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Blackberry Bun's Oz Journal: Prologue
Quote:Prologue: Year 1, Day 3

Two days had passed since the day I, along with Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Dumplin', Ginger Snap, Orange Blossom, Angel Cake, Huckleberry Pie, and Peppermint Fizz, had ended up in Oz, a planet located in a different universe from Strawberryland. Why we had been stranded here, it had been because of me. I had created a spaceship which I named Albatross, and I invited my friends to ride it with me. I had never thought that just a minute after we got to see the view of space, we got sucked by Black Hole. We managed to get out from the empty void within by overcharging the engine, but as the result Albatross had malfuctioned and fallen down into this planet.

During the first two days, we met a wicked witch named Gladys with her flying monkey, a good witch named Glinda, who was Gladys' sister, and a scientist named Henry, who apparently came from another universe and was trapped in Oz, just like us. Many things have happened in the first day, but in the end we were allowed by Glinda to live in Emerald Castle. The castle was the place where The Great Wizard of Oz lived, or so it was known. Apparently, The Great Wizard of Oz was actually Henry, who used technology to make himself appear as if he had magic. Glinda knew that, and she brought us to Henry because he was a scientist, so he probably could help me find a way to get back home.

The day we met them was also the day we learned that Oz was actually another planet in another universe. The only way to get back to Strawberryland was to repair Albatross, which seemed impossible because Albatross was badly wrecked and the technology of Oz was as primitive as fairy tales. Even with the help of Henry, I honestly doubted if we would ever get back home.

In the second day, in a workshop located at the back of Emerald Casle, I and Henry tried to salvage anything that could be used from the remains of Albatross. We finished salvaging after dark, and the result was... nothing. A big fat zero. Everything from the remains of Albatross were better off in a garbage pile, which meant instead of fixing Albatross I had to built a new spaceship from scratch. The new spaceship had to be strong enough to fly through the black hole, and I had to build such monster with primitive technology. Knowing that made me frustated, and Henry suggested me to take a break for a few days. I didn't say anything and just went to sleep.

This morning, I woke up a bit late. By the time I got to the dining room to have breakfast, only Henry and Glinda was still there. The others had already gone somewhere.

"Good morning, Blackberry Bun," Glinda greeted.

"Hello there, son. Did you sleep well?" Henry asked.

"Not really," I said. "The thought of the impossible task kept haunting me."

"It's not impossible, son," Henry said. "You need to believe."

"Look, Mr. Henry. The spaceship I built with modern tools got wrecked by a black hole. We were very lucky that we could get out," I said. "Now, to get back home I need a stronger spaceship, strong enough to fly through the same black hole, and I have to build such thing with primitive technology. Do you still think it is not impossible?"

"Yes, son. You just need to try, one step at a time," Henry said.

"Easier said than done," I said, taking a seat. "I don't even know where to start."

"Don't think too much about it for now, son," Henry said as I ate my breakfast. "Go relax for some days first."

"I can't do that. My friends are waiting for me to bring them home. I can't afford to make any delay!" I said.

"Blackberry, you actually have a point," Glinda said. "However, that thought also puts you under pressure, and because of that you cannot think clearly. If you keep it like that, you will delay even more."

"Also, you should remember that your friends agreed that you must not stress yourself. Why do you seem to forget that in just one day?" Henry said.

"I know, and I still remember it," I said. "But they are all trapped here because I brought them with me to space. I dragged them all into this mess. I have to be responsible and make amends!"

"I believe none of them blames you, Blackberry," Glinda said as I finished eating.

"I'm sure they do. They just don't want to show it," I said, standing up.

"Always happy to blame yourself as always," suddenly someone said from behind. I looked and saw that it was Peppermint. "If you really want to be blamed, then I'll gladly be the one to blame you, because the others are just too soft."

I was just speechless as she walked to me and stopped right in front of me.

"It's all your fault! If only you did not make that junk of a spaceship, none of us would be here right now, trapped in the middle of nowhere! You better find a way for us to get back home fast, or you're nothing more than a stranger to me!" she said. "There! Happy now?"

I was still speechless.

"Look, kid. Everything may or may not be your fault, but you have shown to everyone else that you want to bring us all home, and that's enough," she said. "I don't care how long it will take. Just finish your job and bring us home. If you need help from any of us, just say so."

"Peppermint..." I said as she turned away and walked.

"The others are at the courtyard playing ball if you want to know," she said without stopping or looking at me. After she was gone, I sat down again and mused.

"That was a bit harsh," Glinda said.

"She actually has a point, though," Henry said.

"That's the Peppermint Fizz I always know," I said.

"So, what are you going to do now, Blackberry?" Glinda asked.

"I'm going to see the others, and after that I'll decide what to do next," I said. I then went to the castle courtyard, and indeed like she had said, the others were there playing catch. As soon as I arrived, Strawberry noticed me.

"Hey there, Blackberry!" Strawberry said.

"Oh, hey, buddy! Wanna join us?" Huck asked.

"I think I'll pass," I said as Huck threw the ball. "I need to get back to work soon."

"You should take a day off from fixing the spaceship once in a while," Angel said, catching the ball and throwing it again.

"Yeah, Blackberry. We don't want you to overwork yourself," Orange said as Ginger caught the ball.

"I started just yesterday, why should I take a day off already?" I asked with a bit of chuckling.

"Because all the things happened when we arrived here were exhausting, am I right?" Ginger said.

"Ginger is berry right, Blackberry," Strawberry said. "Also, I believe everyone else here have agreed that you should not stress yourself out. Just do it one step at a time, and if you need our help we will berry gladly help you!"

"That's right," Angel said.

"Come join us, Blackberry!" Orange said.

"Apple Dumplin' want Blackberry have fun!" Apple said.

"Everyone... Thank you," I said. I then joined them in playing catch with a very big relief. From a distance, without any of us noticing, Peppermint looked at us while leaning to a wall and with arms folded, and Glinda stood beside her.

"Hmph, took him long enough," she said.

"Thank you for your help, Peppermint," Glinda said.

"I just can't stand having a friend who keeps blaming himself and stressing himself out," Peppermint said.

"And thanks to you, he no longer does that. He should be able to think more clearly for his work now," Glinda said.

"I do hope so," Peppermint said. "I really miss my home."

Later, I went back to the workshop. Henry was there disposing the remains of Albatross.

"Oh, you're here, son. I thought I told you to take a few days off," Henry said.

"I know, but at least I want to make a plan for the spaceship first," I said. "Can't start without it."

"Good point, son!" Henry said.

"Let's see..." I said. "To assemble a spaceship we need the frame, the body, then..."

"The engine, also thrusters," Henry said.

"That's right. And then the wings and windshield," I said. "Inside there will be the cockpit and seats."

"Don't forget the cables to connect the parts, especially the engine," Henry said.

"That's quite a lot," I said. "Better take notes."

I then took a blank scroll and a quill with the ink, and then I wrote all the mentioned parts on it. I then looked around the workshop, seeing that the available tools were too primitive and almost completely useless.

"You know, Mr. Henry," I said. "I think before we begin building the spaceship, we need to get the proper tools for it first."

"You made another good point, son!" he said.

"But the problem is, the tools in my mind are modern ones, and there's one important thing missing for them to work," I said.

"Electricity isn't it?" he said, and I nodded. "Well, I have the batteries for my holographic device."

"We will run out of batteries before we even finish assembling the frame and body," I said.

"You have another point, son," he said.

"Electricity isn't invented yet in this world," I said. "I guess we have to do the inventing ourselves."

"In other words, make a generator," he said.

"Yes, that should be our first step," I said. "Though I don't know what the generator will be fueled by."

"In any case, we need to get the materials to build it," he said.

"Well, that's a lot of work already," I said. "This will indeed take a long time."

"Take it easy, son. You have done enough for today. Go take a few days off like I said, maybe you'll get bright ideas during those days," he said.

"Alright. See you later, Mr. Henry," I said.

"Just call me with name only," he said while smiling.

I then left the workshop thinking about all the works we had to do just to prepare for the main project of building a spaceship. Indeed it would take a very long time, and I somehow felt that there would be many obstacles along the way. However, I was determined that I would never give up. I would bring everyone back to Strawberryland, and I would definitely make that happen someday.

-End of Prologue-
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
Looking forward to this! Good luck!

I like the premise. I like Peppermint's honesty. One of my primary concerns, were I in such a situation, would be finding a way to let people back home know I was not dead and had not abandoned them, though this may be impossible without making it home first. Still, maybe somehow the friends back in Strawberryland can get some type of message that the long disappearance was accidental.

Henry is likable, and I feel bad knowing he will be missed and doesn't have a counterpart in the Berry World. I do think he says "son" a bit too much. He says it after every other sentence, it seems.
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