It’s been a year since the Demonic Invasion.
As has already been established, Blueberry’s herd and the Fondas weren’t really involved in all of that.
Blueberry was relieved to hear that Rock made it out of the War alive, and Rock has now returned to the herd and resumed his post as toughy, having finally mastered his superstrength. He proved it by hugging Blueberry without turning him into a mangled pile of blue fluff and broken bones. Rock is now Yin-Yang’s second-in-command.
One of Rock’s foals, Simone, turned out to be just like her daddeh, and has taken her daddeh’s place as Dwayne’s pupil at Dr. Pierre Faucheuse’s School for Gifted Individuals.
Fortunately, the ball she sent flying when her powers kicked in didn’t hurt anyone.
It did, however, punch a hole through a tree.
Blueberry was also shocked when he was shown the footage of Rock and Cannonball’s signature combo move.
The Fondas have fully settled into their new home by now.
Moonflower Fonda is about three months old, and is a happy, healthy little girl. Calvin’s gang and the rest of the Fluffy Cabal came to celebrate the birth. Judy was a couple of months away from giving birth herself. Calvin said it was going to be a boy, in a tone that conveyed that he would be thrilled if Moonflower and Quinton got together later in life.
They had decided on the name immediately. Calvin had always wanted to name his kid after his late father.
When they told Pierre what Quinton’s middle name was going to be, he cried tears of joy and hugged Calvin.
By now, Pierre has admitted to Calvin that he sees Calvin as the son he never had.
Pierre does actually have a son, as he also told Calvin. But he’s the son Pierre wishes he never had.
And no, Pierre wasn’t talking about Umbra. He was talking about someone else entirely.
When Calvin asked, Pierre also admitted that he has three children, actually. Not counting Nikola and Audrey, either. He knows it, they know it, and he and his daughters do care about each other, but they chose not to let everyone else know it. His daughters use their respective mothers’ maiden names. They have a very good reason to do this.
Pierre’s first marriage ended in a messy and painful divorce, and his second wife was the love of his life. She was murdered by one of his many enemies.
After that, Pierre stopped dating for good.
And that’s the reason.
Calvin was surprised to learn that Pierre has children, and even more surprised to learn that Pierre’s daughters are none other than Dr. Valerie Victoria Valentine, and Susan Stoley, the new CEO of FauCorp.
The two of them and Calvin aren’t just Pierre’s protégés, they’re his heirs.
Tommy pulls up in the Mothership, having finally returned from the vital task he was undertaking in town.
“Daddy’s home! And he’s got grub!”
Unlike when James Oldman said it, it sounds friendly.
And especially unlike when James said it, grub doesn’t mean fluffies.
As Tommy opens the driver door, the smell of KFC joins the smell that usually wafts out of the Mothership.
When the smell reaches the herd’s warren, Blueberry stands to attention, a look on his face like he just heard a nuke going off and he knows he won’t make it to the bomb shelter in time.
“Hey Big Blue, you wanna bite?”
Maria is inside, feeding Moonflower before the chicken goes cold.
Pierre insisted she do it inside, for decency’s sake. He is a bit of a prude.
Yeah, it shouldn’t have to be pointed out that Maria’s not holding a bottle.
Woodstock is watching TV with Wakko, Nikola and Audrey.
Woodstock and Wakko have had a bite of brownie.
They offered the twins a bite, but the twins politely turned them down.
Blueberry gazes up at Tommy, a look of dread on his little blue face.
“Chikkin nummies am bad nummies.”
“Naw, man. It tastes amazing.”
“Nu, nu! If Tommeh num chikkin nummies, den Tommeh gu foweba sweepies! Jus wike owd smawty! Bwuebewwy nu wan dat! Bwuebewwy wike Tommeh! Tommeh am jus hab babbeh! Nu num, Tommeh! Moonfwower nee Tommeh!”
Blueberry tells Tommy the story of how the herd’s previous smarty, a fat, puke green glutton of a fluffy, met his fate at the hands of Colonel Sanders.
Before you ask: 56 lives and counting. The bastard’s broken the record for most reincarnations in one year. If he knew, all that shit would taste a little bit sweeter.
When Blueberry is finished, the Death of Fluffies shows up, grinning. He’d just won a bet with the other Deaths about when Blueberry would finally tell Tommy this story.
A couple of the other Deaths are with him. They’re taking the loss in stride. They aren’t sore losers. Azrael made sure that they wouldn’t be, in case any of their, shall we say, clients actually manage to beat them at chess.
Or whatever game their assigned species plays to decide their fate.
The Deaths don’t really need money, and only the Death of Humans has money. Hey, what do you think happens to all those coins people get buried with? Charon’s got bills to pay, too.
And the Deaths already know the outcome, though, like their boss, they’re good at pretending that they don’t know. Even though they know that they do.
It’s just for the fun of it, really.
YU WOSE, GENTWEMEN. NEENEW NEENEW.
IT WAS A CLOSE ONE.
DON’T COMPLAIN, DEATH OF TYRANNOSAURUS REXES. YOU WERE OFF BY A DAY.
The Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes, now retired, shrugs.
NOW THAT IT’S OVER, SHALL WE BE OFF, GENTLEMEN?
YUS. DEATH OF FWUFFIES GUT A JAWB TU DU. WEN WIWW HOOMINS WEAWN, NU TAKE FWUFFIES UP TU DA TOPSIE OF DA AI-FUW TOWAH?
I’LL BE COMING WITH YOU. SOMEONE AT THE BOTTOM JUST SLIPPED ON THE MESS AND BROKE HER NECK. GONE IN AN INSTANT. SHE WAS ONLY TWELVE.
AND GOODBYE TO YOU, DEATH OF TYRANNOSAURUS REXES. IT’S BEEN NICE SEEING YOU AGAIN.
SAY HEWWO TU DEATH OF MAMMUFS FOW DEATH OF FWUFFIES.
OH, HE’S BACK ON DUTY? I’M GUESSING VALERIE IS BEHIND THIS. I SWEAR, SHE’S JUST AS BAD AS HER FATHER.
With that, the Deaths part ways and depart from the forest.
The Death of Fluffies waves at Blueberry before he goes.
Blueberry waves back.
The Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes had to come out of retirement for one last job in the 90s. There was an incident.
Victor said afterwards “This is why we weren’t letting Pierre go see Jurassic Park, Deston!”
Pierre was reprimanded by the Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes for the mischief he had gotten up to. The Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes said SKREEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOONK. Pierre got the point, and hasn’t cloned any more dinosaurs since.
He did clone some dodos, but the dodo went extinct precisely because it was completely harmless. And stupid. And delicious.
The Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes looks exactly what you think he looks like: T-Rex skeleton in a black cloak.
His teeth are all scythe blades.
Tommy, who listened to every word of Blueberry’s story with sincere fascination, speaks up.
He can see and hear the Deaths, but he was ignoring them. They weren’t here on business, so why they were here didn’t matter.
“I get it, Big Blue. But look, watch this.”
Tommy pulls out a piece of chicken from the bucket. Blueberry jumps back like Tommy just pulled out a live grenade.
He tears a piece of chicken off the bone.
Then Tommy pops it in his mouth, chews it, and swallows.
Blueberry reacts like he just saw Tommy swallow a cyanide pill.
“Relax, Big Blue, I’m fine. Listen. It’s the bone you’ve gotta worry about. See, look, see the white hard long bit? That’s the bone. The meat is perfectly safe to eat, Big Blue. And it’s delicious, too. Here.”
Tommy tears another piece of chicken off and offers it to Blueberry.
After a minute of careful contemplation, Blueberry eats it, slowly, carefully, and is amazed when the Bone Fluff doesn’t come back to pick him up.
“Su… su chikkin nummies nu am bad nummies?”
“Just eat it carefully, don’t swallow the bones, and, y’know, don’t eat too much of it. It’s a bit fattening.”
“Su hewd can num chikkin nummies?”
“If they know not to eat the bones, then yeah. And hey, there’s the Boneless Bucket, too, no bones in it at all. I’ll bring the herd some tomorrow, you can show them, Big Blue. They listen to you, dude.”
“Otay. Fank yu, Tommeh.”
“No problemo, Big Blue.”
Yin-Yang runs up to the two with bad news. A couple of toughies from another herd tried to break in to plunder the brownie room. The herd’s toughies drove them off, but one of the toughies guarding the warren’s entrance got hurt bad.
Tommy and Blueberry follow Yin-Yang, after Tommy tells Maria to go get Pierre.
“Stay back! Stay back! Let me look at him, give us space, little dudes!”
Tommy kneels down by Lazarus, the badly injured toughy, and holds his hands above the fluffy, preparing to examine his wounds.
Then, after Tommy’s hands stop glowing, he stares at them with a blank look on his face, while Lazarus, now absolutely healthy, returns to his post.
Fortunately, Pierre witnessed the miracle that had just occured, and calls Calvin immediately.
Calvin adds healing hands to the list of Tommy’s powers.