Story by DoodLeS, Do9Mo3Y1998

"AUGH...!" It was the best thing to say after my ever-so-mysterious dim-portal spat me to the klayen ground.

I stayed for a while where I was, lying on the ground, silently listening to my inside if it had to proclaim some 'ouchs', then shook my head and looked up. I saw... two feet. Well, two boots. I looked for a while longer, as if I had never seen feet before. Then I grinned, hopped upright and hugged the person in front of me. "Ed!"

Ed, without asking, hugged me back, grinning even a bit wider than I did. "DOO!!!"

When we were finished hugging Ed went on: "Doo, where you been?? It been so long!!!"

I wiped some klayen dust from my shirt and replied: "I was on Earth! Of course. I dunno, my portal didn't work this whole stupid month, it was just a solid block! No passage! Man..."

I looked around smilingly. "But finally at home again, heh! I bet it was all that human busy-life that made my portal cranky. A nice long vacation in the 'Hood surely is a good thing to do now!"

I paused irritatedly, then looked around again, a bit more careful. "Erm... what has happened here?"

Ed helped me looking around. "Uh..."

Scattered everywhere were pieces of... something. Metal pieces. It looked like someone had put Bil into a thousand parts. I frowned. They were rammed hard into the ground, trees, hills, buildings... everywhere. Everywhere in the 'Hood. Even the CatHead Mountain was pierced with some. I was pretty sure they hadn't been there the last time I visited.

"Er... is that... B-Bil?" I pointed timidly at one bigger piece. Then it occured to me that Bil didn't have wheels.

Ed shook his head. "No-oooo. It... parts of big nasty looking machine. Well, now doesn't look that nasty anymore."

I blinked. "Nasty machine? Should I know about that?"

My hoop-head bro kept on shaking. "Nope. Appeared one week ago, in the sky! A while after Klaymen got kiddernapped!"

I stared at Ed abruptly. "Klaymen? Kidnapped??"

Ed stared back. "Uh-huh."

"DOOOO!!!" Some other Hoodians ran into our direction. Sarlakk, Dramy, Noremen, Willie and - yay!! - Tramen were with them. They all came and hugged me, making me smile *bigly*. Uh, Dramy, running a bit after the others, got caught with his foot in one of the metal things and tripped over.

"Oit..." He rubbed his head, jumped up again and followed the others.

"Hihihiii!!!" I waved at them all, since I couldn't decide whom I should hug back at first.

"Hey Doo, where have you been that long? We thought you'd have left us!" Toast asked.

I tried to explain them my little portal story again, then got back to the other topic. "So, er, WHAT happened to Klay? He has been kidnapped? By whom? When? Hooow??" I looked alternately at all my friends still surrounding me, waiting for some answer. Klaymen, onna my oldest bros! He and Willie had been with me since I came to the Neverhood! It's a pretty icky feeling to come home and everything is a mess.

"Welllll....." Dramy started, "According to the Hall of Records a SkullMonkey named Berry-O or something sent after Klay to save our world from a 'Bad Man' and his 'Evil Engine #9'..."

He pointed over his shoulder at the metal debris lying around. "Seems like big bro has won."

"Uh-huh..." I replied unsurely, focusing on that one big piece with the wheel again. Gee, I missed a lot here... "And where is Klaymen now?"

Collective helpless shrugs from all sides.

"You don't KNOW??" I winced. Klay was... gone?? "But... butbut... I thought such stories would always have a happy end with the hero comin' back and having a big party with lotsa food and happy music and...." I stopped. Of course... THIS was REAL life....

"He's alive, though. The Hall doesn't say anything about his death." Sarlakk said.

"Oh.... great." How came I wasn't fully satisfied with that statement...

Tramen patted me on the shoulder once, then, seeing my pitiful expression, kept on patting me. "Don't worry. I'm sure he's fine and back soon. Quater wouldn't just let it end like that, right?"

I sighed. "Yeah... right, I guess."

"For now we're happy that YOU are back, li'l friend." Tra still kept on patting me reassuringly, and smiled.

"Yep!" the others agreed. I smiled a bit.

"Well, as you might see, we're still busy cleaning the mess. Be glad you haven't seen it on the first day..." Tramen grinned stupidly.

"Brown parts yummiest!" Willie threw in, licking his lips happily.

I looked at him with sincer interest. "Really?"

"Um, Doo, you don't have to eat everything that falls onto your homeworld." Sarlakk told me grinningly. The others grinned, too.

Still looking over the plain, I answered absentmindedly: "Aw, I don't mind..." Hey, a klayen stomach had to be filled!

My eyes followed a path of destruction (or... at least a certain line of untidyness), including the Big Tree, the Nursery, the Hall, bridge... then I went on looking up the LakeWall... higher... even higher... until Willie's house was in my sight. Even there, right rammed into the red roof, was a long metal pole. Well, more to the side of the red roof than *into* it. I stared for a while longer at it. Then my eyes widened.

"MY ROOM!!!" I slapped both hands to my cheeks and kept staring as I realized that the pole must have gone right through my fluffy blue carpet.

Tramen started patting again. "Shshsh, Doo! It's half as bad as it looks like. The pole is stuck there real hard, but as soon as we get it out your room'll be okay. Bil'll do it as soon as he had his Big Robot nap."

I whined some incoherent syllables and pointed at my poor room. Oh ma-aaaan.....

The others helped Tramen patting.

After calming down a bit and viewing my room (yes... not THAT bad... ignoring the giant hole in the ceiling, my carpet, the trapdoor UNDER my carpet and half of Klipp's room under MY room... some of my collected apples had been mushed, too... at least all my pictures had survived. My PlayStation and N64 in the cupboard were alright, too), well, after that I started a bit of cleaning with the others. Heh, Willie had been right: The brown parts ARE the yummiest.

"Say, can anyone tell what these gleaming poles might have been good for?" Sarlakk held one of the objects up so we others could see it. It was about arm-length, thick as a (hoodian) thumb and glowed in a bright green.

Toast came a bit closer. "Hm... maybe..." After a while he shrugged. "Looks like a normal glowing hose to me."

"Hey look, here's another one!" I pulled another one of the poles out of a small pile of junk. It looked just like the one Sar found, only it was glowing red. I stared at it, holding it in my both hands. "Gee, hope those things aren't radioactive or something..."

Sarlakk started to grin and put his pole into both hands, too. He jumped onto the pile in front of me. "AH-HAH!!! Finally I found you, father!!!"

For a second I looked startled at him, then grinned, too, positioning my pole sword-like. "Luke! Well, well. Whadda surprise to meet ya here...!"

"You sound like a dork, father!" With these words Sar jumped from the pile and swang his glowing hose.

I avoided Sarlakk's *deadly* hit and went into a clumsy offense. "Really, son, such words out of a mouth of a Jedi Knight? I must say...!"

We kept on with playfully fighting for a while, watched by the puzzled others.

Dramy leaned over to Ed, whispering: "Say... you think WE should better stay away from those hoses?"

Ed just shrugged.

"Feel the Schwartz, bwah-hah-haa!!"

"*That's 'Force', Doo. Wrong movie.*"

"Don't try to distract me, son! Aiit!! Who put that metal thingy there...?"

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