Story by DoodLeS
At the Big Tree...
"Okay, Tramen! Behold! I'll pass the ball to you NOW!" With these words I threw the small round object into the air, holding the goofball-bat in the other hand. Some of the younger Hoodians had tried to teach us their new game, Goofball, and now Toast and I had some first tries on our own.
The ball came down again. I took the bat into both hands and HIT!
After a while, bat still holding in the same position, I looked down at my feet, where the ball lay peacefully - I could swear it grinned at me...
"Nice shot!" Tramen shouted from his far away position, waving with the counter-bat, "only, as *I* understand it, you should try to get the ball to reach ME, so that *I* can try to shoot it back to YOU..."
I looked at Tra, carefully shoving the ball away with my foot. "It's - it's the bat's fault! This game CAN'T work with just two thin sticks of wood and a bouncy ball! And I'm sure I hit the ball - it was...itwasitwas...t'was a sudden blow of high-gravity that pulled it down."
"I'm sure there." Toast answered - but somehow I had the feeling he didn't really believe me. "Now pass the ball to me. I want to have a try now."
I picked the ball up, but just when I wanted to throw it, someone tapped me on my back, shouting: "HI Doodles! What's up? Busy playing Goofball, I see!"
After a short moment of paralysis I turned around. "Oh... er, hi Hyrjo... I d-didn't know you w-were here..."
"Just wandering around." He looked at me, "Hm... I was always wondering - what does YOUR chest-button do...?"
Before I could say anything he had pressed it, and my chest-compartment opened. I grabbed it with both hands and slammed it shut again, focusing Hyro Jyro. "You KNOW that I hate that, Hyro! Can't you just... oh, I dunno... go and feed the KlayBirds, huh?"
"You're still afraid that your guts might come out, eh?" he answered - though Hyrjo was a rather young being compared to me, he knew that I came from a dimension where opening your chest means mess on the floor...
"Hoodian's don't have guts." I stated, just to hush up the fact that he was right.
"Oh, really?" he answered. Then he suddenly pushed me to the ground and sat on me, so that I couldn't stand up again, holding my wrists. "Of course we do have guts! How do you think we can eat?"
"That wasn't fair, Hyrjo! You should have warned me before throwing me to the ground!" It was a common game - trying to nail a fellow Hoodian to the ground so he can't stand up - and Hyro knew this game in perfection. But then he started something on me that was a mistake. A mistake for HIM, to say.
He let off my hands and grabbed my chest. "Look, if you don't use your button, but just open your chest with your hands... then you can see your guts!" He started messing around with my chest. I didn't know that this only had been one of his annoying jokes, and I got REALLY panicked...
...and most Hoodians KNEW what happened to me if I get shocked - Tramen ran up behind Hyro and pulled him away from me. "That WASN'T nice, Hyrjo!" Toast told him, "And not very wise either. Don't you know that Doo might turn to ED if he's shocked too hard? You were lucky that -"
Hyro looked at me. His grin vanished as he saw me, still lying on the ground and breathing heavily out of panic. And I.... well *I* just felt that Hyrjo WASN'T lucky this time...
So it happened again. Doodles had - since that very bad incident with Hoborg's crown - the problem that he turned into a big, vile, dinosaur-like being when shocked too hard. After living with that a few months he and the other Hoodians got used to it, but normally Tramen gave him the Clappers before it happened - with those on his wrists Doo wasn't able to destroy anything. But this time Tramen wasn't fast enough, and ED suddenly stood behind him, grinning evily.
"!", Hyro Jyro exclaimed, then backed away hastily. Toast, who was standing with his back to Doodles just wondered what made him run so fast, until he turned around and found out himself.
So they both stood there - Tramen looking up at ED, Evil Doodles grinning back at Toast. Neither of them moved.
"Erm... hi ED..." Tramen said, smiling stupidly, "I don't suppose that I could, well, put you the Clappers on, right?"
ED growled and made a step forward. Tra backed a bit.
"Yes...em - ISN'T THAT YOUR DIMENSION PORTAL OVER THERE??" he shouted out, pointing somewhere behind Doodles.
Who closed another step to his friend.
"Oh, pithy-prob..." the mechanican mumbled, looking for a good way to flee. Then he got an idea. His smile brightened up. "Hey Doodles! Look - I have a Chip Butty here!" - He pulled one out of his chest-compartment and waved with it in front of ED's face.
The dinosaur-being stopped. It carefully took the thing out of Tra's hand and sniffed suspiciously. Then it shoved the whole bread into his mouth, licking the remains from its lips afterwards. It focused Tramen again.
For some seconds nothing happend - Toast still tried to figure out the best way to his room in the Radio Shack, Doodles just grinned and looked at the other Hoodian.
And suddenly ED sat down. He sat there in a way dogs did - legs folded to the right and left of his body and hands leaned to the ground. He looked expectingly at Tramen.
"Um..." Tra said, relaxing a bit, "youuuu want summore?"
ED just looked at him.
"We could go to the Apple Tree, okay? There you can eat all-that-you-can", he continued while walking slowly backwards. ED stood up and followed him, silently growling.
Though Doo seemed to be peaceful at the moment, Tra didn't dare to turn around - the last time ED had been so peaceful a few weeks ago he had eaten half the StairBridge afterwards.
But not looking behind him wasn't quite the thing you should do if you're on the bridge to the Explosives Shack. Suddenly Tramen lost his balance and fell over the rim of the bridge, quickly grabbing the railing in order not to fall down. There was no water in the Lake at the moment, so it wouldn't be too much fun to let off his hold...
"Hi Toatht!" a voice next to Tramen said in a slighly embarrassed tone.
He looked at his left. Right next to him, hanging there the same helpless way he did, was Kliff. "Oh... hi Kliff... um - nice weather today for, er, just hanging around, don't you think?"
"Yeth. Really nithe weather."
"Any ideas what we could do now?" Tramen small-talked.
"Well, we could hang here all day, or..."
"...or jutht let off the bridge and fall down." Kliff answered. The same moment he had finished that sentence some of the stones under his hands became loose and gravity helped him to get back to the ground VERY fast. "Uh-oh..."
Tramen looked after him. 'Well', he thought, 'KLIFF is used to that...'
Someone put his hand around Toast's wrist and pulled him up. The next moment Tramen was face to face with grinning ED again. But instead of doing something nasty, Evil Doodles just dropped his friend on the ground of the bridge.
"Wow! Thanks, Doo! I mean, ED."
The dinosaur-being in front of him seemed to wait for something. "What is it? What do you want?" Tramen asked innocently.
ED took him again at his collar, snarling while lifting him up to his face.
"Eat", he growled indistinctly between his three fangs.
"Ooooh!" Tramen exclaimed, grinning unsurely, "Of course. Yes. Em. To the Apple Tree then?"
Unexpectedly, Doo really let him down again. So they went to the Tree.
Reaching it ED immediately started picking some apples and throwing them into his mouth. Tra was surprised - up to now Doo hadn't destroyed ANYthing.
After eating ALL the apples on the tree (which fortunately grew back quite fast, like everything that was Klay), ED sat down again in his doggish way. Tramen couldn't help it - he just HAD to pat the creature in front of him on the head. Evil Doodles growled happily. And after a while he lay down and started a nap.
Tramen sat next to him, looking fascinated at his mutated friend. He had never before acted so calmly... on the other hand, no-one had offered him a Chip Butty before. It seemed that this tiny gesture had tamed the beast.
After a while of staring thoughtfully Tramen became sleepy, too. He leaned to the trunk of the Tree and fell asleep. When he woke up a few hours later, ED was still lying there - only he wasn't ED any more. While sleeping, Doodles had turned back to his normal self.
"Doodles! Hey, Doo!"
I woke up, looking into Toast's face. "What?" I mumbled.
"You've turned back! You've turned back to Doodles without changing to your home dimension before!" Tramen said excitedly.
I opened my eyes and looked around. "Hey... you're right!" I jumped upright and looked at my body. This had never happened before! Then I looked around. Everything here was still intact, another complete new experience for me after turning into ED...
"What has happened?" I asked Toast, who beamed happily at me.
"Nothing has happened! Isn't that GREAT??" he answered waving his arms wildly. "I think we finally managed it to calm ED down! I bet in a few weeks you can even change to ED whenever you WANT!!!"
I looked up at Tra. "Tramen - I don't have ED under my control! I've got NOTHING to do with that monster, ok? He's much too dangerous to run around." I crossed my arms. I HATE it to turn into Evil Doodles.
"But he seems to be something more like... a pet! Not a monster." Tramen stated. "And he DID save my life!"
I turned to my big friend and put my hands to my hips. "Of COURSE I did! I couldn't stand it to see you hang there... oops..." I quickly looked to the ground.
"Ah!" Toast exclaimed triumphantly, "So you HAVE him under your control!!!"
I looked up at Tra's face again. "Just... sometimes... when.... well - DANG! It is so embarrassing to think that a nice master and regular pat and food is the highest aim in your life!"
Tramen grinned. "So THAT's what's going on in ED, eh?"
I looked down. Yes, I KNEW what ED was doing - I had turned into him often enough... but I refuse to think about that THAT creature was me... what would the others say if they knew that ED was nothing more like a huge pet and that I could remember everything afterwards... they might crack jokes about me - or even worse, they might wanna PLAY with ED, teach him tricks like fetching or playing dead...
"Don't worry, Doodledoo. I won't tell anyone about it", said Tramen as if he had read my mind. Then he patted me on the head.
I at first smiled pleased, but then I realized what I was doing, and I quickly shoved Tra's hand away, looking around suspiciously. "Stop doing that, Tra!" I exclaimed. "I... I can't stand it to be patted that way."
Tramen looked at me, slighly surprised about my reaction. Then he smiled again. "Oh! I see. Yes, of course. We'll just forget about that, okay? Now - want to play another game of Goofball with me?" he asked, heading for the Big Tree.
"Okay!" I answered, following Tra, who now was my friend AND ED's beloved master...