing sound of the impact was extremely painful to their ears, the shockwave knocking them all to their haunches. As they all opened their eyes in startlement, what Wane and his family saw was unlike anything they had ever seen before and would not forget for the rest of their days. The machine that had been trying to kill them was now a crumped heap, having been smashed by a double overhead blow from what was possibly the largest monster Wayne had ever seen. Resembling a young human woman with white hair and wearing a skintight black jumpsuit, she was easily 1 1/2 heads taller than Bigfoot. Wearing the same fierce expression she had when Wayne first saw her, the woman wedged her hands into a crack in the machine's armor and ripped it in two with apparent ease. She then turned towards Wayne and his family and said, "Okay, you're safe…" She trailed off as she saw them clearly for the first time, then with a dumbfounded expression she finished, "…now."
Watching her expression, Wayne wasn't sure who was the more astounded and confused, this woman or he and his family. As he stared at her with his jaw hanging open, the giant woman said in bewilderment, "You're all werewolves. From up there, it just looked like you were all wearing….never mind. Are you all okay?"
Her question brought Wayne out of his stupefied state and he checked over his family, then announced, "Yeah, we all seem to be fine. Thank you for saving us from….whatever that thing was."
"Alien probe droid," the woman explained, "It probably was mistaking you for us when it attacked. Sorry about that." She then extended her finger in what was clearly intended as an offer of a handshake as she said, "My name's Ginormica, and you are…?"
Wayne grabbed her finger and shook if as he said, "Wayne. Why would this alien….thing be attacking you?"
"We're kind of this planet's primary line of defense against invasion of hostile aliens," Ginormica explained.
" 'We'?" Wayne asked.
He then felt a strong downdraft, then as he looked up his jaw dropped again. Now this is the largest monster I've ever seen, Wayne corrected himself. Descending towards them was what appeared to be the world's largest butterfly, with a wingspan that could easily shield Hotel Transylvania from view on both sides. As it got closer, a figure leaned over the side of the creature's body and hollered, "Darn it, Ginormica! Why did you have to hog all of the action again?!"
"This family was in trouble," Ginormica explained, "I couldn't wait for Butterflysaurus to descend far enough for us all."
As the figure jumped from the giant butterfly and Ginormica caught him, Wayne saw that he looked a lot like Marty, except this guy was green. As he stood up and cracked his neck and knuckles, he conceded, "Ah, whatever. There'll probably be another one along later, and that one will be mine." Leaping down, the Marty-like creature extended his hand towards Wayne and said, "Name's Link, as in 'the Missing Link'."
Wayne numbly shook Link's hand and said, "Wayne. Wait….I'm sorry, did you say there'd be more of those things?!"
"That's pretty much been these aliens' standard operating protocol here," said another creature from the back of the giant butterfly, who'd descended far enough to land. The creature, which looked a lot like a male human in a lab-coat who had the head of a cockroach, continued as he climbed off the butterfly's back, "First they send one probe, then when the attack fails they send two, then finally a mothership arrives. Then after we (although it's usually mostly Ginormica) send it packing, it stays away for a while before the cycle starts again. I'm Dr. Cockroach, by the way, and this is BOB," Dr. Cockroach adds, gestures at the blue gelatinous creature.
Bob, who is hugging several of the pups, says, "Oooh, they're so cute! Can I keep one?"
"No!" Wayne and Ginormica yell simultaneously.
"Aww," Bob complains dejectedly, then lets go of most of the pups. However, one remains stuck in BOB's gelatinous mass.
"BOB," Ginormica says sternly, "release him."
BOB looks up at Ginormica sadly, his lower 'lip' trembling, then the pup comes unstuck as BOB slinks off and the pup shakes the goop out of his fur.
"Sorry," Ginormica apologizes, "Don't mind BOB, he has no brain, you see."
"Yeah," Wayne agrees, "your friend does seem pretty stupid."
"No," Ginormica corrects him, "I mean he is pretty stupid, but I meant he literally has no brain."
"Oh" Wayne says simply. In the number of years Wayne had been staying at the Hotel he'd never came across a group of characters as strange as this. And they said they work together to protect this planet from alien invasion? What could've brought a group like this together in the first place?
"Dr. Cockroach is right, though," Susan said, "Their backup is coming, so it's probably would be best if you didn't stick around here. Do you have a place you're staying?" she asks, then gestures at the giant butterfly as she offers, "We can give you a lift to where you were headed before the probe turned your car into a crater."
"Uh, um, okay," Wayne decided, "We were just headed up to the Hotel."
"Hotel?" Ginormica asked, confused, "You guys….are staying at a hotel?"
"You guys haven't heard…?" Wayne started to ask them, then decided that this wasn't the place to do so. He wasn't about to drag this out and risk letting those probes get a second shot at his family, so he said, "Yes, we're staying at Hotel Transylvania. Just go through the dense, haunted forest, over the tall mountains, through the land of the undead, and past a moat full of piranhas."
"Um, which way as the crow flies?" Ginormica asks.
Wayne considered for a moment before pointing and saying, "That way? North by North-east?"
Ginormica nodded then said, "Alright then, everyone climb aboard."
First on was Wayne's pups, which caused the Giant Butterfly to make a sound that seemed to be laughter, as if it felt that his kids' sharp nails to be ticklish. Then Dr. Cockroach and Link climbed aboard. Then Link helped Wayne get his wife Wanda and their three youngest on up, and Wayne climbed up right behind. Finally, Ginormica climbed aboard behind the butterfly's head, being careful to not sit on anyone, and said, "Okay everyone, settle down and hold on tight! Next stop: Hotel Transylvania!"
Then with a mighty flap of its wings, Butterflysaurus lifted off the ground and sped on its way.
Back at the hotel, Drac was pacing back and forth nervously. "Where are they?" Drac asked no one in particular, "They're way past the arrival time Wayne gave me before he left."
As Johnny, Frank and Murray stand nearby, Mavis says reassuringly, "I'm sure they're fine. The kids probably just had to mark their territory every three miles, that's all."
Drac, who wasn't reassured, said in concern, "I knew I should have sent the bus instead of letting Wayne drive his car this year."
As Mavis started to say something else, Frank said ominously, "I smell fire. Fire bad."
Taking Frank's words as a call to action, Drac announced, "That's it! I'm going to see what happened to them!"
Before Drac could transform, Johnny pointed and called out, "Wait! What is that?"
As Drac followed Johnny's gaze, his eyes widened as he saw what Johnny did: a giant butterfly was clearing the top of the tall mountains, making a strange undulating call as it did so.
As they made the final approach to the hotel, Wayne was almost sorry to have the trip end so soon. With his tongue lolling out of his mouth as he panted with excitement, he thought, Wow! What a rush! Riding in a car with my head out a window is great, but that's nothing compared to riding on the back of a giant butterfly, the wind in your fur! I can see why these guys prefer to travel in this style!
Ginormica instructed the giant butterfly to hover over the bridge, with its back facing the hotel, because it was too large to land on it. As Wayne and Wanda disembarked first, Drac came rushing up to them with the others close behind as he said, "Wayne, what happened to you guys? Where's the car? And who are your….friends?"
Wayne, still panting, said, "Drac, old pal….it's a long story! I'll be glad….to tell it to you….as soon as….my heart stops racing. Simply put….they gave us a ride….after saving our lives! Weren't for them….we wouldn't be here today….or ever again!"
As the others got off behind Wayne and his family, and Ginormica gave some more instructions to the butterfly before standing up, Drac said, "Then I find myself grateful to your assistance, my friends! You have my…" Drac trailed off as he made eye contact with Ginormica, who had turned to disembark as well but had frozen as she likewise saw Drac. As a purple sheen flashed across his and Ginormica's eyes, Drac finished in a smaller tone, "…thanks."
Ginormica, still frozen in place, stumbled over her own words as she stammered, "It was….no problem. Comes with the job."
Drac, who seemed to have recovered his composure, said, "I am Count Dracula, although my friends call me Drac. I own and run the magnificent hotel you see before you."
As Ginormica started forward to disembark, the lines on her suit, which Wayne had noticed earlier, started to glow and she shrank before his large and disbelieving eyes. As she stepped off the butterfly's back as a human-sized woman, Ginormica said shyly, "I'm called Ginormica, although you can call me Susan, if you'd like.
"Susan," Drac remarked, "what a lovely name!"
As Wayne looked back and forth between Drac and Susan, he decided that this was definitely going to be one birthday celebration none of them would soon forget.
End of chapter.