Hawk threw her last pie. It was not going to be enough. This Cog was a level 50, and she had used all her gags, mind Toon-up. She knew this was it. Why had she gone into this battle? Hawk knew that the Cog could see in her no longer twinkling eyes that she had been defeated. But instead of Hawk feeling the pain of the cog’s defeats, which would simply only take one more, she only felt the gentle hands of Grandmother, and Hawk knew that she only had a bad dream. “Are you alright, dear?” Grandmother patted the fur in between Hawk’s ears. “I’m fine, Grandmother.” Hawk smiled at her and got up out of bed. She wandered sleepily to the wardrobe, and put on her usual Vampire shirt, Pirate skirt, top hat, black cape, and black high top sneakers. Just as Hawk was exiting the small cottage, Grandmother looked at her and said, “Stay away from Bossbot Headquarters, dear.” Hawk stopped dead in her tracks and swallowed hard. How would Grandmother know exactly where she was going? “Yes, Grandmother.” Hawk gently shut the door and took off down the stony path. She opened the gate that led into Chip and Dale’s Minigolf. Hawk stared at the enormous gray castle that had a rusting sign labeled “Bossbot HQ.” Hawk padded to the tunnel and entered. Once she entered, she kept walking past the long dead trees, and the rain battered her face as she got into the black golf kart. She firmly took hold of the wheel and drove it into the tunnel labeled “Front Three.” Hawk had no clue what that meant. Once she was in, she silently crept past the field of moles, and into the hole between the very long, dead weeds. Hawk kept walking until she came to her secret castle. She halted on the white steps and thought about her dream. What a strange thing to even think about! Cogs only went to level 12, not 50! Suddenly large hands lifted her up into the air, interrupting her thoughts. Hawk shrieked in terror, and the hands gripped her tighter. The hands threw her into some kind of plastic box, and everything went black. When Hawk awoke she saw through black bars bright white light shining on white floors. She pushed herself up with her muscular arms and when she did she banged her head on hard metal. “Ow!” She grunted. Just then she heard large feet approaching what seemed to be her cage. “Zoobleslam.” The cog growled. “My name is Hawk now.” She pushed the words through chattering teeth as she cowered to a corner of the cage. “The CEO will be pleased to see you.” The cog’s voice cracked at the end of the sentence, and she saw his eyes flash as if he knew something she didn’t. He grunted as he unlocked the cage, reached into the corner to grab Hawk, and set her in a plastic box. During the terribly uncomfortable and bumpy ride to the CEO’s office, Hawk counted her gags. She had the full 80, but she wasn’t completely sure that would get her by. Hawk heard a door creak open and her box was set down. She clambered out and met the CEO face-to-face. Hawk gasped and jumped back. She wasn’t expecting him to be so close. The CEO grinned. “You haven’t been very toony, now have you?” Hawk held back another gasp. What did he mean by that? She’d never heard anything so silly. What had she done wrong? The CEO picked her up and gently set her in a cage. In this one, though, she could actually stand up without bruising her head. Hawk took out her bag of gags. She pulled out a birthday cake. Along with being one of the most powerful gags she carried, it was also one of the most delicious. Hawk’s stomach grumbled. Grandmother had made this cake for her, and it was still warm. Hawk never wanted anything more in her life than to eat this cake, but since it was one of the most powerful gags, she had to save it. She stuffed it back in the bag and pulled out a fruit pie. This was a lot smaller than the birthday cake, and it would only silence the growling for about an hour. But Hawk didn’t care. She savored every bite of the pie, and sat in the corner of the cage and watched the CEO’s meetings. Hawk stared at the extremely large window and saw the sky darkening. Grandmother would be looking for her. Hawk had to stop herself from crying out for Grandmother. The CEO unlocked her cage and threw his hands in to scoop up Hawk. Hawk hated the feel of his metal hands. She wanted to go home. If she could have one more chance she would never disobey Grandmother again. Hawk began to thrash and kick and scream for Grandmother. The CEO dropped her and she took off down the long hallway. Alarms went off and red lights flashed everywhere. Cogs came at her from all angles. Hawk had nowhere to run. Except over the shortest cog that was coming her way. All the cogs were confused when she leaped right over a metal head. She kept running, and running, and running. Did the hallway ever end? The cogs were on her heel, and, being robots, they never got tired. Hawk was panting heavier than she ever had before. All the modern doors she passed were a blur she was running so fast. If she slowed down, the cogs would catch her. If she kept going at this speed she was going to- Hawk suddenly hit a wall and then collapsed on the floor. She woke in the cage in the CEO’s office. Her head felt heavy, her chest ached, and she was so thirsty she thought that a desert would have more moisture than her tongue. She didn’t know how long it had been since she had tried running away, the CEO had drapes over the window now. She stared at his desk and saw him writing reports. Hawk wondered what he was going to do to her. She cowered into a corner once again and hoped that the CEO would never look over to her cage. But, after long experience, Hawk knew that nothing ever went her way, and in five minutes, or maybe an hour, Hawk could never tell the time anymore, the CEO peered through the metal bars. Hawk’s teeth chattered, and she tried to cower even farther away. The CEO came over and looked at her. She probably looked different than when she first arrived, she knew that she would be looking ill after all this stress, falling on the floor, and the bumpy rides in the boxes. The CEO came over to the cage, slowly unlocking it. In the same instant, he quickly opened the cage door, reached to the corner, and picked Hawk up. He looked at her, and then put her back in the cage. Hawk could hardly pay attention to reality. Everything seemed like a dream, and she wished it was. She was so tired and her head hurt so bad she thought it was going to explode. All she could think about was how wrong she was to not listen to grandmother, and how much she cared for her. Soon Hawk found her eyes closing, and she wondered how much longer she would be in this madhouse. Hawk didn’t have anything better to do, so she fell asleep once again. This time she dreamt of Grandmother, and the small cottage back on one of the hills in Chip and Dales Minigolf. She awoke to being bounced once again in a box, and then she was gently set down. She heard the cage lock, and for some reason the CEO had just set her box in the cage instead of just her. She climbed onto the rim of the box and looked around. She gasped in shock that this was not the CEO’s office, and that she was in a much smaller cage than the one in CEO’s office. She looked at the desk that was in the room, and squinted her eyes to try to read the writing on the nametag. Did that say Chairman? Oh no! Grandmother had told her about the Chairman! He was the ruler of all cogs! Hawk was shaking in the cage’s corner, and she stopped a little when she noticed that the room was empty. Hawk was so hungry she couldn’t even think straight. She took off her top hat and reached inside for some gags. She pulled out a cream pie. This one was still warm from grandmother’s oven too. She pulled it out of the pan tiny piece by tiny piece and ate it. Just as Hawk was licking the pan clean, the door opened and the Chairman walked in. Surprisingly he didn’t roll on huge trapezoid shaped wheels. He actually walked on two legs, just like a regular cog, or even more so like a toon. “I have been expecting you, Hawk.” The Chairman’s rumbling deep voice made the paintings on the wall shake. “Or should I say Zoobleslam?” Hawk cowered even further into the corner and said in the squeakiest voice she could possibly emit, “Hawk is fine.” The Chairman paced the room before he finally sat down in a huge chair and folded his hands together formally. “I have been watching the way you behave towards my friend CEO.” “And?” Hawk said in a sassy voice with a smirk on her face. “Don’t get in that tone with me.” The Chairman’s booming voice rattled Hawk’s cage. Hawk realized she went too far and she broke into a sweat. She took a bottle of seltzer water from her top hat. As she reached in there, she remembered the birthday cake that was ever so tempting to her earlier. She hid it behind her, a patchy plan formulating in her mind. She took a sip of the seltzer water, and then sprayed it on herself to cool herself down. “Are you okay?” The Chairman began to walk towards her cage. Hawk took out a birthday cake and flung it at him between the metal bars. While he was stunned, she broke off the top of the seltzer bottle can and used it as a lock pick. She pushed the creaky cage door open. Leaping down, feeling the shock in her legs as it was a very long way, she pushed the extremely heavy office door open and took off running down the halls. This time the hallway was much shorter, and she was running so fast that all the metal doors and the plated nametags beside them were all a blur. There were no cogs racing at her heels but she still ran like there were millions of them. She burst out of the doors of the castle, not stopping even stopping to catch her breath. She would never go back there again. She raced back to the entrance of The Front Three, hopping onto the golf cart that she had left there. Hawk enjoyed sitting down and navigating her way back to the courtyard, as she finally had a chance to just breathe and let her heart slow down a bit. Reaching the courtyard and feeling the rain batter her face; she jumped out of the cart and sprinted towards the colossal tunnel. She reached the end of it, glad to finally see Chip and Dale’s Minigolf again. Reaching the gate that lead to the hill where Grandmother’s cottage was, she pushed it open, hearing the familiar squeak of it. She trudged up the hill, running out of breath at the very end. She opened the cottage door to find Grandmother knitting in her chair. “Welcome home, Hawk.” Grandmother flashed her a stern look. “What did I tell you about staying away from Bossbot HQ?” Hawk stood and slowly shut the cottage door. She faced Grandmother with an apologetic look and asked “How long was I gone?” Grandmother set her knitting down and got up out of the chair. “A few days. Did they hurt you? How many gags are you missing?” “One question at a time please, Grandmother.” Hawk laughed for the first time in, according to Grandmother, days. She was so glad to be back. She never wanted to go to Bossbot HQ again. Hawk looked out the window and saw the sky darkening. She stifled a yawn and wandered sleepily to the wardrobe. She put on her red hearts pajamas. “Goodnight, Grandmother.” Hawk dragged her feet over to the bed and pulled the purple sheets over her. “Goodnight, dear.” Grandmother walked back over to her chair and picked up on her knitting project. Tomorrow she was just going to bake with Grandmother. She was going to leave adventuring alone for a very long time.