A breathless wander off into the middle of nowhere, straight into silent oblivion. Buzz knew this would only arise from his venture to the other side of the world. Where Woody was bound to arrive with little hopes of returning back past the menacing Prospector Pete and where Buzz would have to fight against fate to find him and bring him back home. A place where directions to follow were a whole different kettle of fish.
An artificial laser of light and photons to his chest. This would only hit Buzz Lightyear if something stopped him from bringing his best friend back into safety, where Andy's spirit would crumble apart like falling dominoes lining up together to make a bigger picture so majestic to the distant observer. It would hit him and crash right through him, breaking him into his small plastic pieces to make him incomplete. Surely unfixable against shattered hopes and spirits. He didn't see how he could overcome this if he failed -
A stylish drop hurtling towards the ground with no form of levetation to break his fall. Buzz Lightyear would only fall. Straight down into bowels of a pit unknown, where darkness brewed and desolation lingered. So tall and seamless, Buzz did not know the odds. He could fall on and on - just simply accepting his impulsive destiny with open arms as his wings failed to beat - or he could drop and touch the ground with heavy grace, where his body would break into a million pieces. Only these outcomes will ensue from a failed mission. If he lost his best friend now - if Woody could not reach for the sky one last time - then all would be hopeless.
An infinity with no beyond.
Time just seemed to 'stop' as he clung onto the underside of Ms. Davis' car in hopes it would lead him a step closer to boarding the plane heading straight to Japan, palms shaking vigorously as the heat and the fumes entangled with his weakening senses. Rich and wretched stenches of gas and bitter exhaust fumes filled his senses with a sheathing embrace. It clouded his thoughts leaving him dazed as his mind did cartwheels at the rushing air hitting his body all over.
This was a stupid decision! A mental exclamation began to burden his thoughts as his grip tightened onto the pipes forming a complex section of the vehicle's churning stomach. A sudden butter taste of decaying elements washed over him again. The thick aroma clogging up his lungs brought his thoughts back over to a decision he'd made barely five minutes before. Ms. Davis' car had been there right in front of him as he made his way across the porch the drive, just moments away from taking away on its trip, a chance readily available for him to take.
But this hadn't been the case. He'd decided to go under and not into the vehicle, making the most ridiculous mistake he could've made in that kind of mental pressure. He felt patronised.
Nothing smelled more abhorrent than a combination of rusty steel and gas.
The Space Ranger shook his head, trying to make sense of his thoughts as he clung to the wedge between the under-pipes. Buzz Lightyear was not sure about this. About the path to take that would lead to the place his best friend was trapped - where the one heart that taught him of the true values in life could be beating in its synthetic hold of wisdom and experience. Even from this angle, any path handed to him looked just as unfavourable at the next, both leading off in completely different directions. Hot to cold - simmering to blazing - or just from a diabolical route to contemplate and another one worse off.
He could take the plane; that, he was very certain of. But who was to guarantee it wouldn't fall into the oceans once it took off? Who was to even begin to make certain - if there was actually someone wise enough out there with inner knowledge to prove it - that Woody and the rest of the Round-Up Gang would even arrive there safely? That he'd, himself, arrive there in one piece, or even take off on his next quest at all?
There was no-one. Therefore, Buzz had little hope. He knew no soothsayer or being with a clairvoyant sentiment to guarantee his failure or success in his venture. If there was anything out there wise enough, then it was something purely out of his logic - his built-in knowledge of how the world works. Of how there would be no-one to play God for him where he was going and of how unpredictable life can be for those ill-equipped minds who just don't expect things coming.
His inner knowledge could not fathom such philosophy.
How long had passed? A minute? Five minute? Ten? It was impossible for him to tell, the wind from the travel too provocative to his thoughts. All he could feel now was the revving engine beginning to turn and the air swerving his mind in all sorts of directions. And then felt the vibrations in the rusty metal come to a still as few moments after the crumpled road-works changed in their texture and turned into wrecked cobblestone. The ground always changed when Ms. Davis made the turn from the road into the car-park, so Buzz trusted his waking instinct that now was his right time, and that no-one else was near to catch him in the act of merely being alive, and started at his mental countdown.
Five… The car was slowing down. He could feel it in the wind and smell it in the gas. Four… He just had to be ready. Prepare himself for this, then he can charge away within instants behind the massive stack of shopping trolleys and be done with it. Three… Life was to come to a still at any moment now. It would stop and then he'd manoeuvre himself away from sight with careful grace. Two… He could taste it in the fumes now.
One! Much to his surprise, the vehicle gave way. Crunching stones underneath tires were his signal to embark forward.
And so he let go, landing easily on his heels. Only for the car to turn immediately and exit the car-park without a moment's notice.
Gasping, he was halted in his tracks shortly, completely taken aback before he felt embedded initiative guide him to the underside of a rotund SUV reflecting the colour of the dying skies. Ms. Davis had left later that day with her children than he'd predicted, and was forced to take cover for several hours whilst she got her children ready and made lunch for them all, which was promptly followed by a lasting temper tantrum from a very aggravated Molly who obviously thought there was something better to do on a Monday afternoon than have to go out on yet another boring shopping trip. So by the time she'd left her house, it was gone three in the afternoon and now it was approaching four.
And Buzz Lightyear honestly didn't know where he was at this time. The quick inspection of the surroundings proved that he was not where he'd thought he'd be. Ms. Davis was supposed to go to a supermarket a few blocks down from Al's Toy Barn, but judging from what was around him he wasn't even there at all. No where near where he'd thought he'd be, in fact. As his brief scrutiny of the area around him before had told him he was currently at a completely different place.
For he should be at the supermarket not that far away from Al's apartment building, where he'd hidden a kidnapped Woody no less than twenty-four hours before, but he wasn't anywhere near there.
He was in the car-park of the town's shopping mall. At the other side of town.
"You're going to be stars!"
The case was opened suddenly, and strong beams of light washing in fumbled over the first few sets of the Round Up Gang. From the corner of his eye, Pete lay in his box, completely untouched as he'd seemed before.
That lying cheat!-
"Oh, I can't believe this is happening!" A narcissistic Al unpacked the main items of his set, carefully lifting up the star of the show from his hold of foam and mutual understanding of the times lying ahead and placing him gently down on his hotel room bed before working on the rest. As the other three were removed from the case, they caught glances of the room around them and instantly concluded that it did not bear any traditional values of the country they were in, much to their surprise. Though not to such a great extent as Al had never been one to keep living conditions at a high sentimental level, no matter who he was mentoring towards fame, stardom and extreme loneliness from the rest of toy society. It was a traditional hotel room: Small, cramped, and smelling of some sanitizer that didn't work too well on the room service the previous guests had ordered form last week. "It seems only yesterday I started collecting the collection ten years ago!"
More like a hundred, Jessie wanted to roll her eyes, but if she did she'd be breaking so many rules the conceived result occurring from it would be unpredictable. That risk was one she could not take, so kept her face still - completely emotionless behind her frontage of a blistering smile and glittering eyes. "In just a few hours, I'm going to be rich, baby!" A fist thrown into the air signified his joy
What a waste-
"Oh, I just have to get some more pictures of you all to show to all my workers!" Al exclaimed, his filthy, gorging eyes pulsing in anticipation. He slapped his hands together, his cracked lips pursing into the biggest smile known to mankind. "And they thought I wouldn't make it! Boy are they going to be sorry."
The chicken man grinned, moving back from the bed and out of their lines of sight. Clashing of objects cascading together ignited in the depths of their hearing, and fear began to rise within the hearts of the vulnerable. Pete, however, knew Al's shenanigans would bring dire amounts of prepayment for the museum, so let any precaution in him subside.
To Woody's right, Jessie and Bullseye lay together in a disorganized heap, animated smiles pursing at their lips. For moments he paused in his tension, wondering about how the two were adjusting to the loss of darkness and claustrophobia. Were they grateful? Or were they feeling downhearted knowing that they were so close to their polished glass displayed? He didn't know the answer to any of the questions. Their miens were expressionless behind their painted façades.
The silence was abandoned. "Oh, I just can't believe it!" He pulled the camera from the rest of his set, ready to position the collectibles for their first official taster of a life to embark in the limelight.
Buzz paced his way up the block on fast feet, his alert senses eloping tersely with his surroundings. His eyes trained on the pathway ahead of him, he spotted a shroud of bushes on the sidewalk to his left and diverted himself towards it, diving into its cover. The breath was knocked out of him at the impact, but he resiled promptly, daring not to waste any more time than he already had.
He scanned his surroundings, his eyes scrutinising what was around him in search for any familiar signs: Anything that would give him an indication as to where he could be in the city.
But he found nothing. No signs. No hope. And it stayed this way until at least morning.
Ostentatious silence smouthered his thoughts with an ambient grasp.
"I've got everything!" A mad voice proclaimed with breathless anticipation over the pretentious commotion inside the case over everything on the outside coming to an abrupt stop. "Every last piece of the set!" From the way their bulging escort was panting heavily like a rabid dog under the surging sun's pernicuous tenure, it was obvious that a smidge of physical discharge had completely stolen his voice. "I - I have it all!"
A moment of silence. The Round-Up Gang had no idea what could wait on the other side- "Excuse me, sir?" Even trapped like cantankerous beasts inside this case, they could hear the high-pitched voice and were instantly able to identify the speaker as being female. But still the accent to the tone was not there behind the muffles their barrier to the outside world forged. They could be anywhere, for all they knew.
But they already knew better. They were only going to be here and, this, they were absolutely sure of.
"I've got the set! Just like Mr. Konishi wanted!" The case thrust forward suddenly as he displayed the trolley of collectible. Inside it, havoc spread at the sudden disruption to motion. "Every last bit!" Al was breathless at the anticipation filling up within him. After all that time waiting and searching for the last pieces to his set, he'd finally found them and now he was at last up to standing his own fifteen minutes in the limelight! Now that he's finally made it, Woody and the rest of the Gang knew he wasn't going to give up on his chance or triumph so easily. It would be completely out of his character to do so and it was blatantly clear that Al was not going to miss out on his instant fortune to his set.
Now that would just be completely unlike him.
"Excuse me?" The woman asked again, her voice sounding muffled from where the toys were inside the case like she was trying to speak through cardboard and a very fine layer of some airy substance. A moment of quiet stilled. "Sir?"
"Oh, just get me Mr. Konishi!" Al retorted, his voice shaking with a hazard of snapping. A startled gasp of the woman ignited. "And be quick about it! This is important business! I will not have anything screw it up! Do you hear me?"
And then the pieces of the waiting game began to fall into place.
"Ah! Mr. Konishi!" Al staggered over towards the grey-suited business-man, pulling off the biggest smile his greasy face could offer when Konishi rotated his head in the buffered man's direction. "How wonderful it is to see you!" Al raised a hand in the air in solicitous greeting, almost tripping over the trolley of cases and boxes as he guided them forward.
Mr. Konishi held a hand clutching a silver cell-phone to his ear, his dark eyes now flitting in scrutinizing ostentation over Al's excessively uncoordinated frontage. He studied the man for a few moments, almost contemplating over whether this blundering fool was actually the one he'd heard over the phone promising his exhibits customers and profits, before he dismissed the thoughts. The mobile device was snapped shut in his hand. A few moments of patient anticipation were wasted as Al trotted his way over, struggling dejectedly with his belongings. "Mr. Konishi!"
The manager lifted an eyebrow, "Yes?"
"I have the set!" Al halted in his steps, completely at a loss of breath. Panting his energy back, he raised a hand in the air to signify his foreboding recovery. "Every last piece of it! It's all here!"
A further study, and then the manager became complacent with what he saw. A smile ripped across his withered face, wrinkled and dry with the signs of dying age. "Ah, McWhiggan!" He slapped his palms together in eager anticipation, the sly grin unmoving. "Just the man I wanted!" Mr. Konishi beckoned the younger man closer to him with his cutting sienna eyes, spreading his hands once more in greeting. The top-of-the-chart cell-phone in his hands glistened intently, eager to relish in limelight. "I take it you have everything?"
"Every last bit!" Al felt gratitude towards the man he'd only just met. Finally - for once in his dirty, rotten life - he could get what he really deserved: Recognition and assuagement from a falling life. "It's all here. Just as you requested."
Smirk widening, Konishi directed his eyes towards the exit, where tunnels and cross-roads of interlinking hallways led on to the rest of the museum. "Come," He ushed. "I'll show you where the collection is to be displayed."
Al felt the anticipation within him soar through the roof. He still couldn't believe it!
He was going to be rich.