Chapter 2  :  Hot Springs of Doom



~Those idiots.  Ask them to do one simple task and they screw it up… as usual.  If they weren’t my brothers, I’d string them up by their tails and leave them to freeze.  Of all the places we had to crash, it had to be Terra Nore.~



Repton shivered (but if anyone saw, they’d never live to tell the story).  Currently, his idiot brothers were fixing their bikes, and he was scouting the terra.  He wasn’t about to reduce himself to doing menial tasks. 



‘Hmmm… a cave,’ Repton turned to look back at his brothers who were hopelessly trying to piece together their rides.  With a roll of his eyes, he stalked off into the slightly warmer and dryer cave. 






Hot springs, that’s good.  Possibly contaminated water that will give me a rash… or spread brain worms, that’s bad,’ Stork mumbled aloud as he studied the underground hotspring he’d stumbled upon deeper into the cave.  Glancing back the way he came, he decided he’d die faster in the ship than in the cave.



Despite his grumbling, it was a well known fact (well, among merbs that is) that merbs loved hot springs.  Being cold blooded meant that they couldn’t survive long in cold climates, so a nice hot water soak was great for the bones. 



Stripping off his uniform and folding it carefully, the youth stacked it and his precious monitor off to the side where it would be safe (unless there was a cave-in, that is). 



‘Beautiful warm…mmmm… feet love warm… hands love warm…’ Stork looked around again, craining his ears for any unknown sounds.  Hearing nothing, he relaxed back in the hot spring.  There was no way Repton and his cronies would be hanging around on Terra Nore.  Lizards hated cold as much as Merbs did. 



Being alone with nothing but his thoughts was pretty normal for Stork.  He enjoyed his privacy.  The others were definitely more social than he’d ever desire to be.  He just couldn’t understand the attraction.  Aerrow was always mooning over Piper… and Starling.  Junko didn’t seem to care either way about girls… maybe he was gay.  And Finn… well, Stork was sure the blond was gay.  In fact, he’d bet anything that the teen was so far in the closet he didn’t even realize he was gay.  After all, he chased after every human female he met, yet every time a girl tried to get close he’d push her away. 



‘I guess Finn’s cute… for a human,’ Stork decided.  Mammals were so hard to understand.  Lizards on the other hand… well, they were easy to figure out.  Lizards had a one track mind.  Being carnivores, mostly they thought of hunting down their prey and proving their dominance over anyone weaker than them. 



Heh, Repton and his cronies aren’t very tough.  I could take them… well, maybe not Repton,’ Stork mused, thinking of the nicely muscled raptor… er, I mean, buff… ok, very hard to come up with an unattractive word for him.



After all, those little tattoo markings under his eyes were pretty attractive.  Stork trailed his fingers over his own pierced ears fondly.  Not many Merbs were brave enough to get their ears pierced.  Most were too afraid of getting lead poisoning.  Not that Stork hadn’t been petrified at the time…



A tumble of rocks made the Merb whip his head around frantically, shivers wracking his body for a moment.



‘Must have been the wind… or gnomes.  Gnomes are evil.  Especially lawn gnomes.  They spy on people and take their secrets back to their underground lairs… plotting and planning to one day take over the world!’ Stork stated to himself.  Everyone one knew that lawn gnomes were the enemy of all good things in the world.  And those who didn’t… they’d find out someday!



Either way, we’re all doomed.’



Relaxing back, the green skinned boy sighed as the heat spread through his body. 






Flicking his tongue out to taste the air, the raptor was pleased to note the slight taste of steam coming from one of the side tunnels.  It could take his brothers hours to finish the repairs.  Might as well enjoy the warmth, not to mention finally getting some peace and quiet away from his ever present crew. 



Walking down the tunnel, Repton’s ears suddenly perked at the faint sound of humming coming from deeper in the cave.  Snarling under his breath, he continued on silently.  Raptors were excellent hunters, after all.  And whoever dared to enter the same cave as him was going to be in for a nasty surprise.



Claws flexing in anticipation, the lizard crept forward towards the narrow entrance where he could now clearly see the steam rising from the depths.  A hot spring, perhaps?  Once he’d gotten rid of the intruder, it would be a relaxing place to spend his time. 



The raptor tensed to strike as he peered silently around the entranceway to catch a glimpse of the fool that was about to feel his wrath.  He bit back a low growl as he spotted the green-skinned Merb soaking defenselessly before him.  The paranoid storm hawk hadn’t even noticed him. 



This was the opportunity of a lifetime.  He hadn’t had the opportunity to… repay the pilot for his tricks.  That little salamander had gotten the better of him once, but not this time.  Repton flexed his claws again with a smirk.  Oh yes… revenge was sweet.