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Exposed to the remains of Kowalski's Amnesia Mist and catapulted into the darkest alleys, King Julien has no idea who he is or if he is where he should be, and enlists the help of a stray cat named Max who tells him of three bats that "know all things unknown".
When the penguins and Lucinda find out what happened, they go great lengths to find him and get his head straight again... at least enough for him to take up his crown.
Little by little along the way, Chauncey (Julien's temporary title) finds he has instincts, impulses, skills, and talents that might be important clues to who he is, was, and shall be again, but will that be enough before his visit to the Blood Sisters?
It was mid-summer, and Zeke and Amy's mother, Stella Dehauntedo, had come home from her long-term job of researching for her book Redefining the Human-Animal: How our fellow species inspire culture around the world. The title needs work (it's too long), but otherwise the documentary was practically complete, which meant one thing for the Dehauntedo family: Barbeque night. They had to wait until 9:00 pm, however, to see to one more member of the family. You see Zeke and Amy's foster-cousin, Lucinda Hira Cattamaki (also known as Duchess Lucinda), is also there exotic pet... a ring-tailed lemur who lives in Central Park Zoo (usually closes at nine) with her twin brother, Julien Darius Cattamaki XIII (better known as King Julien) and his two subjects: Maurice Fefikaiay (just goes by Maurice, although his last name's meaning, "wise aye-aye" is self explanatory) and Mort (being an orphan, this mouse lemur has no family title, but if you ask the king, it would've most likely be "Disadisa" as in... "over-eager and annoying"). The other animals in the zoo, which we'd meet later, keep there family names to themselves... if they remember them. Of course, its remembering that this story is mainly about. "I got to hand it to you and your people-relations sis," King Julien said between bites, "this is one impressive burger... is it really vegetarian?" "Wouldn't let you eat it otherwise, bro." Duchess Lucinda giggled.
"I like barbeque night," Mort said, "the food's a little bit dry, though."
"Way ahead of yah," Maurice came in carrying a tray full of condiments... mustard, ketchup, unions, pickled relish... the works. One special request of there one female, he even brought chocolate sauce, marshmallow-cream spread, and peanut butter!
"Don't knock it till you try it." the duchess grinned, seeing the looks on the boys' faces.
"Don't make this any grosser then it already is, Lucinda!" the spoiled king scowled, "Maurice, get me some side-dish bowls, I intend to dip my meal. Oh! And bring me ketchup while you are at it."
"What?! You're highness, we already have plenty..."
"Eh-eh-eh! I mean get me the better ketchup, Maurice. I cannot take up in my royal tummy the kind that comes out of a clear bottle with the label on it... I want the kind from a solid red one, like at the restaurants! On second thought, don't! I can be getting it myself. Rumor is having it that the penguins are having falleying of tuna tonight.... no doubt they'd be wasting the good stuff on those foul-fuming fishy-fish!"
"Please, for both our sakes, come straight back empty handed if the penguins are not home. I grew up in this world, New York City, and I know how bad it is to be borrowing stuff without permission!"
"Silly sister! Kings don't get permission, they give it! I do not need to be asking, for every great leader knows that borrowing is a-okay, as long as you return the item... if not replace it.... before it is missed. Lighten up, Lucinda. You are worrying too much."
Mort ran up and hugged his ruler's feet, and smiled "Hurry back, okay?"
King Julien kicked Mort off, and trudged off what just happened, veggieburger in hand. Duchess Lucinda couldn't ignore her instincts, and was about to warn him again, but Maurice held her back and told her, "Let him go and learn the hard way. He's not a little prince anymore."
Not long after that, at Penguin HQ, King Julien had a sense he was on his own, but he called out anyway, "Hello... neighbors?" Definitely empty. What was it his sister said again? Julien's mind filled up with at least two different flashbacks, and while he knew the first one was honest enough, he preferred the second one better:
"Do us both a favor bro, and take everything from them you see fit. You'll give them back somehow anyway, especially if it's any embarrassing pictures of them you managed to dig up. Oh! By the way, if you find anything in Kowalski's lab that has to do with Doris the Dolphin, don't be afraid to destroy them for me, okay?"
"Yes!" the idiot king told himself, "that is exactly what my sister would've said if she were seeing things my way, so that is what I am going to do... except maybe the ruin Mr. Know-It-All-Science-guy's love shrine, that's just too far." He noticed a red Ketchup bottle on the table (slightly suspicious, since the penguins have a fridge and are usually more careful with left-overs, but at the same time convenient, as it gives him a reason to take it.) "Besides, one should be knowing better then to be letting a condiment go to waste." Just as convenient was one of Skipper's coffee mugs in the sick, freshly washed. A perfect substitute for a side dish bowl, but something was amiss... when he tried to squirt the ketchup into the mug, nothing came out! Was it empty? Of course not, as the bottle had some weight in it, but when he did squeeze something out, it wasn't ketchup, but some kind of pink fog. He seen it before, but it didn't effect him last time (it's easier to hold you breath while picking your nose) but had not seen where it came from in that moment, this took him by surprise and, Julien stumbled backwards while swallowing the part of his practically contaminated veggieburger he bitten off, he was dizzy and unaware that he fell upon and activated one of the emergency exits, just as the penguins were coming home.
"Well at least we all know that the catapult system still works like a dream." Skipper smiled before he finds the unwittingly forsaken crown on the floor... recognizing it. "Just the moron to test it. Hey!!! Ringtail!!! You forgot your headgear...!!! And a parachute!!!"
"Skipper," Kowalski said, showing the uneaten half of the veggieburger and the flattened "Ketchup" bottle, "I don't think those are all he forgotten."
"So he didn't finish his lunch and we're fresh out of ketchup... big whoop!"
"This wasn't ketchup... it was Amnesia Mist!"
"Kowalski, you put memory erasing spray in a ketchup bottle?!"
"Pfft! But of course! Ketchup is Amnesia Mist, Hot sauce is Truth Serum, and Grape Jelly is sleeping gas!"
Kowalski loosens the lid on the Jelly jar, slightly, and unleashed a micro-dose of the thick, midnight-blue fumes, which looked as poisonously blue as Zyklon B. He inhales them, yawns, and passes out on the table. Rico rushes to Kowalski's side, and then upchucks a water balloon, which he drops on Kowalski's sleeping head, reviving the intelligent bird, who was bewildered at first, but alright. Rico couldn't help laughing.
"Oh, thanks Rico." Kowalski stated, "Now, where was I..."
"So what's mustard?" Skipper asked, holding an untampered mustard bottle.
"Well, it's a tangy condiment you put on your hotdog." Kowalski grinned, squeezing the bottle to prove it was harmless.
"Mmm. Sounds delicious." Skipper said.
Rico was confused, and Private tried not to smile. "Wow! Deja-Vous!" Rico told the younger penguin, who can only answer "You... don't know the half of it, Rico." (Earlier, Skipper told Private to get his own "secret life" when refusing to reveal why he can't set foot in Denmark... Long story short, Private managed to do just that.)
"The point is," Kowalski said, "while breathing in the mist is one thing, ingestion is quite another! A simple breath can erase short-term memory, like events and socializing, but if its taken with food it might be overpowered and erase short term memories along with long term memories revolving around identity."
"You made my brother forget who he is?!!!" All four penguins turned around, and at the door stood Duchess Lucinda, furious at what she just heard.
Meanwhile, Julien had landed in an alley (where a stray cat was dumpster diving), and woke up completely unaware of who he is... or even if he's even home. "I sure hope I'm not really living here... this place disgusts me! I do not like it, I'm knowing that much."
Soon enough, Julien managed to notice the stray cat and started asking it questions as to where and who they are. The cat told Julien that his name is Max, "... and I don't think you live here, but we just met, so I can't be too sure."
"So you don't know who I am," Julien sighed, disappointing, "I'm really wishing I do. I don't know for sure, but I have the feeling I should be gloating about it, and that gloating should be nothing personal."
"Some have all the luck," Max complained, "when you live on the streets... and I can tell you haven't always, by the way... anyways, out here, you have nothing to be proud of."
Suddenly, a pair of growling noises caused the acquainted animals to jump, startled. They thought they were being stalked by predators at first, but it only took seconds for them to realize it was only their stomachs (Max had starved most of his life, and Julien hadn't finished his dinner, he recalls that much... though not so much as to what he likes to eat)! Max shared some of the cold anchovy pizza slices he found in the trash with the lemur, but the great stench and tiniest taste of those fish almost ruined Julien's appetite... almost. Strangely, at the sight of a rotten apple rolling out of the dumpster, Julien found he was against himself: it was clear that he doesn't normally eat food from the garbage, but he obviously prefers fruit, and was STARVING! Out of instincts, he caught hold of the spoiled fruit and dived into its juicy deliciousness. He was lucky Max was around to help... the foolish lemur practically swallowed it whole and almost choked on it.
"Make it last, okay?" Max giggled as Julien recovered, "You sure like taking chances, I know that much."
"So I might as well start calling you Chauncey... if you are okay with it."
"I don't think that's my real name, but why not? I guess I could be using a fake name until my real one is coming back to me. Max, right?"
"Do you think I will ever be remembering who I am?"
"Like you'd expect me to give a good answer for that one. All I can say is that I hope so, but I can't assure it.... I'm not one of the Blood Sisters."
"Who are they? Do I know them?"
"I doubt it! The Blood Sisters are a trio of vampire bats with weird powers, I hear-say that they know everything unknown... Then, now, and later! Many claim they make voodoo dolls, used to control anyone if they consider the poor soul a threat, and their most guarded secret is their own past. Some say that they escaped a freak-show in Hoboken years ago, others claim they are human gypsies under a vampire curse since the prime of World War II, and the rest say its just a cruel hoax of a bunch of field mice. Whatever it is, they are strange and mystifying... the fates of the animal world!"
"Sounds much so like the kind of women I need to be seeing. Take me to them... you can, yes!"
"Take you to the Blood Sisters?! You're nuts Chauncey! Their fortunetelling caravan in the basement in an apartment building in the middle of the suburbs is at most a two-day trip as the cat walks, and that is the least of our problems! Even the quickest path is full of traffic, reckless passerby's, poor night-time storm-shelters, animal control officers, vicious predatory dogs with the teeth and the eyes and the claws and the teeth and... meow!" Chauncey (Julien) almost fell backwards as he watched the scardy-cat Max jump up from the ground and onto the lowest platform of a nearby fire escape. "Oh no! Survival out here is hard enough without having to bother those bats! Forget it!"
"Fine!" Chauncey (Julien) said, walking out in a huff, "Don't come! Just point me in the right way to go, and I shall be heading to them all by myself. To think, we'd be better off if we traveled together, and I might be wrong, but I might recall knowing someone to be making your life easier one I'm remembering who I am."
Max jumped down, looking interested, "Maybe I can ask them about my odds of finding a family, with humans if I'm lucky, and if there's time... we might both get to ask about our love-lives! Sound good, huh Chauncey?"
"Oh Max! I am liking how you are thinking."
As the time passed, it was found that Max wasn't fooling around about the dangers, and they especially had a hard time shaking off Officer X, or would've if not for his Co-officer, George (who's new on the force). Along the way, Chauncey/Julien rediscovered his ability to dance (taking a short-cut through a night-club, despite the No Pets Allowed sign), his untrained fighting-style (hitting George with a stick to guard Max), his ability to climb trees upon reaching Suburbia (both up and down, much to Max's impression) leap-jump (ruining a Brownie Scout candy-stand enough to rouse up the scouts into doing the fighting for him) and swimming (in the undrained pool of a house for sale).
By the time they got to the Blood Sisters abode, Duchess Lucinda (after bribing, blackmailing, and stealing a kiss from Kowalski) had just pulled herself together after her awareness clones scouted everywhere for her brother with the penguins. "All this focus in so many places got most of my recall on the recon all tried up in a Celtic Knot," The she-lemur admitted in regret, "I got bubkis!"
Maurice shown up in a bad time. "You better recover our king soon... Mort is driving me crazy without the royal feet! Oh! And duchess, the pigeons told me your 'cousin' Amy is gonna be late tonight, something about Officer X and some animal control newbie getting all tied up over a vandalism. She sends her regrets though.. well that, and one of there choco-snapper bars. Sugar free, of course."
"Thanks Maurice, but I'm covered on this..." Lucinda showed she still had her bottle of chocolate sauce from the barbeque, but Mort, crying and desperate to fill the void, ran right at her and grabbed her feet, tripping her up in the process.
While Kowalski and Duchess Lucinda found out in said insistent that peanuts and dark chocolate has epicatechin (an antioxidant/flavored proven to improve memory) and Skipper was sarcastically teasing them for being able to "Speak geek", Chauncey/Julien and Max had there fortunes told, but the lost lemur was upset that they only let Max out... and horrified that they wouldn't let him go. Even the blind one seemed to be eying him! Fearing the worst for his new friend, Max ran to get help from the only animals he knew tough enough to deal with vampires... which happen to be the penguins... to get their on time, Max had to work up the nerve to hijack a motorcycle.
Once at the zoo, Max and Skipper compared notes, and they soon realized that his "Chauncey" was their "King Julien", and he's in danger. Taking the crown with them, as well as one of Duchess Lucinda's "peanut-butter winky" flavored veggieburgers, they all hopped onto the motorcycle for a rescue mission and told the female to stay behind on this one. Using Zirconia to make a set of wheels of her own, Lucinda followed anyway... and managed to explain to her friends that the Blood Sisters aren't real vampires, it was just part of the act:
The "blood" on their mouths was really orange tea and tomato juice, the accents were a force of habit, and Hemona's main excuse for "biting" the lemur king (other then being blind and mistaking him for his fruit-scent... only sucking the juice from off his fur) was mainly pressure-points with theatrical placebo.
"He believes we are able to enslave him," Plateliette explained, "therefore, we somewhat can."
"Even if we are real vampires," claimed Curculita, "we only want to help, not hurt. After all, the only way a victim to this sort of power can be freed without the head vampire getting slain is if the 'master' or 'mistress' decides to let that poor soul go willingly. This one is lucky, especially since we left no fang-marks as we do our enemies."
"Regardless," Hemona concluded, "we cannot insure he'd wake up unless we can restore the memory of who as well as erase the fact that I 'bit' him in the first place. Tell me, Lucinda... is that Dream Token truly perfected?"
"I'll never know how you know these things," Lucinda admitted, "and it is truly perfected, except for one glitch: I can only use it while I'm sleeping, and we don't have that kind of time."
The three bats gave the answer in unison: "Focus!"
It didn't take long for the female lemur to get it, and she used meditation to entrance herself to a similar mind-state as her brother, and once restoring enough consciousness to for him to try her sandwich, they both woke up. "I cannot be believing that I've been eating out of the garbage enough to accept this!" the male ring-tailed lemur shouted, "I, King Julien, will not be standing for that to happen again. I don't know how I blanked out, but I'm glad you woken me up again sis." He reached to straighten his crown, but on the memory of having one, he freaked out upon realizing he wasn't wearing it (at least until Skipper gave it back).
Later on, King Julien shown he was alright with taking the same brand of confections as the lower-classes (as long as he is sure with what he's using), and at the following Dehauntedo barbeque night to celebrate Amy's new troop finally earning the self-defense badge, and the royal twins, of strong memory of that much, didn't forget to thank Max, who was happily adopted by Pappy (accepting the "gift" from his "mermaid") and is now the mascot of Dehauntedo's Seafood Company... though he still dumpster-dives for old time's sake.
END OF ARTICLE