Jakobi grunted as he flapped harder to keep up with his friend. Crikey, Matty had to be several years older than he was, and he still had a good lead! The older bat even turned around to see what was keeping him. "You a' roigh' beck theh, mate?"

"Still on th' mend," Jakobi called back, voice rough from the exertion. "But Oi c'n make it. Wheh ah we headed?"

"Some tumble-down dump, wo' it is." Matty sounded gruff. "Come on, then!" The two bats continued their flight over lighted suburbs and downtowns. Jakobi's sight lingered on a huge whitestone structure that they passed by. Cracking piece of architecture, he mused. Maybe on the way back, he and his family would have time to sight-see.

"Some tumble-down dump" was perhaps putting it a bit too kindly. Jakobi grimaced at the sight of the ramshackle building overhanging a waterfront.. It looked like it could fall apart if the breeze blew too strongly. The two bats circled round the area, trying to look for any points of entry. Matty was frowning intently as he flapped lower. "Bunch o' windows theh, that could be a staht." He gestured and dove. Jakobi followed not as closely.

They alighted on the eave above one such window, where soft light poured through. Jakobi looked through and realized just how extensive the inside of this warehouse was. He gulped. And that was just the beginning of their problems. "Matty, theh's so many o' them," he whispered.

Matty nodded. "Oi know. This ain't gonna be easy." He turned to the younger bat. "We'll need a plan."

Jakobi's ears drooped. Wonderful. He dropped form the edge onto the windowsill to get a closer look on the activity below - suppressing a nervous gulp because man alive, there had to be twenty of the nasty blokes down there, all milling around piles of gleaming stacked metal crates - he began to get a notion of an idea. Or at least, the newly hatched offspring of one. "Matty, Oi think I have an idea."

"You think?"

Jakobi bit his lip. "We're gonna need some 'elp. We can't just go in theh by ourselves." He leaned over again, mindful of where he was on the sill. It was impossible to get an eyeful of everything, despite the vantage point, and the humans weren't staying in one place, either. Coming in, going out, it was risky.

Matty sighed. "Mate, how and wheh ah we gonna get new 'elp?"

Jakobi turned to give the older bat a smile. "Have Oi got somethin' fe' you t' -" Jakobi gave a short yelp as he suddenly flipped through the window, practically careening down through the air.

"Jakobi!" Matty called through. "Jakobi!" What had just happened? The older bat was aghast. No, no, no!

Jakobi barely had enough time to right himself before his wings caught a current and carried him in a gentle arc. However, if not for his panicked screeching, he might have gone unnoticed. That was when the activity started to grow a lot more agitated. "Get it!" seemed to be the general command as several of the humans - those who weren't gawking in surprise - grabbed darts intended for what could only be an escaped exotic: their escaped exotic.

"Jakobi!" Matty made a move to start through, but hissed when the humans started firing. "Mate!" He ducked back out, thinking the worst had happened. Jakobi getting nabbed after all this time? It couldn't be! It shouldn't be! Matty growled when the clicks and pops of the tranquilizers ceased. He whipped back over, eyes going wide when he beheld what had become of his friend. He could only stare as a couple humans approached the small crumpled body, riddled with the bright feathery darts. After a preliminary poke and prod, one of them cleared his throat. "Nah, he's still alive. Ya owe me." A collective grumble went up around the group, but Matty dropped form the ledge before he could see what was dished out. His blood was boiling and his mind was frozen with fear.

"Hang on, Jakobi. Jus' hang on, please!"

Stefano was already settling down for the night. His heart was lit up with pride and general whimsy - it felt like Zaragoza was back to how it used to be, as it once was. Yes. It was a good feeling! The sea lion smiled happily as he slipped into his straw-and-sheet cot, glancing briefly at the rafter where just the other night, he'd found Jakobi. It was so odd to think about how much had happened the past couple of days. The sea lion considered as he lay back, flippers crossed over his front. But soon he sat back up. Speaking of which, where was Jakobi?

Stefano hopped up and out of his cot, peering curiously up. Well, what had happened? He'd flown back here, si? So what had become of the big bat? Worry cam naturally to the sea lion, and soon enough he was wringing his flippers and pacing around, trying to use that average intelligence for something good! Well, something else good.

"Where could he have-a gone?" He murmured, glancing back up at the rafter. "He said he was-a tired, no?" This was puzzling. "Maybe he-a went to another cab?" Stefano sighed. All of these empty questions were getting him nowhere. He was just about to grab his lantern and go ask around when there came a thump against the cab's closed doors. Stefano gave a yelp and tumbled backwards in shock.

A familiar voice griped out, "Oy! Mate with th' funny accent! Ya in theh?"

Stefano slowly righted himself and cleared his throat. "Erm, si?" That voice, wasn't it... "You are-a Jakobi's amico, no?"

"It's me, Matty!" The bat returned. "Listen, c'n ya let me in fe' a minute? Oi've gotta talk t'ya!"

"What? How-a did you get here?" Stefano clambered up and waddled over to the door.

"Oh, fa' cripe's sake! Jakobi's been captured!" Matty finally blurted. "Happy naow?"

*Peeks out door* Anyone in?

Wow, if that date is correct, it's bene over a year since I last updated. SHAME SHAME SHAME!

Sorry for the hiatus - life has been flip-floppy for me. I've had to adult a lot more lately :P

But after watching Madagascar: 3 just this evening, WHAM! My inspiration came back! Haha! And this story only has a few chapters left :)