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    ADQC-RV-01 Fun in the Sun

    Pleasure Bluff - QC Planet

    ADQC-RV-01 Fun in the Sun
    By James Ghaleon (Aragh Darktalon)
    Written on 05/09/2016

    Chapter One: Taken by the Oldest Con.

    As the overland transit bus from Meta-Star City pulled to a stop in the seaside community of Port Ottercrest, a small family with one suitcase each disembarked from the vehicle with their father the last to get off. The bus then made a slow circle in the center of town and began the drive back the way it had come from. The family then began walking through the town toward the docks a few blocks away. It wasn't a hot day although a topic was slowly being inquired about.

    "Dad?" asked the middle aged son. "I thought the bus was supposed to have delivered us directly to the Paradise Beach Ferry. Why did they let us off in the middle of town?"

    "The driver said that the bus no longer made the full route to the docks," replied their dad. "But think of it... even though it took our entire life savings, we actually own an island getaway of our very own. I never thought we could afford one when Lord Albert's commercials began airing the ads for real world people to own parts of Q.C. Planet as an investment. I was lucky to meet that land broker who had selections of the planet for sale. And now we just have to get there and set up shop in the island resort hotel. Although I hope I get to do my chosen profession of meteorology while we're here. Resorts are all well and good, but I really like chasing the weather."

    After a block, the middle aged son said, "Hey dad! Look!" He was pointing at a travel agency window where they had a picture of the island resort on one of their walls. "Isn't that the picture you showed us before we packed up our bags and after selling the house and car?"

    The father looked through the window at the poster. "Yeah, that's the same picture. Why do you ask?"

    The son said, "I want to go inside and ask the clerk how far the island is so we'll have some idea of how long the ferry ride will be."

    "Okay son," said their father. "We'll wait out here. Don't take too long."

    Entering the small business office, the boy saw that it was carpeted, clean, and had a nice citrus scent in the air. Sitting at the main desk was nice looking otter in a business suit and wearing dark shades over his eyes.

    "What can I help you with today, son?" asked the otter dude.

    He pointed at the one picture. "That place. How far is it by the ferry?"

    The otter slowly lowered his shades when the boy pointed at that one poster. "P-p-para-dise B-b-beach? You want to know about that location?"

    The boy replied, "Of course. My family just purchased it. We're the new owners. We need to know where it is."

    The otter slowly stood up and walked over to place one hand on the boy's shoulder. "Your family... bought... Paradise Beach... good gods... you poor people. I better get your family in here right now." And he quickly stepped outside and asked the entire family to come inside. Once he had the whole family inside and seated, the otter went over to the poster and pulled it down off the wall and... promptly ripped it in half and handed the pieces to the father. "I hate to say this, good sir... but you have been swindled by a con artist."

    "A con artist?" asked the father. "What do you mean?" The otter dude turned and walked over to his desk and sat down behind it and reached for his phone. "Paradise Beach was an island resort with a dormant volcano in the middle of it... two whole years ago. Everyone loved vacationing there. That poster was made in January of that year. In November... the volcano began rumbling. The people vacated and then... the entire island... exploded." The family looked shocked. The otter continued as he began dialing a number. "By December... the authorities evaluated what was left... a series of small islands around the former volcano... which had become an... an atoll. You people have purchased an atoll. In the following year, various groups migrated out to the individual islands to live. The only island remaining that is uninhabited was once part of the original Paradise Beach. It now has a lighthouse and an old watchman's shack there. That's it."

    He then focused on the phone call while the family hung their heads at the realization of what they bought.

    Lord Albert Atticus and the mayor of Port Ottercrest had converged on the travel agency to meet with the family who had fallen for one of the oldest tricks on Earth. The travel agent, Tan Wavewebber, felt sorry for the family since it was one of the worst ways to meet nice people. When he saw Lord Albert arriving, he drew the cat lord to one side.

    "They are the Valerian family. They told me that a land broker claimed to be working for you and he sold them Paradise Beach for a price far less than you were selling land for, but still enough to wipe out this family of all of their finances. They traveled here to see their purchase and... their son saw the poster I had and came in and that's when I learned about their situation. But sir... I don't want these people to leave. So I have an idea that you could do for them, if you will."

    "I am listening, Tan," said Albert. "What is your idea?"

    The otter showed Albert a picture of the peninsula island and a map of the old island boundaries. "My plan would be to create a new island off to the side of the atoll near the shore line with a bridge connecting the roadway to the main road just South of Port Ottercrest. The new island would be identical to the old one except it would be smaller in land mass. We rebuild the resort on the new island and let the family live there as the owners of not only that island but of the entire atoll nation. Make Mr. Valerian the governor of the new island nation; the other island owners answer to him instead of answering to you. You would then get island updates from him. But Mr. Valerian has one more skill going for him that this area needs, Albert... he is a professional meteorologist and we don't have one in our area at all. The weather forecasters at the major cities always misdiagnose the weather we are supposed to get so having Mr. Valerian here would guarantee us with accurate weather forecasts which our fisherman desperately need. The nearby bluff where the roadway is located is owned by Lord Wilwick, whom is the head recruiter for Lampwick's Pleasure Island. One of his boys has a donkey gentlemans club on Pleasure Bluff with a beach access path; the upper part of the business contains a restaurant and a small arcade. The Recruiters Club is in the lower chambers with its own beach access entrance/exit. They do not recruit QC citizens, so it is safe to live near that location."

    End of Chapter One.
    "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

    ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon

    Chapter Two: Donation Plans.

    Albert hummed as he then went over to speak to the family now. "Mr. Valerian? I am Lord Albert Atticus. I promise you that we will find this land broker and make him pay for this crime against your family. The travel otter, Tan Wavewebber, came up with an idea that I will conduct for your family. You bought Paradise Beach based on a photo and that is exactly what you will get. A whole new peninsula island created from scratch and placed to the side of the atoll. And it will not be a volcano; it will look exactly as the island had that you thought you were purchasing. We will rebuild the resort and you will become the governor of the entire atoll nation. Although I am told you are also a meteorologist. This area needs a good reliable one badly. I hope you will assist these people."

    Mr. Valerian stood up and shook Albert's furry hand. "Thank you, Mr. Atticus. I am Joseph Valerian. This is my wife Margarita Divita Valerian; she's Mexican and a good entertainer. And these are our children... Steven, Rob, and Arcadia. Ages 18, 16, and 15. I... I just feel so stupid for getting... cheated like that. He said he worked for you and even had official looking forms with your signature on them showing his authenticity. I guess they were forged, like everything else was. We're flat broke, sir. How will we survive at the resort? We can't afford to buy supplies for vacationers let alone for ourselves. What do we do?"

    The Port Ottercrest Mayor then came over and said, "As long as you join our local news team and give accurate weather forecasts for the area, we will gladly donate weekly supplies for your island until such a time that you can support yourselves. I am Mayor Turk Deepdiver. Just call me Turk. Everyone does. I even put on a turkey costume around Thanksgiving." Turk winked with an ottery grin.

    Albert said, "By tomorrow morning, you will have your island peninsula, Joseph Valerian. I need to get busy. I will also need to warn the current island residents of what is about to happen. And once I do, you may find even more assistance. Most are honest island folk, although... I will warn you now... the island with the carnival on top of it belongs to Lord Lampwick. You know the place."

    Rob and Steven said at the same time, "Pleasure Island is part of our atoll?" They looked at each other and both said, "Jinx! You owe me a soda! Hey!"

    Tan smirked. "Kinda hard to owe anyone any sodas when you boys are broke. Part time jobs may be your friends in the days to come. Be thinking about it." He then looked at Arcadia. "Although if the young lady here would like to help me here in my business, I can pay her a fair wage."

    Arcadia looked to her parents. "May I?"

    Joseph nodded his head. "We can't be picky what with the situation we're in. You have my permission."

    Tan smiled. "Excellent. Come on over to my desk and I'll walk you through what you need to do." And Arcadia went over to see what the otter wanted her to do.

    Steven and Rob stepped outside of the travel agency to look at the surroundings. It was Steven who spoke first, "I think I would like to meet the other island residents, Rob. Maybe one of them may have a job boys like us could do for pay. We got to chip in and help mom and dad."

    The sleepover at the mayor's home was an act of kindness which the family was thankful for. But come the morning right after breakfast, a tired but smiling cat lord arrived at the front door. And once inside and sipping on a cup of cream, he said to Joseph Valerian, "It took all night, but Pleasure Bluff has been recreated once again, sans the volcanic connection. It will look authentic but it will never erupt. It would be hard to since the island hotel now occupies the inside of the mountain itself. And now," he then handed the keys over to the human. "you are now the governor of the Pleasure Bluff Atoll mini-nation. I contacted all of the island owners and they will be meeting with you throughout the week to offer whatever assistance they can provide."

    "Thank you so much, Lord Atticus," said Mr. Valerian. "We will someday repay you properly for this emergency assistance."

    Albert smiled. "Perhaps I can make use of one of your sons later then. But not right now. Let them have a few adventures first. Oh, and for the record, there are absolutely no Toonium deposits anywhere near the atoll. So a Toonium Exposure accident should never occur. Toonium is a precious commodity mined here on QC Planet. However, as the otters are aware... there could be pearls and precious gems to be found, if you are lucky."

    "If the other otters are as friendly as Tan and Turk, then we may not need precious gems," said the human. "Although if we find any, we will handle them properly."

    Mayor Turk then said from one side, "Tan and Arcadia will be working the travel agency office today. I think a good many citizens will be pleased to see a pretty face instead of Tan's muzzle for a change."

    Mrs. Valerian said, "We should go check out our property today, honey. I can't wait to start planting my garden around the hotel. With the tropical soil, we should end up with some interesting flowers, tasty fruits, and vegetables." Joseph Replied, "We can head out as soon as Steven and Rob are ready. I think they were helping Turk's son with some backyard cleaning."

    "Actually, dad," said Rob as he walked through the living room toward the front door. "Steven is helping; I apparently can't do anything right back there, so I'll be down at the docks. Maybe I can meet someone my own age." And he went out the front door before they could ask further what he meant.

    Mayor Turk leaped up and ran out the front door where he grabbed Rob's arm. "Wait. My son can be callous sometimes. Here..." And he handed Rob a twenty. "Down at the docks you will find a place called The Webbed Pirate. It's actually a video arcade and teen hot spot. Go there and you can meet with nearly all of the area's youths at the same time." He then went back inside the house.

    End of Chapter Two.
    "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

    ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


      Chapter Three: Video Games Lead to Friendship.

      Rob looked at the twenty that the mayor had given him and shrugged his shoulders. "The Webbed Pirate, he said. I guess... I could check it out." And he headed off toward the docks at the south end of the port town. The teen hangout was as expected. It looked like an old pirate ship on the outside but inside it was an arcade, billiards hall and teen hot spot. There was even a food court near the cash register where the patch eyed bunny lady and the captain like parrot male was manning the helm. Since it was still early there weren't a lot of teens to see at the place although there was a pony boy with skunk like colors sitting at a booth table by himself eating fries and a briscuit.

      Rob walked in slowly and exchanged the twenty for five dollars in tokens, pocketing what was left over for a meal later. Getting a game of Delver 2 started, he zoned out everything else so he never noticed when the donkey boy quietly walked up and was watching him play. "You are pretty good at this." Rob never took his eyes off the game. "Thanks. Its not so hard to master. I can beat my brother's best. Heh." Any time he could beat his brother made him happy. "I can even get into the hidden bonus stages. Here... I'll show you where one of the low level ones are." And he did so. The donkey boy watched in amazement. "That's the entrance to a bonus stage? I would have missed that every time."

      After the arcade game, the boy and the donkey were out walking along a lonely stretch of beach together. "You really pwned that game. Highest score the arcade has seen in a while. The others who play it are going to be miffed when they see your initials on the high score list." Rob giggled. "It was a lot of fun and you got to learn where some in-game secrets are positioned. I'm Rob Valerian; What are you called?"

      The donkey boy replied with a sly thought toward the boy, "I am Captain Brayhoof, a Pleasure Island Recruiter. I have the privilege to live here on the mainland in a house just down the beach South of here. I have a nice high view of the surroundings and my place doubles as a roadhouse for various Species Recruiters who are looking for some time off and fun. We have an arcade of our own, a pool hall, bedrooms, a restaurant, and the Pleasure Island lounge. That last one is for adults; no offense but I'd let you see it during the daytime. It normally has night hours. The spot in the road is called Pleasure Bluff. I think your family owns the new peninsula island near my place."

      "You're a recruiter for Pleasure Island?" he asked. "How does that usually work?"

      "We're sent to Earth to look for boys who haven't been good and when we find potential jack asses, we bring them in and drop them off on Pleasure Island, usually butt naked. We get paid for each boy we bring in. Lately Lampwick and I have been hearing a rumor about a group of recruiters who have been targeting good boys to bring in because there haven't been a lot of bad boys to be found and the recruiters simply want to meet their quota, so they bring in whoever they can catch. And that is not the right way to recruit. Those of us who have honor find their practice distasteful. But overall, we never recruit here on QC Planet. We don't want to be at odds with Albert."

      Rob smiled and gave Brayhoof a small hug. "So I'm in no danger of being recruited by a donkey."

      Brayhoof shook his head. "Not from a donkey. However, and I should warn you... there are some non-donkey species who WILL recruit you even on QC Planet. We've heard that rabbits do it; some kangaroos do it; various canines; some herds target cute boys to join them; and even dolphins practice the art. Just because a donkey won't here on QC doesn't mean you're totally safe. But I am telling you that no donkey will attempt it here on QC Planet because of Lord Albert."

      Giving a smile, he gave Brayhoof a kiss on the mouth. "I'm glad I met you today. Let's head on up to your place; I can't wait to see it."

      At the blue stone walled hacienda with black iron gates which overlooked the ocean, Brayhoof and Rob walked inside and they began touring the ritzy place. It was like an expensive officers club for the Pleasure Island Recruiters who were often on the mainland.

      "This is amazing, Brayhoof," the boy said as he walked over slowly to look at various things within the recruiters club. As the donkey captain mentioned, the place wasn't in use at the moment, but Rob could imagine what the activity was like at night. He stopped in front of one of the video game machines, a game called Bray Survivor. The object of the game was to have your human boy survive his stay on Pleasure Island and be able to leave as human looking as possible. If you went entirely donkey, the game ended and your score would be tallied.

      Brayhoof remarked when he saw what Rob was looking at, "That is one of our best video games. The recruiters love it a lot. The reason they play it is because they often want to see how much more clever they are over a human. And often, they are not as smart as they think they would be."

      The donkey boy then continued, "The base rule for the game is that you have to befriend at least one donkey boy and enjoy at least one attraction. Aside from that, you strive to stay human. That is one of the safety enacted games, so if you want to give it a try, be my guest. I'll be getting the club ready for opening if you need me for anything. And if a donkey recruiter comes in while I am in the back rooms, be sure to tell them where I am." And off into the back room he went.

      After his new friend departed, the boy pulled over a stool and sat on it as he activated the game to see how he could do against the parameters of the game itself. While playing a few games and while in the midst of the fifth game, a top donkey officer entered the room and was watching the boy play the game quite intensely. Since the safety switch for the game was on and the boy wasn't sporting donkey parts, the officer figured that the captain was permitting this new boy permission to be here. "Hesitate at the waiting line and choose to look at the tuft of fur on the mesh fence; you will get extra points." Choosing to follow the advice, Rob smiled when he did get extra points for doing those actions. "Thanks. Captain Brayhoof is off in the lounge getting the club ready for opening. I'm Rob Valerian; my family just bought the new peninsula island recently."

      "Lord Albert was telling me about the new owners," said the chief officer as he watched the boy play. "Um, don't accept to take a drink of that guys' cola. It's tainted and it will cause you to get a donkey part." He then continued with his previous explanation. "We can really use a meteorologist around the islands and I am glad your dad has that skill. I am Lord Wilwick, the chief recruiter for Pleasure Island and I have one of the best scores for playing this game; Lord Lampwick is my boss. I am so glad I chose to come check on Brayhoof today because you are here and meeting a nice boy makes any donkey's day like you wouldn't believe." The boy called out as he put his high score initials on the screen, fifth from the top. "Hey Bray! Lord Wilwick is here to see you!" Rob then looked at the chief recruiter once again who in turn seemed to looking at the boy's groin for some reason. "Um... did I spill something in my lap, sir?"

      End of Chapter Three.
      "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

      ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon