Disco led Flippy and Flaky back through the doors, them dressed in their own clothes now. He led them to their seats; both in front, next to a small podium. While they walked to their seats, several old friends were cheering for Flippy, glad to see their friend again. Toothy shook his hand, Handy shook his hand for the first time and Petunia kissed his cheek. Flaky blushed out of small jealousy.
Suddenly, the blonde-haired leader arrived and stood at the podium.
“Thanks for coming, guys. Now then, lets take roll call.”
He raised his hand. “Cuddles, club president.”
Disco raised his hand. “Disco, vice president.”
Giggles raised her hand. “Giggles, club secretary.”
Toothy raised his hand. “Toothy, club treasurer.”
Handy raised his nub. “Handy, Sergeant at arms.”
“All members, raise your wrist with your bracelet high.”
All members raised their wrists, all with different colors showing their pride.
“Now then, allow me to welcome back, a very brave person. One who risked his life to protect ours. A former member of The Tree Friends. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Felix Vetern.”
Flippy got up and waved his hand, greeting large applauses and cheering. He limped up to the podium, ready to speak.
“Thank you, all my dear friends. I’m so glad to be back here, where I belong. As you can see, my body’s not that great right now, but my heart continues to grow stronger as I’m here with you. And now I can sport a nickname, much like you. Call me Flippy, please."
Applause and clapping as he went back to his seat. When he sat down, Flaky grabbed his hand and held it tightly.
“Now then, let’s get down to business. This afternoon, we counted our food supply. We appear to be running low on resources. Anyone free to do foraging tonight?”
No one said a word. Flippy stood up.
“I’ll do it.”
Flaky brought him down and whispered to him.
“What about your leg?”
“I’m fine. No pain at all, not anymore. Besides, I want to see how the masters do this.”
Flaky looked worried, but then said…
“OK. Flippy and I will go and sneak out some food.”
“Flippy, are you sure you can handle it? I mean, with your leg?”
“Oh yeah. I’ll bring my cane with me.”
“OK, that's covered. Now to more important matters. The Recon Team and I encountered the Haven today, the first time in weeks. We were able to defeat them, and stop them from finding us!”
Clapping and cheering.
Flippy heard all these arguments. Then, he heard something different; the sound of Sniffles running downstairs, holding papers.
“Hold everything! Flippy, I need to talk to you!”
Flippy stood up and walked to Sniffles. He brought him to a small room and turned on a flashlight, then bent down and placed his ear on Flippy's leg, examining the calf. And he heard beeping as the flashlight through his skin illuminated his skin, showing a disk shaped object below Flippy's skin.
Sniffles got in front of Flippy.
"There's something inside of you."
Sniffles looked at him, with disappointment.
Flippy realized; during his rampage at the bomb shelter, Pop must have placed it on him.
“It… It was the Haven.”
Sniffles looked angry, then pushed him out the door. Flippy fell to the ground, his leg in pain. Everyone turned their head towards him. Flaky and Cuddles got up and went to him.
Sniffles spoke out…
“You doomed us all, you bastard! Everyone, this man has a tracker in him, according to him, from The Haven!”
Everyone was shocked. Giggles and Petunia covered their mouths. Disco pounded the floor. Handy just did his smirk.
Cuddles picked him up, and punched him hard in the jaw.
“Flippy, do you have any idea what you’ve done?!”
Flaky continued crying.
“It wasn’t my fault.”
“Oh yeah? Say that to everyone else!”
Flippy saw all his friends; If they weren’t angry and stomping, they were crying.
He got up again, then saw Flaky, still crying.
He went to her, looking to hug her, but she backed away, scared to touch him.
He never felt so guilty. He covered his face and immediately ran away, to an empty room titled “VIP.” He went in, forgetting his cane, but not caring, His shame hurt him more than his leg.
He automatically started getting angry, and started shoving and breaking everything he saw. He cried violently, more heartbroken than ever. If giving away the tree friends location meant death to the Tree Friends, having Flaky scared of him meant murder to him.
He had no choice.
He sat down and brought up his leg, then pressed his ear to it, listening for beeping. He heard it, right in the middle of his calf. He brought out his bowie knife and drove it in his leg, wrenching it in, hoping the tip was right below the tracker. It hurt, but he felt no pain. He had to get it out and now. He took a deep breath and pulled his knife up like he was flipping a pancake.
A small metallic disk, covered in his blood, flew out and hit the wall with a loud thud. He screamed and looked at it. Then he stomped on it. More and more, groaning with anger with every stomp. He finally saw it as small little pieces, then cried out through his tears.
“It's out! You’re safe now! Now I’ll just go! It’s me they want!”
Flaky had her ear to the door. She listened to every scream, every sound he made.
She jumped; she didn’t know he had known she was there.
She then heard glass breaking. He had jumped out the window. She barged in, and looked out the window to see him running, almost as if his leg was already healed.
Flippy just kept running, yet he didn’t know where to run. He couldn’t go into town, or else he gets captured by Tiger’s army. He couldn’t go into the woods, or else he gets captured by The Haven. He couldn’t go back to the Tree Friends or else they may kill him for betraying them.
He was alone. Again.
He went to the only place he knew that was safe; the lake. He went there and sat down. He stared at his reflection, much like Flaky did. He saw his evil side. Again.
“Hey. Bad day, huh?”
“Shut the hell up.”
“Whoa whoa! What’s that about?”
“Sorry. But the Haven has ruined me. And Tiger!”
“Oh yeah, that dick. Isn’t he the one who made me?”
“I… kinda want to strangle him with his own intestines.”
“I don’t blame you. So do I.”
“Is that so? Well, looks like we finally have something in common.”
“Well, right now you’re my only friend.”
His reflection punched forward, somehow it hit Flippy and he felt his head throb.
“What was that for?!”
“Friend?! When did I ever say I was your friend?!”
“You didn’t, but I’m still alone, and you’re the only one I can talk to. So yeah, I call you a friend cause you’re always right there when I need someone to talk to.”
Fliqpy couldn’t stand this kindness. He started gagging.
Flippy just chuckled.
Fliqpy scoffed and looked at his good side.
“Well… aren’t you just a bit pissed? I mean, those Tree Friends wouldn’t give you a chance. They were about to kill you, weren’t they?”
Flippy nodded, sadly.
“Well…. I say, if they want a fight, give it to them.”
“I’m not letting you kill them, Fliqpy. Not now.”
He then saw his bloody leg, still gushing the red goo. He started hyperventilating.
"Heh heh. Looks like you just might have to."
Flaky followed Flippy to the lake, knowing he come here. She somehow just knew.
She already forgave him; she was too lonely to let him go now.
She reached her arm out, looking to pet his head.
Then his hand grabbed her wrist. Hard. She yelped and he brought his other hand to her mouth.
He then looked at Flaky. She saw those evil yellow eyes and razor teeth. She heard his evil chuckle.
He then pushed her down. She hit her head to the ground.
He lowered his head to hers. She stared, frighteningly at those eyes.
“Now then… let’s talk a bit, huh?”
He forced her up and brought her close. She felt her body move and be forced close to this monster.
“What do you want?”
“What do I want? Well, Pop’s head on a platter next to Tigers, but other than that, nothing much.”
He then fondled her red hair.
“Man... You are pretty.”
“Listen, you little skank. Flippy keeps telling me about this red haired, beautiful girl named Flaky, and I always wanted to see this girl. But seeing you finally, makes me wonder why I was so curious…”
Flaky never moved.
“Who… Are you?”
He just stared at her.
“I’m Fliqpy, and I’m here to cause misery. Now…”
He brought her up to her feet. Then, he put his knife to her back. She shook with fear.
She started walking slowly.
“Where... are we going?”
He then smirked, evilly.
“The Tree House.”