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The Brownfeather Chronicles story #3
 

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Brownfeather placed the wood crown on her feathery head. "The ceremony begins in one minute!" a servant announced. Brownfeather was standing in the Grand Hall of the City Hall Tree, which was renovated to be somewhat like a palace. Her official inauguration as Queen of Econia was today. Being queen was simply a non-political figure, because the forest was already ruled by a chief. She earned the position by killing her evil sister, Beige, then killing her evil father, Mahogany, when he tried to bring Beige back to life (which almost worked). "How do I look?" Brownfeather asked Dmitri, her elderly friend, and the only Elder Owl to survive Beige-robot's short-lived reign. "Have your speech ready?" Dmitri asked. Brownfeather's stomach sunk. "Sp-speech? I didn't know I needed to make a speech!". "Well, you better think of one quick. The ceremony's starting!". A servant opened the double doors in front of Brownfeather, revealing the Grand Balcony. There stood Chief Dungheap, the chief of Econia. Brownfeather would take his place, beginning the first dynasty of the monarch. Blushing, Brownfeather remembered the time she told everyone Chief Dungheap was her father to impress them. Good thing nobody here knew about that. Dmitri gave Brownfeather a shove, and she walked out onto the balcony. The crowd of owls perches on the branches of the City Hall Tree cheered. There must be trillions, Brownfeather thought nervously. She spotted her mother, the only member of her family who was not evil or dead. Auburn (her mother) waved, but Brownfeather didn't dare wave back. Was that improper? Auburn kept waving, her smile slowly fading. Brownfeather had to wave back. She couldn't be rude! That was probably even more improper! Cautiously, Brownfeather raised her wing and waved down at her mother. The crowd gasped. A servant next to Brownfeather fainted. "But you wing down, fool! You're a queen now!" Dmitri spat. Embarrassed, Brownfeather brought her wing back down to her side stiffly. Chief Dungheap raised both his wings, and Brownfeather thought there would be another wave of screams. But instead, the crowd quieted. No fair! she thought. "Peace, peace, owls of nature!" Dungheap declared. "We all gather here to welcome our new leader, marking the beginning of a new era for Econia! No more chiefs! This begins the era of kings and queens!". The crowd cheered. "Behold, citizens! Bow down to Queen Brownfeather!". Brownfeather walked further out onto the balcony, and leaned over the rail. The crowd didn't cheer. "They don't like me..." Brownfeather said. "Nonsense!" Dmitri exclaimed. "Hello?" Chief Dungheap said. "Queen Brownfeather! Cheer! CHEER, FOOLS!". The crowd was still silent. "WATCH OUT!" one owl screamed. Brownfeather noticed they were all looking not at her, but behind the building. She turned around, and saw a huge metal sphere hurtling towards the balcony. "GET DOWN!" she shrieked. The sphere crashed onto the balcony, crumbling the wood. Brownfeather, Dmitri, Chief Dungheap, a few servants, and the sphere fell into the crowd. The sphere landed on the ground with a loud boom. "The chief!" someone screamed. Chief Dungheap was pinned under the sphere, his upper body crushed flat. "...He's dead!" a servant declared, after checking the chief's pulse. The crowd uproared in panic. Brownfeather and Dmitri had landed on a group of particularly fat owls, giving them a soft landing. "You're the leader, now, Brownfeather!" Dmitri said. "Tell them not to panic!". But before Brownfeather could do anything, the sphere began to shift. The metal opened up, and a square screen emerged from the center. It flickered to life. On the screen was a black bird. He was large, and not just because he was on a jumbo-screen. "Greetings, lower species!" the bird said. None of the owls had ever experienced technology, so they were confused. How was he talking from inside that box? "I am Ebonybeak, chief of the Black Eagle Tribe. We preside in the mountains beyond your forest. We Black Eagles are a very advanced species. We have developed technology to aid us in life. But we have lost our best technology-maker and are searching the globe to find him. He is one of your kind, so we decided to check here first. Does an owl named Mahogany live here?". Brownfeather heard her mother gasp from the crowd. Mahogany was Brownfeather's father. He betrayed the family only a few weeks ago, when he used parts of an exploded power-box to reanimate Beige's corpse. His plan was to make Beige Protector of the Forest, then control her like a robot to do his bidding. He wanted to take control of the forest, but he died from falling out of a tree before he could do so. Brownfeather had never wondered how Mahogany had managed to morph Beige's corpse with a robot. But now that she thought about it, it was a little odd that he would be able to do that with no experience. Dmitri nudged Brownfeather. "Well? Answer him!". Brownfeather snapped back into reality. She was still getting the hang of being a queen. "Ummmm...we don't know anyone named Mahogany". The crowd murmured. They knew Brownfeather was lying, but the fortunately didn't tell Ebonybeak that. "Liar! Liar, liar, liar!" Ebonybeak whined. He sounded extremely childish and immature. "Confess! You kidnapped our master tech-maker!". "We didn't!" Brownfeather told Ebonybeak. That part was true. "I don't believe you! Eagles, commence full-time siege!". Suddenly, holes appeared in the sphere. Thousands of jet black eagles soared out of the holes, blotting out the sun and making it impossible to see. "Hey! Go away!" Brownfeather cried. She felt claws lifting her from the ground. "Stop! Help! HELP!".

Brownfeather opened her eyes. She was tied up in a cold, metal chair. She was in the throne room. The portraits of former chiefs were heavily vandalized. Black marker crossed out faces or drew hideous bags or hairdos. "She's awake," someone said. It was one of the black eagles, but his back was extremely hunched. "Let me go!" Brownfeather demanded. "Not until Chief Ebonybeak questions you. He's questioned everyone". A door opened from behind Brownfeather. "Oh! Here he is now!" the hunchback exclaimed. Ebonybeak walked next to the hunchback. "Thank you, Freak. Leave. NOW!". Ebonybeak pulled out a whip, and lashed Freak with it. "OW! OK, OK!" Freak scuttled out of the room. "Now, Brownfeather," Ebonybeak told Brownfeather. "I understand you are the queen of this forest". "Yes. And you'll never defeat me!!!". Smiling, Ebonybeak touched a button on the wall. Brownfeather's metal chair suddenly become electrifying, frying Brownfeather's tail feathers. "TALK!" Ebonybeak demanded. "Never!". The chair shocked Brownfeather again. But this time, Brownfeather jumped up. She hobbled over to Ebonybeak while she was still tied to the chair, and pinned him against the wall with it. She grabbed the remote with her talon and pressed it. Ebonybeak shook violently, the electricity coursing through him. The shock burned the ropes on Brownfeather's wings. She was free! Brownfeather flapped out of the throne room, leaving Ebonybeak pinned to the wall by a chair.

Brownfeather met up with Dmitri outside the City Hall/Palace. All the other owls were being held captive in the City Hall by eagles, but Dmitri had managed to escape just as Brownfeather had. "We need to stop this madness!" Dmitri said, and Brownfeather agreed. So they hatched a plan to defeat the black eagles. "Hey!" someone said suddenly. Dmitri and Brownfeather spun around to see Freak the eagle, sitting on a branch below them. "What's going on?". "Fly!" Dmitri said. "No, wait, stop!" Freak begged. He flew up to meet them. "I don't want to turn you in! I want to help you!". "You want to help us defeat Ebonybeak?". "Yes! I hate him!" Freak said. "Fine," said Brownfeather. "Tell us everything you know about the Black Eagles". "Well," began Freak, "I know that Ebonybeak's uncle was an owl who lived in the mountains. That owl's son was an owl named Mahogany". "Mahogany!" Brownfeather exclaimed. "That's my dad!". Freak noddded. "Yep. Mahogany was born first, so he was next in line to be chief. But Mahogany didn't want to be chief, he wanted to be a technology-maker. After he learned everything he could about technology, he ran away to Econia". "That's when he married my mom!". Freak nodded again. "Now, Ebonybeak was destined for the throne because Mahogany was an only child. After Ebonybeak became chief, he hungered for domination. He came here to find his long lost cousin, Mahogany. He wants Mahogany to build him a destructo-machine, so Ebonybeak can destroy Econia and take over the whole world!". "Sorry to burst your bubble, but Mahogany's dead," Brownfeather said. Freak didn't seem surprised. "So, what's the plan to stop Ebonybeak?" Dmitri asked. "Well," began Freak. "No one knew that Mahogany had any offspring when Ebonybeak became chief. So, technically, you are the rightful heiress to be chief!".

Brownfeather, Dmitri, and Freak's plan was to extremeley simple. They'd say in public that Brownfeather was the real heir to be chief, and then the crowd would hopefully overpower Ebonybeak and crown Brownfeather as chief of the Black Eagle Tribe. If that did not work, they had another plan to dispose of Ebonybeak by force. "I feel it's missing something," Dmitri said while they were getting ready. "Nonsense! It's perfect!". Minutes later, Freak and Brownfeather barged into the throne room. "All hail the rightful chief of the Black Eagle Tribe!" Freak announced. Ebonybeak, who sitting in the throne, jumped up. "No! I am! I already am chief!". "But she was supposed to be chief before you!" Freak said. "She's Mahogany's daughter!". Ebonybeak gasped and so did a few servants. "Impossible! Freak, you are fired!". "I don't care! I follow to true chief!". "Seize him!" Ebonybeak roared. Guards came out of the shadows and grabbed Freak by the wings. None of the servants protested. Time initiate Plan B! "Dmitri, NOW!" Brownfeather hollered. Dmitri swooped down from the rafters, and used his super-strong beak to pulverize all the guards. "Stop them!" cried Ebonybeak. A few unarmed servants tried attacking Brownfeather, but she warded them off quickly. "Send in backup!" Ebonybeak told a servant, who rushed to the nearby window. "Stop him!". Dmitri lunged for the servant, grabbing him from behind. The servant swung back around and pulled out a taser. He electrified Dmitri with it, then flew out the window to round up more eagles. "No!" cried Brownfeather. Suddenly, that taser gave her an idea. "Hold off the backup!" she told Freak. "I have a plan!". Brownfeather searched the hall, and found it. The electric chair Ebonybeak had used on her hours before. Brownfeather unplugged the chair from the wall, and sneaked over behind Ebonybeak's throne. She cut the wires from the chair, and touched them to the throne. Hopefully, it would have the same electrifying effect as when it was connected to the metal chair. Brownfeather plugged it back it, but nothing happened. Of course! she thought, I forgot the remote!. She ran over to where she found the chair, and saw the remote on the ground. She picked it up, and was about to press the button when she remembered Dmitri. He was laying unconscious next to the throne. If she pressed the button, he would be shocked even more! He's surely die! Suddenly, a hoard of black eagles stormed in through the doors and windows. "Destory them all!" Ebonybeak ordered, still sitting on his throne. An eagle attacked Brownfeather, making her drop the remote. It disappeared in the crowd, under the talons of hundreds of birds. "Nooo!" Brownfeather exclaimed. After fighting off the eagle, she spooted Freak holding the remote. "Freak! Don't press it yet!" Brownfeather yelled. Freak turned to look at Brownfeather, and smiled. "DON'T PRESS IT!" screamed Brownfeather. Freak slammed his wing down on the button. "NNNNOOOOO!". There was a huge explosion, and everything went black.

Brownfeather woke up. She was in the throne room still. All of the eagles were unconscious, strewn around the ground. Looking around, she saw Ebonybeak's throne blown to bits. Sitting in the wreckage was a bird's skeleton. Ebonybeak! Brownfeather couldn't see Dmitri. Was he dead! Freak was standing in the middle of the crowd, unhurt. "Freak!" Brownfeather scolded. "I told you not to press the button!". Freak spun around. "You think I would listen to you?". His sudden harshness surprised Brownfeather. "W-what? But your on our side!". "Only because we had the same enemy," Freak said, pointing to the skeleton. "HIM! And thanks to you, I'm the rightful chief of the Black Eagle Tribe!". "No you aren't!" Brownfeather said. "I am!". "You're so gullible!" said Freak. "I'm Ebonybeak's younger brother! All I have to do is kill you, and I'm the chief!". Brownfeather felt so stupid. Why would she ever trust a monster like him? "I won't let you! You're just a disgusting hunchback, how could you kill me?". "Mahogany wasn't the only one who could build things! I've created my own destructo-machine! One to kill YOU!". "Oh really? What is it?". Freak smiled. "THIS TREE!". Suddenly, a giant tree branch came in through the ceiling, raining peices of wood onto Brownfeather. The branch grabbed Brownfeather by her talons, and lifted her out of the throne room. Freak followed, flying out of the hole it made. "I intertwined the limbs of this tree with artificially-smart robot arms! It's practically INVINCIBLE!". Brownfeather scraped the tree limb, but only managed to shred off a few bark pieces. Another branch swung over to pin Brownfeather's neck, making it hard for her to breath. Freak flew up to the branch, grinning at Brownfeather's pain. "You've finally met your match! The great queen and Protector of the Forest is through! Finished! I WIN! I'M THE CHIEF!". Brownfeather bit into the branch's bark, tearing out a huge chunk. Behind the outer-layer was a set of wires and gadgets. She tore her beak into that, and ripped out the wires. The whole limb convulsed, and hung from the tree as limply as a piece of rope. Brownfeather plummeted a few feet, but caught the wind and landed up on another branch. More limbs reached for her. "You can't escape!" Freak said. The limbs wrapped themselves tightly around Brownfeather, squeezing her like a constrictor. She couldn't breath! The corners of her vision began to black out. Freak cackled, smiling at her pain. Suddenly, Brownfeather heard a peculiar noise. It was the sound of a motor. A chainsaw! But Brownfeather didn't know that. Peeking downwards, she spotted a crowd of owls gathered around the trunk of the tree. Her mother was at the front, cutting into the trunk with the chainsaw. "We got into the eagle's technology supply!" Auburn told Brownfeather from below. Brownfeather smiled. "No! Get away! Shoo, shoo!" Freak said. He pressed a button on the remote, and a tree branch swung down, smacking into the crowd of Econian owls. They screamed, and were pushed away from the trunk. The branches around Brownfeather began to squeeze harder. "Everyone, watch her DIE!" Freak said. Then, there was another noise. Brownfeather knew that noise. Dmitri was hammering into the trunk with his beak, finishing the other owls' job. "Stop, stop, STOP!" whined Freak. But he was too late. The tree toppled, falling to the ground with a mighty boom. The remote fell out of Freak's wings. The limbs let go of Brownfeather, and she rolled a good couple yards. Freak got up from the ground, and brushed himself off. "Your attempts are useless! Your friends can't save you! GIVE UP!". Freak picked up the chainsaw, and walked towards Brownfeather. "It ends here!" he said, turning on the machine. Suddenly, one of the limbs arose from the ground and swung itself at Freak. It smacked him in the ribs, and he flew backwards ten feet. Auburn was holding the remote, a scowl on her face. "Finish him off, Mom!" Brownfeather said. Dmitri walked out to Freak, and pinned him down. "Stop!" Freak said, pulling the chainsaw out again. "Or I'll kill the last Elder!". The crowd of owls gasped. Auburn didn't flinch. "Mom, don't...". Auburn's wing hovered above the button. "Stop!". Brownfeather jumped and grabbed the remote from her mother. "We won't press it! Just let Dmitri go!". Freak smiled. "No!". He revved up the chainsaw, and swung it at Dmitri's legs. "NOOOO!". Brownfeather screamed as Dmitri crumbled to the ground. Freak pulled out a thin stick. He swiped it against the box it had came it, and threw it at the tree branches. It was a match! The tree was ablaze, and Freak was laughing horrifically. "It's here! The Eagle Hour!" he mused. The owls screamed, fluttering about. Brownfeather rushed towards Freak, but a soft wing stopped her. "Go..." Dmitri said, looking up at Brownfeather from the ground. "Get out of here. There's no hope for Econia. If you escape, Freak can never become ruler! Go, save yourself!". Brownfeather reluctantly turned around, and fled from the scene. When she was far enough, she turned around. She watched Freak bind all the owls in ropes and throw them in the fire. She wanted to help, but she wanted to obey her friend. She noticed her wooden crown laying in the fiery tree. It must have fallen off her head! When it was nothing but a crisp, Brownfeather turned around and flew away from her home.

To be continued...

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