Amy had been beamed to her house as she had an outing with Sira and Trema, who had recently returned from her home planet of Nebulos. She met them at a café where Trema had shrunk herself down and turned herself into a Mobian rabbit with green fur and dressing in dark clothing, similar to her witch’s outfit. They sat down at a table near the window and chatted about life in general. Amy was about to show Optimus and Fwuffy’s picture when a hedgehog waitress in blue fur, Misty, came up to them. “Hello, ladies,” she said pleasantly, albeit forced, “are you ready to order?”
“Yes, I’d like one of your delicious chocolate muffins and a cup of coffee,” replied Sira. “Milk and sugar, please.”
“I’ll have a cheese danish and lemonade, please,” answered Trema.
“And the usual strawberry scone and green tea for me, please,” finished Amy.
“All right,” said Misty, more pleasantly. “I’ll be back in a minute with your orders.”
“Forgive me for asking,” mused Sira, “but I thought I felt a magic aura around you.”
“I figured you two were witches like Amy here,” answered Misty, feeling a little more comfortable knowing she was around witches like herself.
“You can speak freely about your emotions with us,” assured Trema.
“Honestly, I was afraid that you’d order a Terra-pie,” sighed Misty. “If I had to explain to them one more time…!”
“Who ordered that culinary abomination?!” asked Sira.
“Those hedgehogs over there,” replied Misty as she pointed at a table in the corner. The creatures there looked almost like old Earth hedgehogs in battle-gear.
“Hedgehogs?” muttered Sira in disbelief.
“Those are hedgehogs?” asked Trema.
“I’m gonna guess you two aren’t from around here,” guessed Misty. “I’ll be back with your orders.” She left the table to get their orders to the kitchen. Sira and Trema looked at Amy for an explanation. She looked embarrassed.
“They ARE hedgehogs,” she confirmed. “It’s a long story behind their appearance.”
“Some sort of genetic tampering?” asked Trema.
“A virus?” quizzed Sira.
“The mutation wave the Xorda used was interrupted,” explained Amy. “They call their culture a warrior culture, steeped in tradition.”
“Like the Klingons,” remarked Sira.
“Exactly,” replied Amy as she caught the reference. “They call themselves ‘Warrior-hogs’.” Misty then returned with their orders.
“Enjoy yourselves, my witch-kin,” she bid, in the proper way one witch says to another. She then departed to lead a human woman to a table. As Amy, Sira, and Trema ate, Amy remembered something.
“Trema,” she called, “I almost forgot something.” She then took out her camera and scrolled through the images. “I’ve finally come into contact with an alien animal.” She found the picture of Optimus holding Fwuffy. “The Autobots called it…”
“A Poozit!” said Trema as she gave a low growl at the sight of Fwuffy. Amy put the camera away.
“Would you relax?” hissed Sira. “You’re making a scene.”
“Where did you find that…thing?!” snarled Trema.
“In the cargo hold of the Autobot ship,” answered Amy. “We think that Fwuffy’s being here is proof of Optimus’ girlfriend being here as well. Prowl said he detected your genetic signature and mentioned that Poozits don’t like Nebulans.”
“The feeling’s mutual!” growled Trema. “They are a detestable animal!”
“It was my understanding that most Nebulans like furry animals,” observed Sira, “especially ones that can fit in your hand.”
“Those monsters do nothing but breed and consume!” insisted Trema. “If you feed that thing the slightest morsel, in a matter of hours, you’ll have ten, then a hundred, then a thousand!”
“Would you relax?” asked Amy. “Optimus said it was neutered. Breeding is impossible.”
“Even a sterile Poozit is a mortal enemy of the Nebulan Republic!” urged Trema.
“This?!” quizzed Amy as she showed the picture again. Trema shut her eyes, snarling. “A mortal enemy of the Nebulan Republic?” continued Amy.
“They’re an ecological menace!” replied Trema, once again opening her eyes. “A plague to be wiped out!”
“Wiped out?” yelped Sira. “I’m surprised a witch of the Green Order, the masters of nature spells and animals, would say that.”
“Hundreds of Nebulan warriors were sent to track them down throughout the galaxy,” explained Trema. “An armada obliterated the Poozit home world. By the end of Mobius’ 30th century, it was believed they were eradicated.”
“Another glorious chapter of the History of the Nebulan Republic,” teased Sira. “Tell me, do they still sing songs of the Great Poozit Hunt?” It was then that Sira noticed one of the warrior-hogs get up and walk towards the human that Misty showed a table to. She looked up and Amy looked on in horror.
“Oh no,” she gulped. “That warrior-hog’s gonna start something.”
“Young Rose?” asked Sira.
“Warrior-hogs love to prove themselves, especially against humans,” explained Amy.
“Well, well!” chuckled the warrior-hog. “A human decided to join us!”
“I was unaware your people visited this café,” muttered the human, with a voice that sounded familiar to Amy.
“No…it can’t be!” she whispered.
“I’m sorry to hear that a pale, hairless monkey would not know of my people,” answered the warrior-hog.
“Insulting another sentient life-form because of her species?!” snarled Trema. “I thought you said they were warriors! Where is the honor in his actions?!”
“I said that they called themselves warriors,” corrected Amy. “I didn’t say the rest of society views them as such.”
“Well,” mumbled the human, “a pale, hairless monkey, never been called that before. I suppose that’s your opinion.” That comment earned some impressed looks.
“Indeed,” chuckled the warrior-hog. “And if my opinion is that humans are weaklings that can’t even lift a proper knife like mine, who would argue?”
“And if my opinion of you, specifically,” hissed the woman, “is that you are a fraud and a lying coward, who would argue?” All noise in the café stopped. The tension could be cut with a knife.
“Skin job,” growled the warrior-hog as he slowly drew his knife, “don’t you think you should…rephrase that?”
“I phrased it most carefully, Marcus,” replied the woman. The warrior-hog raised his knife to strike only to find that two kicks at his legs and three punches to the ribs, left shoulder, and solar plexus struck him simultaneously. He was floored and dropped his knife. The woman then planted a foot on his chest and left wrist while her left hand held down his right arm and she held the knife above his eye. The woman was identified as Shockwave’s holo-form. “Do not think for a moment,” threatened Shockwave, “that it has gone unnoticed that you failed your end of the bargain! I am tempted to force you to share my perception of things.”
“STOP!” called Trema. Shockwave looked up. “What bargain did he strike with you?”
“5,000 rings for parts I need for my newest creation,” replied Shockwave. “I paid him. He did not deliver.”
“Then let his shame that someone like you bested him be his prison until he gives you the parts you need,” suggested Trema.
“Elaborate,” demanded Shockwave.
“I hail from a warrior culture,” answered Trema. “Where I come from, if there is a third party involved, the third party has the right to hold a symbol of the offending party’s honor until his debt is repaid to the party that was wronged. Once his debt is paid, I will restore his honor and we never need to discuss it again.” Shockwave mulled it over for a minute.
“Your argument…is logical,” she declared. She got off Marcus and handed Trema the knife.
“That’s my honor knife!” roared Marcus. “Give it back!” He leapt at Trema, but she knocked him down again with a simple backhand.
“What remains of your honor is mine until Shockwave gets the materials you agreed to give to her!” snarled Trema. She put the knife in her bag. “Whoever trained you may claim this once your debt is paid.” Shockwave then took out a stack of rings and put them at her table.
“Apologies for the disturbance,” she bid. She then walked out. As she did, she put her right pointer and middle fingers onto her chin and bowed to Trema. Amy leaned toward Sira.
“Time to leave, I think,” she guessed.
“I couldn’t agree more,” replied Sira. Amy paid for the meal as the three witches departed and gave a slight curtsey to Misty. The manager, a brown rat, arched an eyebrow.
“What was that all about?” he asked Misty.
“Later, sir,” dismissed Misty. “We have customers to take care of.”
“It’s almost closing time anyway,” continued the Head Chef, a tiger.
“Good point,” conceded the manager. He then turned to his customers. “Last orders, please. We apologize for the altercation that took place. Anyone who returns tomorrow will receive a 40% discount off their orders.”