Chapter 4
The Quest Begins

The Scotties were momentarily blinded by the incredible light from the tree. They stood rubbing their eyes, trying to clear their vision.

Jubilee and Honey Bear, sensing the threat from the unknown, stood braced for action, determined to protect their wee charges. The other members of the Guardian Brigade immediately spread out to watch over the terriers. Bear, Bucky, and Kramer rounded up all the wee terriers, to insure that they could be more easily guarded.

The terriers were not terribly pleased at being herded into a tight wad of furry bodies in very close quarters. Grumbling, mumbling under their breaths, and several "looks" were directed toward the Guardians, who were desperately attempting to enforce rigid control on the group, to 'protect' the terriers.

Kelley Lyons, at 1 year old, was impatient to move on. Looking around, she commented loudly, "We haven't gone anywhere!! Nothing's changed. We've just moved to the top of this ole hill! I sure hoped we'd have some excitement, some danger, some heart-stopping challenge to face! This is just a hill!!!"

Bella Sauls chimed in. "Well, we can't TELL yet where we are. Things DO look the same. Although, you HAVE to admit that the SWAMP is gone. We've moved somewhere with rolling hills, lush greenery, and a lot of open spaces! That's all we can see from here!"

A scottie argument broke out. Angus Alexander swore that they'd moved into the future and that everything had been torn down. Duffy Barfield was convinced that the BASH had just switched locations, and they were all in KANSAS. Barbara Nyberg, at 2 years of age, thought she was the voice of calm reason when she announced that they were in ARIZONA. Loud guffaws broke out when one scottie voice at the back of the group piped up with a "we're LOST" announcement!

Katie finally took the situation into her own paws, stood on a nearby rock, and issued just two words...."Wanna TREAT???????"

The entire group quieted instantly. Katie continued, "We're on a quest. We're here to trace the BEGINNING of a legend."

Their curosity aroused, the BASH guests crowded closer, eager to hear this new tale.

"You've all heard of the legendary "Lost Bone of Brannoch". According to the experts, its origin is here..... in this place, in this time. We've come here, to locate it and bring it back to the National Museum of Scottie History."

The scotties squealed in delight.

Bo'sun Howatt was thrilled. "A Scavenger Hunt!! For a BONE, no less!!! COOL!", he shouted.

Mickie Quarry caught the excitement..."Goodie, Goodie!!! We're going HUNTING!"

Katie continued. "You think we're still 'home'...in the present? Look closer." Her paw gestured around her.

Everyone's attention moved to their surroundings. They WERE atop a hill. The surrounding countryside revealed a lush, green world, with softly rolling hills. They peered into the distance.

Nicholas Mitchell spotted it first. "LOOK!!! Over THERE!" he shouted.

Everyone strained to locate what Nicholas had spotted.

"Wow, look at THAT!!" Pagan Marie Griffin-Mancuso said softly.

"Whoa, that's HUGE!" Angus d'Ascenzo said in awe. "It's a CASTLE!!!"

Angus Wynne smiled broadly. "That's almost as large as MY house!" he said, a wicked gleam in his eye.

Molly Wynne poked him in the side, laughing, then added, "Nah, Angus. Ours is MUCH larger!!"

Paws thrown across each other's shoulders, they collapsed into a fit of giggles, totally entertained by their claims of 'hearth and home'.

The scotties began to look closely, down into the valley. Sitting next to a flowing river sat an enormous castle, its stone walls gleaming in the morning sunlight, its turrets reaching skyward, colorful pennants flying boldly from its peak.

A small village sat near the castle, its citizens moving around busily, going about their daily work. Carts pulled by oxen, cottages dotting the landscape, their thatched roofs obvious, smoke curling upward from the cottages, all revealing an earlier time, an earlier world.

"LOOK!" Dottie Smith pointed toward the castle. "Someone's COMING!"

The scotties crowded forward, eager to see who was approaching from the castle. The Guardian Brigade was busy trying to keep the scotties in a close group, to make it easier to protect them.

Riley moved to the front. He stood tall and straight, and waited.

Up the hill the rider came. A huge war horse, immense in size, muscles rippling, pranced restlessly as he slowly trotted up the hill. It was obvious that the huge steed was not accustomed to being restrained, and was throwing his head at the control being exerted on him by his rider.

The rider drew everyone's attention. As he rode nearer, the scotties' breaths caught in their throats. The rider was completely encased in METAL!!! A KNIGHT....in his ARMOR!!

The BASH gang watched excitedly as the huge charger was pulled to a stop in front of the terriers. Honey Bear the Alaskan Malamute, Jubilee the Lab, Kramer the standard schnauzer, Callie the Bouvier, Reggie the Golden, Bucky the beagle/brittany, Sammy Jo the spitz mix, and Jake the collie took their positions at the front of the group, legs braced wide apart, tails erect and rigid, ready to face this fierce warrior.

Riley stepped forward and looked up at the war horse and knight who'd stopped in front of him. He raised his paw in greeting.

The knight lifted the visor on his helmet. Clear, blue eyes, a strong jaw, and sandy blonde hair could be seen.

The knight spoke in a deep, rich voice. "Strangers, why come you here? Are you friend or foe?"

His gloved hand moved ever so slightly to the sword at his side, as he waited.

Riley replied, "We've come as friends. We are on a quest. We come from a land far away, and are here only to seek that which is dear to us."

"Then, you are welcome," the knight proclaimed. "I welcome you to Brannoch Castle. These are the lands of the Laird of Brannoch. He welcomes all who come as friends. Come..... you are welcome here."

The knight turned his great war stallion, and trotted back down the hill.

Riley turned to Katie. "Come along, Wild Child. We have a Birthday BASH to celebrate, a quest to complete, and an adventure of enormous proportions to experience!!!"

Katie's face broke into a huge smile, as she patted Riley's furry cheek. "Thank you,Brother dear!"

The BASH guests, all 160+, headed down the hill, following the knight toward Brannock Castle. This WAS going to be an incredible adventure. For SURE, it wouldn't be DULL!! They were going on a QUEST!!!!!!








Chapter 5
Blending In

Sir Knight led the scotties and their friends across the open field toward the tall, forbidding castle. As they drew closer, they could appreciate the massive scale of the castle. It was truly an impregnable fortress.

Riley, Katie, and Webber Riches stopped as they reached the arch leading to the drawbridge. Looking at the castle,they were amazed at its sheer size. The battlements seemed truly impenetrable, the stonework was massive, the towers loomed upward to provide a broad view of the surrounding area, with guards posted across the parapet. It was a truly enormous structure.

"Well, THAT is a rather nice COTTAGE! Think they'll have enough room for ALL of us???" Webber commented, as his eyes continued to scan the sheer magnatude of the place.

Katie laughed at Webber's joke, tapped him playfully on the arm, then slipped her paw into his larger paw. Turning to Riley, she tucked her arm in his, saying "Okay, boys. Let's see if anyone is home!"

Laughing, the group, followed by the BASH scotties, crossed the drawbridge, and entered Brannoch Castle.

Walking under the archway, into the keep, caught the scotties by surprise. They'd never seen a world like this before. Amazement and awe were displayed on their faces, as they took in the sights and smells of the inner bailey.

"Look, over THERE! Look at the KNIGHTS!" Sadie Yeager whispered to Polly Riches, Heather Sue Devine, and Rosie Battson.

At one end of the inner bailey, the castle's knights were hard at work, perfecting their battle skills. The sounds of clashing swords rang across the yard, impressing the scotties with the knights' expertise.

The scotties continued across the bailey, with Sir Knight turning around occasionally to encourage the scotties to move along more quickly. It wasn't entirely the scotties' fault that they were dawdling. There was so much to see, so many things that diverted their attention.

Sir Knight finally stopped at the great oak door, that led into the castle. Motioning to the scotties to follow him, he threw open the oaken door, then stepped aside to allow the scotties to enter.

The scotties stared around in awe, as they entered the Great Hall. An enormous fireplace extended across one wall, providing warmth for the huge room. Tapestries hung along the walls, covering the cold, stone walls, and providing color to the dark space. Torches sat in brackets along the wall, giving off a soft, orange glow. At the center of the room, on a raised dais, stood a massive table, made of heavy oak and obviously well-used.

The scotties stood in the center of the Great Hall, taking in all of the sights and smells of this entirely foreign world. It was Sir Knight, clearing his throat, that drew their attention. He motioned toward the far end of the Hall, to the stone stairway that extended into the upper reaches of the castle. Coming down the last few steps to the Hall was a regal lady, dressed in a soft, flowing gown. Her dark hair hung down her back, pulled back with a woven ribbon. Reaching the Great Hall, she moved gracefully across the room, toward the newcomers.

Sir Knight held his hand out to the lady, and announced, "M'lady, these are strangers from a great distance, who are on a quest. They come in peace."

Turning to the scotties, he stated simply, "Pay honor to the Lady of the Castle, Lady Gwenneth."

Lady Gwenneth stepped forward and smiled at the group of terriers. In a soft voice, she welcomed them.

"You are welcome here," she began. "We offer our meager fire to your comfort. What is it you wish here?"

Katie stepped forward, and in a few moments had explained the quest to Lady Gwenneth, telling of its great value and importance to them.

"I see," the Lady Gwenneth replied. Glancing at the strangers, she suggested "Methinks you would be better able to search for your treasure if you were garbed in a more acceptable fashion. You surely are from a great distance, as your clothing is most unusual. I will have someone show you to the upper chambers, where you may find clothing more suited to our region."

She gestured lightly to one of the women standing nearby. Immediately, the woman stepped forward and led the scotties up the stone stairs. They soon found themselves in a long hall with heavy, oaken doors lining either side of the passage. She quickly instructed the scotties to seek clothing from the trunks located in each room. The woman motioned the lasses to the chambers on one side of the hallway. The lads were ushered to rooms at the far end of the passage. With a last instruction to be quick about changing, that they were expected down in the Great Hall forthwith, the woman left.

The Scotties immediately opened their chamber doors, finding the bedchambers to be warm and cozy, with massive beds filling the center of each room, heavy draperies hanging from each bed, to insure warmth on the cold nights.

It didn't take Spoiled Stormy but a second to locate the trunk sitting against the far wall. Throwing the trunk open, she squealed in delight as she began to pull out first one gown, then another. The colors were jewel-toned with richly woven fabrics. Their simplicity struck Stormy as being very regal, which surprised her. She had always thought that extravangance was a GOOD thing!

Stormy took charge of the girls in her chamber, and the noise level soon rose substantially, as they gleefully chose, then changed their minds, only to change them again.... which gown to choose??? Lucy Sheets finally selected an emerald green gown, straight lines with a softly draping train. It would set off her dark fur beautifully. She twirled to watch the skirt swing softly around her paws. She smiled. This quest was going to be FUN!!

Gracie Brand couldn't make up her mind. She liked the soft blue gown, but that rich red fabric was just toooo tempting. Finally deciding, she pulled the red dress over her head and smoothed it with her paws, straightening the folds.

Down the hall, in the guys' chambers, things were much different. The clothing was unlike anything they'd seen before.

"What is THIS for?" Seamus Wynne asked, holding up what he THOUGHT might be breeches.

Ace Graves laughed, "Those are braes, Seamus. They ARE breeches. Here, we will NEED these!" He handed each scottie a hauberk, a military corselet made of leather. The lads warmed to the task, as they discovered more unusual clothing to try on.

"HOSE????? I'm not wearing HOSIERY!!!" Angus Sauls was adamant. He shook his head vigorously, as he held up the offending clothing with one paw.

Hamish MacBeth Wilson heartily agreed. "No SIR!! Nuh unh!!! NO hose!"

Ace walked over and reassured Angus and Hamish MacBeth. "Lads, it's essential that you DO wear these hose. Otherwise, you WILL be considered undressed. It's EXPECTED, it's the fashion, it's the CUSTOM of the time!" He hid his smile as Angus and HMB grudgingly began putting on the hated hose, grumbling under their breath, and threatening anyone who dared snicker.

Everyone was having a grand time. It was like playing dress-up!!! Soon, from the hallway, came the sound of Sir Knight, calling to the guests.

"You're expected in the Great Hall, anon. M'Lady does not like to be kept waiting. You will come now, please."

Doors opened up and down the passage as the scotties emerged in their medieval finery. Gasps of surprise could be heard as friends spotted each other, admiring their new appearance, and getting into the mood of the moment.

Riley stepped out into the passageway, located Katie, beautifully dressed in a soft pink gown, and moved toward the stairway.

"Come along, BASH adventurers. Let's not keep Lady Gwenneth waiting. We'll need her help for our quest."

With a glance around at his friends, all suitably dressed in the attire of the time, he said, "We ARE a handsome group of Knights and Ladies!!! Let us go among them!!!"

Laughing, the scotties and their friends walked down the stairs to the Great Hall, ready to begin their Quest.... the happiness of the group belied the danger they were about to face!!!







Chapter 6
A Small Request...

Lady Gwenneth sat at the huge table, in the smaller of the two ornate chairs that were centered on the long, heavy oaken table. Beside her sat a knight of enormous stature, obviously a leader who expected to be obeyed instantly. He was engrossed in an animated conversation with Lady Gwenneth, smiling and listening intently to her words.

The BASH terriers walked to the center of the Great Hall, and stopped in front of the huge trestle table, across from Lady Gwenneth and the Knight. Katie, Riley, Webber, Ace Graves and the Elders stepped forward, nodded respectfully, then waited.

The Knight beside Lady Gwenneth stood and stared at the terriers for a full minute, apparently taking stock of the group. Coming to some sort of private decision, he nodded to Lady Gwenneth and spoke to the terriers.

"You have met my Lady Gwenneth, the mistress of Brannoch Castle. I am the Laird of Brannoch, the 6th in a long line of noble knights who have defended Brannoch Castle and its people from all dangers. You come at a most opportune time, as we have need of warriors. We would be most grateful if you would aid us in our defense of Brannoch Castle."

Katie and Riley were stunned. They'd expected to have help from the Laird and Lady of Brannoch Castle in their OWN quest... not to be asked to help the Master of Brannoch Castle! Katie turned to her BASH friends, raised her eyebrows, and shrugged her shoulders. She was asking their opinion. This could NOT be done arbitrarily, it would take the joint effort of all the terriers. She looked from one dear friend to another, waiting.

Maggie and Molly Reyner nodded vigorously. "SURE we want to help them defend the castle! How bad could it BE!?!?! GO FOR IT!" They patted each other's paws, excited to be asked to fight for a castle!

Shiloh and Sunny Quarry quickly agreed. "Who'd EVER be able to stand against an ARMY of terriers?" We'd CRUSH 'em!!! Grrrrr.... let's DO IT!"

Not to be outdone, Scotty Lemmon, Darby Yeager, and Karey Lawrence offered to defend the castle by THEMSELVES! "We don't need anyone else's help. WE can do it ALONE! Let us AT 'EM!" Karey bragged.

"Pssssst- we don't know WHO we're fighting! What do ya MEAN, we can do it ALONE!?!?!" Darby asked under his breath.

"Awwww, piddle! How hard can it BE! This is the middle AGES, for goodness sakes! They don't HAVE weapons! Can't be TOOO tough! We can handle it!" Scotty Lemmon assured the other two.

Nodding, the three brave souls continued to brag about their exploits and what they could do to protect the Laird of Brannoch.

Bonnie Belle Mitchell, MacTavish Williams, Spencer Battson, Dottie Smith, and Bert Williamson tussled and pushed each other, as they all begged to be the first in line to help the Laird of Brannoch Castle from the unknown enemy.

Riley quietly turned and asked the group, "We know nothing of WHO this enemy could be. Does that matter to you at all?"

Vigorous nods to the negative were all the answer he needed. He KNEW his friends would not back down from a challenge... he knew they would actually ENJOY the adventure!

Turning back to face the Laird and Lady of Brannoch Castle, Riley said simply, "We will lend our paws to defend Brannoch Castle. We will defend it with our lives."

A quick glance back to his friends showed that they agreed... numerous "paws Up" signs were made, as they all agreed with Riley's vow.

"Brannoch Castle will forever be in your debt," the Laird of the Castle avowed. "Come, we have little time to waste. The vast majority of my forces are away, defending my liege Lord's land from the same evil villain. We will therefore rely on YOUR skills to defend us from this insidious danger."

Puck Grieco poked Katie in the ribs, then whispered, "Pssst - ASK him who we're FIGHTING!!! It WILL be just a TAD important for us to know WHO we're facing in this battle!!!"

"Shhhhhhhh!" Katie whispered. "We don't want to appear afraid. What danger could they POSSIBLY face that would be any worse than what we deal with daily!?!? Relax, things are fine!"

She patted Puck's paw, and with some fast talking, soon had him also vowing to battle whatever danger lay ahead.

The Laird of Brannoch Castle wasted no time. He led the BASH terriers to the outer bailey, where the knights that'd been left behind to defend the castle were practicing with their weapons.

Dividing the terriers into smaller groups, he assigned a knight to assist each group in the use of the medieval weapons. Much grumbling was heard as the scotties realized how truly heavy the broadswords were. Fala Devine almost lost a paw when he dropped the heavy sword at his paws.

Maggie Mac Tyner was given a wide berth as she tried to swing the massive sword in a wide arc. This resulted in several knights running for their lives.

One bold knight braved the dangerous swinging sword, as he closed in to take the sword from Maggie Mac's paws. He did not expect the tongue-lashing he received from the wee lass, or the death grip she had on the hilt of "her" sword!!!

The knights decided it was just easier to leave her with the sword, and move everyone a safe distance away from the whirling dirvish!

The afternoon was spent in serious practice, as the terriers perfected their skills. The Guardian Brigade was almost apoplectic at the thought of their "wee innocent" terriers facing an unknown danger, with these massive, lethal weapons. They raced around, preventing one near-catastrophe after another, barely keeping the terriers safe in some cases...and reducing the Guardians to traumatized basket-cases.

The Laird of Brannoch Castle stood at the tower window, watching the wee warriors below in the bailey. He turned to Lady Gwenneth.

"I have not the heart to tell them about the evil they will face. They have such courage, such determination. I have not seen that in many warriors. These wee warriors may, indeed, save Brannoch Castle.... we can only HOPE they are up to the task we have given them."

The Laird took his Lady's hand in his, and together they watched the wee, furry knights-in-training, as they struggled to master the weapons in their paws. And the Laird wondered... was he sending these brave outsiders to certain doom???

Only time would tell..........






Chapter 7
The Wee Knights of the BASH

The armor was heavy, the practice was grueling, and the Laird's knights were relentless with their drills. The scotties never grumbled, they just gritted their teeth and pushed onward.

Lady Gwenneth had a fainting spell when she saw the 'lady' scotties heading out to the practice yard to join their male friends.

"Ye must not go out there. It wouldn't be seemly," Lady Gwenneth implored, as Katie and the girls headed out the door toward the bailey. "Ladies are to remain inside, since we are of such a delicate nature."

The expression on the Lady of the castle's face was absolutely aghast. The wee scottie lasses had changed into the same braes and hauberk that the boys were wearing.

"M'lady," Katie said, as graciously as she could. "We have no intention of staying here, crocheting, while our friends have all the fun!!! We WILL be out there, shoulder to shoulder, to face whatever the danger may be."

With a parting smile, Katie and the determined girls all headed out to the practice field, where another scene quickly unfolded.

The knights had no intention of allowing females to wield weapons, and were quite adament about it. Riley chuckled to himself, then poked Connor in the side.

"I wanna see these knights tell the Wild Child, Angie, Maggie, Ms. Sophie, and the rest of the girls that they CAN'T come fight with us!!"

Connor and Riley laughed as they watched the verbal battle between the lasses and the knights. The knights were quickly losing this war, and didn't even realize it!!!

After much complaining and grumbling, the knights allowed the females to join the practice. The rest of the day was spent in serious preparation for the coming confrotation.

Sunset found the terriers exhausted and hungry. They returned to the castle, where they dined on venison, pork, barley soup, and fresh bread. Before the torches on the wall flickered low, the terriers had all returned to their chambers, and were soon fast asleep.

All except Ziggy Riches, Sadie Williams, Hazel Mayne, Mikey Quigley, Kioko and Oliver Gill, Mr. Puss, and Gypsy Rose Kitty. They were in conference in a far corner of the Great Hall, bent low over a flickering candle, as they made lists on sheets of parchment. Occasional meows and bruffs were heard as they settled disagreements. Soon, however, Ziggy and his team had formed 2 elite regiments, especially designed to face whatever danger they would face. The scotties had all practiced the special maneuvers, they knew the battle plan. It was just that they didn't know who the enemy would be!!!

  

The team finally called it a night, and each staggered to their chambers, exhausted, but ready for the sunrise.

Morning came all to quickly for the tired terriers. They had been summoned to the Great Hall by the Laird of the castle. As they entered the huge common room, they saw the Laird of Brannoch Castle standing in front of the enormous fireplace. The terriers clustered around, hoping to hear that they would be dealing with the intruder today.

"We leave now," the Laird announced. "Our nemesis has been sighted, moving this way. We must go out to meet the foe, to protect those within the walls of Brannoch Castle. Your steeds await you in the outer courtyard. We must not tarry. We go NOW!"

With his hand braced on the gleaming sword at his side, he led his unusual army to the outer bailey, where they quickly mounted.

The scotties talked excitedly as they rode across the open field beyond the castle. They were braced for action, and looking forward to dealing a little terrier justice to some unknown enemy.

"It's sure help if we knew WHO we were fighting!!!" Bartholomew grumbled.

"How're we going to know when they show up, if we don't know who we're LOOKING FOR?" Melly Sagadin complained.

Peaches Brand offered some small suggestion. "The Laird said we'd know the enemy when we saw him. He said to look to the skies!!!"

Maggie Fones looked at Peaches out of the corner of her eye. "The SKIES!?!?! These folks don't HAVE planes, or kites, or gliders!! What're we fighting, a flock of BIRDS???"

The conversation continued for several miles, as the scottie army rode onward, following the Laird of Brannoch Castle to face the unknown. Only now, the Laird watched the skies. Now, he looked overhead more often than ahead.

Suddenly, the Laird wheeled his great war steed to a stop. He pulled his sword out, and pointed it heavenward.

"PREPARE yourselves!!" he shouted.

"We face the Beast of Brannoch...... he COMES!!!!!!"









Chapter 8
A Beastly BASH Battle

Maggie Fones had heard the Laird's warning... the Beast of Brannoch is coming!

SOOO???

The scotties had dealt with beasts before. Gracious, the scotties had dealt with Gorkons... with PUHDULS even! So, what could be so terrible about some 'wee flying beastie'!?!?!?

Audrey Nyberg was watching the sky, searching for the mysterious 'beastie'. She suddenly gasped and began frantically tapping Maggie on the shoulder.

"Uhhhhhh, Maggie....ya may wanna change your thinking about that wee flying birdie we're going to roast! We may wanna rethink the ROASTING part! Looks like this 'birdie' is doing his OWN roasting!!!!!!"

The scotties stared at the huge, blue beast coming into view. He had the sun behind him, which added even more fiery emphasis to his approach. The wings were spread wide as they leisurely sliced through the air, the long serpent-like tail acted like a rudder, controlling his flight. His long, tapered head pivoted back and forth... the beast was obviously searching for something... probably them!!

Suddenly, the huge, blue beast spotted the small army below him. He quickly shifted his weight and banked sharply toward the wee warriors, his wings swept out behind him. As he neared the mounted knights, the winged dragon arched his serpent-like neck, raised his head, and took a deep breath.

With an unearthly scream, the dragon whipped his head downward, spewing great streams of orange flames toward the warriors on the ground.

"INCOMING!!!!!!!!" Sammy Jo Bush screamed. "RUN!!!"

The scotties were surprisingly agile, considering the weight of the heavy armor they were wearing. They scattered mere nano-seconds before the great tongues of flame exploded on the ground where they'd been standing, scorching everything it touched.

"WHOA!" exclaimed Nikki Fones. "That bird's SERIOUS!! We may wanna think about a 'Plan B', and we'd better be QUICK about it!"

Katie leaned over and smiled at the group of scotties who were still breathing heavily from the dragon's near-miss.

"Okay, y'all.... this dragon is nothing but a big, flying lizard!! Just think of it as a large, blue GATOR!!!"

"Well, THIS gator won't go away.... don't think even MIDGET offering to wrestle it would solve OUR problem!!" Robbie McGillivray retorted.

"MOVE!!!" shouted Honey Bear, her big Malamute voice carrying over the noise. "It's raining FLAMES!!"

Once again, the scotties were forced to flee for their lives. In less than a minute, it was over. The dragon apparently needed a few minutes to recover between each burst of flames.

The scotties regrouped, and gathered around Katie, who was dusting off her chauses.

"A gator, you say???????" Sky Mayne said, with paws on hips.

"Well, let me correct my statement," Katie said with a smile. "A gator with bad Breath!!!"

She laughed gleefully at her own humor. Riley only rolled his eyes, choosing not to rise to the bait. The scream of the dragon, returning for another pass, drew the scotties' attention.

"Let's get on with this," Katie announced. Adeptly dodging another searing burst of flames, the scotties hurriedly gathered to finalize their plans.

The "Plaid Knights" were responsible for the first phase of the operation, and quickly moved to the open hillside nearby. There, they were to attract the attention of the beast, drawing him in, and keeping him busy.

Jubilee, Callie, and Jake accompanied the "Plaid Knights" on their assignment. As the "Plaids" moved up the hill, the rest of the scotties watched from the foot of the hill. The "Plaids" marched boldly to the crest of the hill. As they marched, they beat their swords noisily against their shields. The sound of that many swords being rhythmically pounded against the metal shields was deafening.... and it was immediately successful.

With a scream of rage that raised the fur on the backs of the scotties, the dragon wheeled around and bore down on the "Plaid Knights", who had stopped at the summit of the hill and continued to clang their weapons against each other.

"Hold your positions!" Ali Riches ordered. "Closer together, shoulder to shoulder. Here he comes!!"

The "Plaid Knights" stood tall and proud on the hilltop, beating their swords against their shields, drawing the dragon ever nearer.

"This BETTER work!" Mikey Quigley whispered.

"It will," Riley replied. Then, to himself, he whispered, "It HAS to!"

The dragon once again arched his serpent's neck, preparing to release another burst of flames. As the dragon unleashed his fiery breath, the "Plaid Knights" moved as one. The shields moved overhead, forming a protective, impenetrable metal roof over the brave scotties.

The force of the flames eating at the shields' surface threatened to drive the scotties to their knees. They knew the plan depended on the "Plaids" holding their ground.

"BRACE!! Stay on your paws...don't buckle!! Ali encouraged his comrades, as the flames tried to slip between the closely held shields.

The "Plaid Knights" could not see what was going on above and beyond them, but they knew that the "Order of the Kilt" was in place, and beginning phase 2 of the operation. They had moved around to the far side of the hill, and as the dragon focused entirely on the "Plaids", the "Order of the Kilt" slipped in behind the dragon.

Just as the dragon unleashed the fiery tongues of flames, the "Kilts" released some fire of their own. The heavy ropes that were tied to the arrows effectively tangled themselves around the great dragon's legs. The "Order of the Kilt" rejoiced for a brief second, then began pulling desperately on the numerous ropes that were now dangling from the enraged dragon's legs.

The Beast of Brannoch, in a wild frenzy, issued an ear-splitting scream, then turned his rage on those who held him earthbound. His neck arched again, a sure sign that another burst of flames was about to be directed at the heroic scotties below.

"PULL!!!!!!!!!!" Sherman Mathisen screamed. "He's aiming toward us now! Throw him off-balance!"

The "Order of the Kilt" pulled with all their might, jerking mightily on the ropes. The BASH Battalion, waiting for this moment, raced up and leaped into the fray, throwing themselves on the ropes.

The Beast of Brannoch, in the process of unleashing another fiery burst, was completely taken by surprise as he was jerked backward by the restraints wrapped around his legs. Another scream of rage rang out across the land, as he fought to release himself from the ropes. With each tug, the dragon found himself more entangled.

One scottie, seeing that the ropes WERE working, let loose with a loud 'ARROOOOOOOO'!!!

That simple shout of joy caused a profound response!!

The Beast of Brannoch stopped in mid-air...literally froze for a second. His head turned at an odd angle, and with a hair-raising cry of pain, several of the dragon's blue scales shattered, and fell to the ground.

"It's the ARROOOOO's!!!!!" shouted Katie. "He can't take the Scottie Cheer!!! EVERYONE, we must cheer.....NOWWWWWW!!!"

The entire BASH legion responded as one. Each furry scottie muzzle raised itself skyward, eyes closed, mouth pursed in that glorious scottie pose......and ARROOOOO'ed with all of their heart!!

The shock and surprise was instantaneous!!

The Laird of Brannoch and his knights stared in open-mouthed wonder. They'd never heard such a sound before. They watched as the wee warriors continued the chorus, louder now, and deeper. The sound was beginning to vibrate the very land beneath their feet. The war horses, terrified of the new sound, were almost impossible to control.

"ARRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"

An unending chorus echoed across the valley. As the scotties continued their Scottie Cheer, they peeked at the dragon overhead. The deep vibration was beginning to have an effect on the dragon. Scales began shattering and falling to the ground. As the chorus continued, the rain of blue scales increased until the scotties were forced to use their shields to protect their heads from the falling debris.

"One last, LOUD Arrrrooooo!" Katie ordered.

The scotties threw their hearts into the final verse of their magnificent Scottie Song.... and in that last moment, the Beast of Brannoch drew its final breath, gave one last scream, and fell to the earth in a ball of flames.

Wild cheering erupted from the Scottie batallion. The Laird of Brannoch and his knights were stunned to see the ease with which the wee warriors had dispatched the dreaded Beast.

The Laird rode to the terriers' side, and addressed the still-cheering scotties.

"We owe you a debt that we can never repay. You will go down in history as the bravest of warriors, the boldest of knights, and the most loyal of friends. We can only give you our great thanks, and offer you the hospitality of our castle. A celebration of grand proportions will be held this night. We will leave my knights here to dispose of the Beast. Come, we have a feast to attend."

The Laird of Brannoch turned his huge war steed, and rode back toward Brannoch Castle. The "Plaid Knights", the "Order of the Kilt", and the BASH Battalion followed close behind.

The scotties' happiness was almost overwhelming! They had defeated the Beast of Brannoch.... and they were about to be treated to a feast!!!

"LET'S PARTY!!!" the BASH scotties shouted, and raced each other back to Brannoch Castle, for the feast of the Millenium!!!






Chapter 9
The Feast of the Millenium

The Laird of Brannoch Castle and his lady, the fair Lady Gwenneth, held a feast that would be talked about for years. The food was rolled out by the wagonload, the music and dancing went on through the night, well into the next day. Scotties, their paws wrapped around each other's shoulders, sang and danced, laughed and retold the tale, with each telling growing larger and more incredible than the last.

The feast was still in full swing when a detachment of the Laird's knights entered the Great Hall. The scotties paid little attention to the interruption, choosing instead to continue their destruction of a side of beef that had just been taken from the fireplace.

It was when the knights ordered the cart brought in, pulled by several serfs, that the WCGang and the BASH scotties stood up and took notice.

Sir Knight led the procession, and the cart stopped in the center of the Great Hall. Sir Knight removed the covering from the cart, to reveal an enormous bone.

" M'lord, this is all that remains of the Beast. The rest of the monster was destroyed in his fiery demise."

"My deep thanks, Sir Knight," the Laird of Brannoch replied. "This shall be forever honored as proof of the bravery of our wee warriors. We will, from this day forward, know this bone as THE BONE OF BRANNOCH!"

The BASH scotties gasped. They quickly looked at each other, then back at the enormous bone that sat on the cart in the center of the Hall.

"So, THAT is the 'Bone of Brannoch'! Who'd have thought that WE would be the ones to CREATE the legendary bone! My, my, that IS quite a paradox!" Riley smiled widely, and patted Katie on the paw.

"Sooooooooo, Katie. Here's your quest!!" Riley pointed to the Bone of Brannoch that rested on the cart. "How do you plan to get THAT bone back to our time??? I know you wanted to locate this Bone. And, I know you wanted to place the Bone at the National Museum of Scottie History. However, I just don't see the Laird just handing this bone over to us. Any ideas, dear sister?"

Katie smiled broadly. She glanced around the room, at all of her dear scottie friends who were having such a grand time, and who had followed her into danger, to help recover the legendary bone. It had always held an important place in the annals of scottie history. It belonged back in the present. It belonged in the National Museum of Scottie History.

"Watch me get this bone. Wait here," she said, and sashayed across the room to stand at the side of the Laird's chair on the dais.

Riley groaned, then turned to Webber, who was smiling broadly.

"I don't know who to feel sorrier for," Riley said, "the Laird, who is about to lose a bone... or the poor souls who're going to have to LUG this bone back to the tree!!!"

Webber laughed out loud. "Yessir, he said. The Laird doesn't know who he's dealing with. He doesn't stand a chance!"

The two scotties laughed uproariously, then leisurely leaned back against a nearby pillar to watch the Laird face the Wild Child.

It actually didn't take long at all. Katie soon returned to Riley and Webber, smiling happily.

"Okay, we have to know. What'd you tell him? Did you get the Bone??" Webber asked, not doubting the outcome for a minute.

"Well," Katie began, "he wasn't too thrilled with the idea at first. I told him we wanted to take the Bone of Brannoch to our own village, to put it in a place of honor so everyone could come and see this symbol of scottie bravery. He is a shrewd trader. But, I finally won him over to our side."

Curiosity got the better of Riley as he asked, "Well, what'd he trade for the bone?"

The wicked gleam in Katie's eye betrayed her. "He wants me to teach him to ARROOOO!"

Riley and Webber almost choked on their laughter. The story quickly spread to the rest of the BASH scotties. The Bone of Brannoch would be returning with them, and would be permanently housed in the National Museum of Scottie History, where it belonged.

Their quest at an end, the scotties bid a fond adieu to the Laird of Brannoch Castle and his Lady Gwenneth. After much fanfare, and many long farewell speeches, the BASH scotties headed back to the hill where their adventure began. It took most of the scotties pulling on the cart to get the bone to the top of the hill. The scotties leaned the Bone carefully against the trunk of the tree, then each one scurried to find a pawhold.

One last glance back down the hill showed Brannoch Castle, shining brightly in the late afternoon sunlight, its residents going about their daily lives as if the scotties had never been there.

"Let's go home," Katie said. Everyone cheered at that suggestion, and together the scotties chanted the magical words that would return them to their own place and time... "TIME MOVES!"

As quickly as the words were spoken, the light flashed, the mist rolled in, and the scotties found themselves once again on the manicured lawn of the Swamp Witch's home.

The relief was overwhelming when they realized that they could take the Bone of Brannoch back out of the swamp in the hot-air balloon, and wouldn't have to DRAG it out of the swamp through the mud. The remainder of the afternoon was spent preparing the balloon and loading the Bone into the gondola. As soon as the balloon lifted off, the wee adventurers began phoning their Mams and Dads, using the cell phones they'd left in the gondola at the beginning of their adventure.

They soon found themselves back at the airport, and gently set the balloon down as close to the Scotcorde as they dared. Carefully unloading the Bone of Brannoch, they were more than willing to leave the transfer of the Bone to Captain Scotty. He immediately called in several favors, and within an hour, the National Museum of Scottie History had a truck backed up to the Scotcorde, to take delivery of the legendary Bone.

As the Bone of Brannoch headed off to its permanent home at the Scottie Museum, the BASH guests wearily climbed aboard the Scotcorde. They were ready to return to their homes, to their Mams and Dads, and to a warm, cozy bed for a well-deserved nap.

The BASH guests waved goodbye to Katie and Riley as Captain Scotty closed the door and prepared to take off. He had seen this so many times. The scotties always ended a BASH adventure in a state of exhaustion, and this trip was no different. Within minutes of take-off, the main lounge was absolutely silent. Each scottie, each furry adventurer had found a cozy place to curl up. The Guardian Brigade,always on duty, were struggling to keep their eyes open. Captain Scotty smiled again. The BASH adventure was over. Everyone must have had a grand time, everyone made it back in one piece, and the Scotcorde once again was returning the guests to their families.

The Captain was certainly curious about the events that had taken place at this BASH. He made a promise to himself to find out about THIS trip... but not just yet. His wee ones were quiet and all was well with the world. He smiled to himself as his attention returned to the instrument panel in front of him.

The silence of the skies was broken only by the sounds of the great engines of Sleek One, as it streaked across the sky, to disappear into the distance.




THE END









This ORIGINAL story was created and written by Carol Johnson.
ORIGINAL illustrations done by Karen Donnelly.
It is NOT to be reproduced in ANY way ....PERIOD!!!!
ęCopyright 2004 All rights reserved.













| Site Menu |

| Links | Awards | Guestbook | Tell a Friend |


Webmaster: Katie & Riley's Mam



Hit Counter


Ja nuns hons pris
by Richard I Lionheart (1157-1199)



ęCopyright 2004 All rights reserved.