AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written for Nanowrimo 2015. It is based on the book, but with a few characters from the series appearing later on. If you saw the series but haven't read the book, all you need to know for now is that Blackberry is a buck, Vilthuril is Fiver's mate and an Efrafan escapee, and Hyzenthlay is Primrose and shares the position of Chief Rabbit of Watership Down with her mate, Hazel. Both Hyzenthlay and Vilthuril also have visions like Fiver, but they work differently with each rabbit.
Copyright: Most rabbit characters belong to Richard Adams. The others belong to Decode/Nepenthe/YTV/Alltime/whoever owns the Watership Down series. The human characters belong to me. Do anything you want with this fic except claim it as yours.
Bigwig by "Wild Wind".
Blackberry taken from the WD film.
Buttercup and Fiver taken from the WD series.
Hazel by "Shaydeelady".
Hyzenthlay by "LadyMaryJane".
Pipkin by "Xbox-DS-Gameboy".
Spartina by "shuvuuia".
I forgot where I got Vilthuril.
Heart by "clker".
Map by "Karamidov".
The whole thing put together by Chipster-roo using Pinta. END AUTHOR'S NOTE.
Chapter 1: The Mysterious Hrududu
[...]this is a box thing humans travel inside to go places, a human carrying travelling thing, and it is noisy, and I do not like it at all!
-Fred L. Tate, The Warren
It was an ordinary day on Watership Down. It was late summer and most of the rabbits were either sleeping in the burrows below ground or having an enjoyable silflay.
Nearby, at Nuthanger Farm, there was a large hrududu full of crates of fresh vegetables. Inside the hrududu were two rabbits, enjoying the rich taste of the flayrah.
-It's been a while since the last successful raid. It's nice to finally have flayrah again, don't you think, Fiver? asked one of the rabbits, taking a break from her leaf of kale.
The other rabbit, however, seemed tense. He was staring wide-eyed at the inside of the hrududu, and finally spoke:
-This place isn't safe, Vilthuril, my dear. If we stay here, something will happen.
-But Fiver, what could possibly go wrong? Plenty of flayrah, no smell of cats, no sounds of men. Everything seems fine!
-Sometimes, things happen suddenly. Everything is all right one moment, and the next it is total chaos.
-Fiver, is this one of your visions again?
Fiver hesitated for a few seconds. He continued to look around him.
-I don't know. I feel...something, but it isn't very clear.
-Then it's probably nothing. Come on, Fiver my dear, cheer up.
Fiver then realized that there was no way he could get his mate to leave the hrududu before it was too late. He would have to leave her, which was entirely out of the question. He was still thinking about a way to convince her to get off, when the ground under them began to move, knocking them both off their balance. Vilthuril got up and said, almost tharn:
-Frith and Inlé, what is happening?
Fiver replied with a slight hint of panic:
-It seems that the man woke up the hrududu.
-We must get out!
She went to the back of the hrududu and put her front paws on the tailgate. She could see the road moving in front of her. She had never seen a road before, apart from the iron road near Efrafa, making this experience terrifying.
-Calm down, calm down, reassured Fiver as he went beside her. Hrududil probably aren't alive, so we are in no immediate danger. As long as the human doesn't know we are here, we should be safe.
-This hrududu is travelling so fast, observed Vilthuril. Unless we get off now, we will end up far from the Down. But I don't think jumping off is a good idea.
-You're right about that: jumping off a moving hrududu is never a good idea. Let's just hope it doesn't take us too far away. But never mind that, we will see where it takes us when we get there. Until then, let's get back to our flayrah.
Meanwhile on Watership Down, Hazel was searching the burrows for his brother. He had not seen him since the previous evening and was getting seriously worried: it was not like Fiver to suddenly vanish without a trace. He finally found Pipkin, alone in his burrow, awake.
-Pipkin, have you seen Fiver? asked Hazel.
-Yes, I saw him this morning, answered Pipkin. He told me to tell you that he was going to the farm for some time alone. He left just before sunrise.
-He went to the farm ALONE?
-No, not alone, Vilthuril went with him.
Hazel was shocked. Fiver and Vilthuril were some of the most sensible rabbits in the warren, and recklessly going on a raid without bringing anyone from the owsla was unlike them. The only thing that he could rejoice in was that the two rabbits had unusual powers, which should keep them out of trouble.
But at sunset, they still weren't back. Hazel was seriously worried. What if, for some reason, neither rabbit felt the danger before it was too late? What if they were attacked by a cat and killed? He called a general meeting in the Honeycomb.
As the great burrow became filled with rabbits, Hazel took his spot in the middle of the great burrow and began:
-Friends, this is a crisis. Fiver and Vilthuril went to the farm this morning and they are not back yet. The farm can be a dangerous place, especially for them since they never took part in any serious raids. We must organize a rescue mission as soon as possible.
-I volunteer take part in the rescue mission, shouted a random rabbit somewhere in the Honeycomb.
-I volunteer too.
-So do I.
Pretty soon the Honeycomb was filled with the sounds of many rabbits, all of whom wanted to take part in the mission. Once things had quieted down, Hazel made his choices. The first one was Bigwig, as there was a high chance they might have to fight some cats over at the farm. He then chose Blackberry, in case the rescue would involve using some clever trick only he could think of. The third rabbit he picked was Hyzenthlay. While, in most situations, he left her in charge of the warren while he went on the dangerous missions, she also sometimes felt things, somewhat like Fiver, and such information might be useful. Finally, he also selected Pipkin, whom he could always depend on, no matter the situation they were in.
As the group of five left the Honeycomb, Hazel told those who were left behind:
-Don't worry if we're not back soon. We may even be gone a few days, but hopefully it won't come to that.
As they went outside, they saw that it was a quiet and peaceful evening. Hazel regretted not having gone to the farm earlier. They would have to travel in the darkness. While Inlé was shining brightly without any clouds obstructing its light, it was still much easier to travel by day.