Chapter 4 'The Smuggler's Den'

At long last I am back. Its been a while, hasn't it? Yeah, sorry for the 3 month wait.

In the time between the upload of chapter 3, I have improved so much. So, there will be a sudden increase in quality now. I've had plenty of ideas for this, but little motivation to write. Now, I feel like I should at least get a chapter out.

The reason it took me so long was due to me losing interest and focusing on other projects. I am juggling between 5 or 6 stories right now, so I am kind of being swarmed. Regardless, I will occasionally update this. My current focus is on To Be A Harpy and One-Winged Angel. I suddenly got the idea to continue this when I was showering this morning. I had talked to OrangeMacawWorld in his Ask Me Anything, and I asked him what his favourite villains were. I remembered this story, and so here I am continuing it.

Anyways, let's get on with it! Enjoy or suffer.

19/08/2020


It was night-time in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Two people were sitting on a dining table outside a street side restaurant. After a tiring day of work, they decided to relax and enjoy what the city had to offer. They were Linda and Tulio. The dining table had a fancy white cloth and two wineglasses for them to enjoy.

''It was nice of you to join for dinner, I often eat alone.'', Tulio told Linda, ''Oh, because of course, my work!'', Tulio quickly added. Linda chuckled,

''I thought I was the bird nut until I met you.'', Linda joked.

''Yes, right. Do you have a favourite bird?'', Tulio asked. While to some their exchange is awkward, but as they are both on the introverted side, this was pretty much their equivalent of a lively conversation.

''Well, obviously I'm a blue macaw kind of gal'.'', Linda answered. Tulio's question was quite silly, as she loved her companion Blu.

''Well, that makes sense. They are very handsome birds.'', Tulio replied.

''Actually, it's more of the brains I'm after. I'm not impressed by fancy feathers.'', Linda said, chuckling quietly at the end.

''I know exactly what you mean! My favourite bird is the snowy owl. I've always been mesmerised by those big… round… intelligent eyes…'', Tulio replied. The two gazed into each other's eyes. However, they were disturbed by a waiter/servant, who came out of left field. He frightened them and started cutting meat for them. A second with a plate of chicken hearts, lit them on fire. The smoke darkened her glasses. She cleaned them,

''Oh, chicken hearts!'', she nervously exclaimed. She gasped and tried to cool down her food. She blew out the flames on one, which she held with her fork. Another thing startled them, the sound of a rooster crowing (cockle-doodle-doo!) repeatedly. It turned out to be Tulio's ringtone. He sheepishly smiled and held his phone so Linda could see. He answered it and put it to his ear,

''Hello?'', he spoke. He remained silent, his positive expression quickly souring into a more serious one. Linda grew concerned. Tulio's face had soured to a sad one, and he was afraid to tell her the news.

At the aviary, there were police cars. Linda had sadly walked out of the building and sat down on the porch's steps and cried.

''Oh Blu, we should've never left Moose Lake! This is all my fault!'', she cried, and took off her glasses. Tulio quickly went over to comfort her.

''No, no, Linda please, this is not your fault…'', Tulio said, placing his hand on her hunched back. Tulio's words appeared to work, as Linda quickly calmed down.

''You're right, its not my fault.'', she said rather calmly, placing her glasses back on, ''Its your fault!'', she snapped. She quickly got up and pointed her finger at Tulio, who fell back. He tried to talk but was cut off by Linda.

''With your little bird talk, and your whole 'sAvE tHe SpEcIeS'. Well you know what? Squawk squawkity squawk squawk!'', Tulio had backed up against a pillar. However, Linda gasped and quickly cupped her mouth, ''I'm sorry! I did not mean to curse.'', she apologised. Tulio quickly got up,

''I don't understand! Sylvio was the best guard in the business!'', Tulio exclaimed in disbelief. However, he was made to look a bit like a fool.

''So, let me get this straight,'' began a police officer who was questioning Sylvio, who wore a somewhat flamboyant golden suit. He had his hand against the back of his neck, clearly embarrassed, ''You were attacked by a little white bird.'', the police officer continued.

''Yes! And he held this rag over my mouth like this!'', Sylvio answered. He held the white rag which had chloroform on it to demonstrate. He passed out, leaving the white rag falling. The police officer grabbed it and sniffed it. He too, even though it is impossible for both of them to pass out that quickly as chloroforms can take over a minute to knock someone unconscious, passed out.

''We're doomed…'', Linda muttered, in utter disbelief of their incompetence, ''Next time, can you hire someone with an I.Q in the triple digits?'', Linda said to Tulio, who nodded.


Somewhere else…

Blu and Jewel were in the cage being transported to God-knows-where. The cage had a fine cloth covering it. It was enough for some light to pass through, however most came through a hole in the cloth, likely meant to help them breathe. Jewel wore a scared expression. With her beak, she tore the fabric, making the hole larger. She peeked out. She saw they were heading for a slum house.

''Okay, there's no place like home, there's no place like home… Oh I wish I was back home in my own cage with my mirror, and my swing, and my little bell… Oh how I miss my little bell…'', Blu said in a nervously ignorant manner. Blu's affectionate ramblings about his home would be cut short by Jewel,

''Shhh! Play dead!'', she whispered, holding a feather to her beak. She plopped down to the ground.

''Why would I need to play dead, I'm about to have a heart attack!'', Blu responded.

''Just do it!'', Jewel said, annoyed. Blu rolled his eyes, and shifted his balance in frustration, like a child would when they don't get their own way.

''Oh fine.'', he grumbled. He proceeded to do an overly dramatic death, mixed with twitching of his talons.

''Stop twitching!'', Jewel whispered.

''It's the twitching that sells it'', Blu commented. He obliged in going limp when a knocking was heard. Both of them had their feet in the air.

The door was opened by a tall and skinny man named Armando. He had a black afro, the darkest skin of the smugglers, a black and white shirt and jeans. The other, was a shorter and fatter one named Tipa. He had short hair, a 5 o'clock shadow and wore an orange jersey and shorts, Fernando, the boy who smuggled the birds, wore a smug expression when the door was opened.

''Well, come on in kid.'', Armando said. Fernando carried the cage inside and placed it on a table, as the henchmen closed the door. In front of the table was a third/fourth smuggler sitting on a chair, who had his back turned to them. He turned around, revealing the leader, Marcel. He had dreadlocks, golden earrings, a light amount of facial hair, sunglasses and a shirt with cards on it.

''Well what do you know? Good work Fernando.'', Marcel said in a deep voice, ''See boys? What did I tell you about the kid?'', Marcel said smugly as he got up to see his prize.

''That you were going to pay him half as much as you promised?'', Tipa answered, but was slapped by Marcel, which shut him up.

''No idiot! He reminds me of myself when I was his age; smart, resourceful…'', Marcel spoke with pride, ''Here you go kid.'', he said as he handed over the money to Fernando. Fernando briefly checked it,

''Hey, this is only half of what you promised me!'', Fernando rightfully accused.

''Ah shut up kid.'', Marcel shut him up. He uncovered the cage and was shocked.

''What the?'', he gasped. The birds, his million dollar birds, were dead. He opened the cage and grabbed Jewel,

''I thought I told you I wanted these birds alive.'', Marcel said as he held Jewel. Blu opened one eye slightly to see what was happening.

''Tell me Fernando… Does this look alive to you, huh?!'', Marcel snapped as he waved Jewel in front of Fernando. However, Jewel quickly snapped back and bit his thumb as hard as she could, which was pretty hard. Marcel yelped in pain and involuntarily let go of her.

''Get her!'', he yelled as she flew around the room. Chaos erupted as she frantically avoided the henchmen who tried in vain to catch her. Armando and Tipa ended up colliding with each other, leaving only Marcel to try and catch her. Fernando didn't bother to help.

''Jewel!'', Blu cried out as he gave up the 'play dead' act. Jewel had rose to the roof planks, but flew down between Fernando and Marcel, the latter of which tried to grab her, but failed.

Jewel spotted an air vent with a fan and reckoned this was her ticket to freedom. She flew towards it, but just as she thought she had escaped, a massive weight pinned her down roughly to the roof boards by her neck. She saw a navy-blue feather slowly fall down near her face and saw the bird it belonged to.

She saw a towering navy-blue bird, and determined it was a hyacinth. Great, out of all the parrots it had to be them! Jewel thought.

''Hello, pretty bird.'', the bird said mockingly in a gravelly voice. Jewel was shocked by his appearance. His feathers were all roughed up, his beak was grotesquely twisted, he had several scars around his face and his right eye was lazy. (Strabismus) This all led to an intimidating bird. Not the kind of bird you want towering over you and pinning you down by the throat. Though, the situation isn't exactly ideal regardless.

''What's the matter? Hyacinth got your throat?'', the bird said mockingly, as Jewel splattered and let out a soft cry.

''Nigel! I want them alive.'', Marcel snapped. Nigel looked at his owner, and looked back at Jewel.

''To be continued.'', he whispered, before carrying her back to the cage and throwing her violently inside. She let out an ugh as Blu stood over her.

''So that was your plan? To take off and leave me? Gee, thanks.'', Blu sarcastically and lightly snapped at her. Jewel sat up a little bit and turned to him,

''Well, why didn't you follow me?'', she retorted. Blu was silent and conflicted in what to say. He wanted to tell her he couldn't fly, but he felt deeply ashamed of that and was afraid that she'd mock him for it.

Marcel quickly attached a chain between Blu and Jewel. Jewel tried gnawing at it, but it was in vain. Marcel quickly shut the cage door as Jewel rushed over and tried to bite him. Marcel turned over to Nigel, who had perched on his shoulder,

''Good work Nigel.'', he praised him as he gave him a scratch on his chest feathers, which he enjoyed.

''Yeah, nice job Nigel.'', Tipa bitterly remarked as he crossed his arms. Nigel promptly squawked at him angrily, which shut him up. Marcel turned to Fernando.

''Hang them up in the other room'', he said as he pointed to a door. Fernando obliged and carried their cage. He turned quite a bit as he made his way to the door. Jewel was scared, and both Blu and Jewel let out quiet and meek squawks. As he had no free hands, he used his shoulder to open the door. Inside was a room full of cages containing birds of many colours and sizes.

Fernando slowly walked, as Blu and Jewel looked in horror at the birds.

''Help me… Let me out… LET ME OUT OF HERE!'', cried a blue bird who was stuffed in a cage full of yellow birds, to the point where one wonders how they can breathe. It wouldn't be surprising if a few in the centre had suffocated. This was one extreme case in the appalling conditions. Blu and Jewel turned and saw another bird, a peach fronted parakeet who had gone insane.

''I'm a pretty bird, pretty bird, I'm a pretty bird!'', she repeated to herself, before laughing as she ran around in circles. Next to her was another bird… Well, not really. It was a mammal, a bat to be exact.

''I was framed! They got the wrong guy!'', the bat cried out in a thick Eastern European accent.

Fernando hung the cage on a hook,

''Sorry guys. Nothing personal.'', he quietly apologised as Blu and Jewel went over to the cage edge, and looked at him pleadingly. He slowly walked away with his head hung low. He looked back at them remorsefully, before shutting the door.

''So, what will happen to them?'', Fernando asks quietly.

''Oh, they'll be sent off to good homes, don't worry. Now go home to your mother.'', Marcel answered.

''But I don't have a mother.'', Fernando responded. Marcel didn't expect this response,

''Uh, father?'', Marcel spoke. Fernando shook his head.

''Brother?''

''Sister?''

''Goldfish?'', Fernando shook his head to all of them. It was clear the boy was an orphan.

''Come on Marcel, can we keep him please?'', Tipa said like a child who found an animal they want to adopt. Marcel responds with a look of consideration, and then coldly says ''No.'', as he leads Fernando out of the house.

''So, what will happen to them?'', Tipa asked Marcel once Fernando was outside and the door was shut.

''Plucked, stuffed, eaten? Who cares? We'll be rich!'', Marcel answers, and the others laugh. Fernando is struck with guilt and heads off to his makeshift shelter on a rooftop.

''Okay, so we load the birds into a truck tomorrow morning. Oh, and one more thing: One of you feed Nigel.'', Marcel told the henchmen as he headed out. Upon hearing they're supposed to feed Nigel, they grew nervous. Nigel looked down at them, perched on a wall mounted stork head, and winked at them mockingly. Armando and Tipa promptly swallowed their saliva with a gulp sound.

''Rock, paper, scissors, shoe.'', (or is it shoot?) they both said as they used rock paper scissors to decide who'd have the 'honour' of feeding Nigel. Tipa chose rock, whilst Armando chose scissors.

''Woohoo, I win!'', Tipa cheered. Armando shook his head,

''Nuh uh, scissors cut rock.'', Armando told him, taking advantage of his stupidity.

''Ah man, how come you always win?'', Armando smirked victoriously as he gestured a scissor cutting a rock.

Tipa nervously held a chicken drumstick, and Nigel looked at it and cracked a tiny smile. Tipa was cowering, as Armando watched in fear.

''Uh, nice birdie…'', Tipa said timidly. Armando was covering his mouth with his hands in fear, as Tipa brought the drumstick closer to Nigel.

''Here you go.'', Tipa said quietly. Nigel swiftly grabbed it with a loud squawk, scaring the bejeebers out of him, as well as Armando to a lesser extent. Tipa checked his fingers and was relieved to find all 5 intact. He turned to Nigel, who was viciously gnawing into the chicken.

''Ugh, cannibal.'', he muttered in disgust.


Blu and Jewel sat in their cage,

''Okay, keep it together, the key is not to panic.'', Blu spoke.

''I'm not panicking.'', Jewel replied.

''I wasn't talking to you; I was talking to me. But its okay, because any minute now Linda will help us.'', Blu responded.

''Oh great! Then she'll stick us behind another set of bars, right?'', Jewel sarcastically responded.

''Yeah, I-I mean no!'', Blu replied.

''Look, cages may work for you, but I don't want to belong to anyone.'', Jewel responded. Their conversation was cut short by a rattling noise.

''Oh great, now the grudge is here.'', Blu muttered sarcastically, ''Oh thank God.'', he muttered when he saw who was making the noise. It was still bad but was better than the grudge.

Many birds cowered in fear, as the bird who was making the sound, Nigel, walked down the hallway made by the cages. He held the chicken drumstick bone in his talon and was rattling it along the bars like a prison guard or Freddy Krueger would.

He smacked his beak a bit,

''There appears to be something lodged in my beak. Well, would you mind?'', he spoke, and bent his head down towards a cage that contained small blue birds. They darted away and pushed one unlucky soul to the front. Nigel held his gnarly beak up to the cage, and the poor bird slowly made his foot towards the piece of chicken in Nigel's beak. The second he dislodged it; Nigel slammed his beak shut. The blue bird managed to pull his foot out in time to avoid it being bitten off. Nigel cackled, and then flew towards Blu and Jewel's cage. The sudden shift of weight and the force Nigel landed at caused it to swing, knocking Blu and Jewel back into a corner.

''Oh, I know I'm not a pretty bird anymore. You pretty birds all laughed and mocked me. Well, look who's laughing now!'', Nigel proceeded to maniacally laugh as loud as he could, as he looked across the room, and focused his gaze back to Blu and Jewel. He grinned maliciously, which combined with his disfigurement, size, and lazy eye all led to an odd, but terrifying sight.

''But I used to be quite the looker…'', he said proudly, as he looked at a poster of him for a movie named Fly Hard. In the poster, Nigel looked rather handsome, which was the polar opposite of his current state.

He flew back to his poster and landed on a box next to it.

''Lights, camera, action.'', he spoke.

I was striking, suave, ambitious
feet to beak,
so birdielicious.
Now I'm vile,
I'm a villain,
and vicious.
Oh, and malicious.

I had it all,
TV shows, and women too.
I was tall, over 2 foot two.
Then the PBFD struck,
lead me amuck.
They got a pretty lil' parakeet to fill my shoes.
That's why I am so evil,
its why I do what I do.

The other birds began to sing in chorus.

(He was a superstar)
So young and vital,
(He's nasty)
A South American idol,
(He's a suspicious bird)
Who said that about me?
(A very vicious bird)
I'll have you rotisserie!

Do you think I do things with no rhyme or reason?
I do it more than for my pleasing!
Do you think I hurt others for no reason at all?
I'll have you enthralled!
Mockery,
I was laughed at!
They're not sorry,
I was left to rot!
When my feathers started falling,
all the pretty birds became galling.
They're simply appalling,
and I started brawling.
I left the bastards crawling,
oh it must be my calling!
It was very enthralling,
to leave their bodies sprawling!

(He's a nasty bird)
I'm invincible,
(He's ghastly)
I'm unminceable,
I'm unwashable,
Unrinseable.
Like an abandoned school,
I show no principal.

All you Brazilian birds,
all 80 million birds.
I shall show you all,
how it feels to fall.
I was at grace,
but maybe this is my place.
I was a star,
then came the scars.
I collapsed in on myself,
It left a black hole,
right in my heart.
Now I feel nothing but hate,
don't think you could ever escape.
I'll have you all know,
that its hard to make someone beautiful.
But do know,
that its easy to make someone ugly.
All you need is a little…
STRIKE!

Nigel concluded his song by slamming into the cage that held Blu and Jewel in it. They dodged his attack. Even though he missed, he still laughed maniacally,

''Oh, its not so fun now when you're the ones who feel scared! I hope you all savour the moments with joy, because you'll never feel it again!'', Nigel's booming voice led to many birds trembling. He grinned in satisfaction, he turned back to Blu and Jewel.

''Bye-bye, little blue macaws.'', he said in a mockingly sweet voice and flew off.

Blu and Jewel were left speechless. But Blu was the first to speak up,

''Not cool man! Scary, but not cool!'', Blu fell silent afterward. It was going to be a horrible night…


Well, that wraps up this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it!

I decided it would be fitting to have the villain be someone suffering from PBFD scars to relate to Blu. They differ in how they deal with it. Blu fell into a depression and isolated himself from any social interactions. Nigel on the other hand, became filled with hate and took it out on others who didn't suffer like he did. I felt like Nigel's motivations weren't fleshed out enough, so I figured that I'd add an extra reason for his hatred of 'pretty birds'. You can refer to him as 'New Nigel', 'Nigel 2' or 'Blue Nigel' to reduce any confusion.

I used movie clips as well as a bit of improvisation for the scenes from the movies. However, some clips weren't available, (notably, Fernando and the smugglers asking who he lived with) so I used Blu and Surge's Adventure, by Surge the purple macaw as reference. I also used it for the original song lyrics. I modified plenty of it, adding two entire original verses. Yes, I can write song lyrics.

I hope this chapter makes up for the long hiatus, but I'm not sure if it does. I was going to make this longer, but I felt like I could write a 5th chapter more quickly with the omitted content. Speaking of which, it should be out sooner or later. It probably won't take 3 months this time, but I apologise in advance if it does.

Until next time, goodbye.