Arnold sat up slowly, his body aching all over as if he had just crashed into the ground. To his surprise he was wearing the urchin clothing that he had been when he’d been working for Mumsy. He heard a fire roaring nearby and sat up and found himself in the Fells, right next to the Klaw, the crashed ship that Doctor Dinosaur had commanded, consumed by flames. He backed away shaking his head and looked about for a few moments confused before he heard a whinney of joy.
Turning about he saw Avariel Falcon rearing triumphantly, “There you are! I was starting to think that you didn’t make it!” She cantered up to him and looked him up and down. “You defeated the wicked lizard! I now dub thee—-Kitty-Hero of New Babbage!”
Arnold frowned, that had happened last summer if he remembered right. He had fallen asleep on the Plank’s couch again-he was sure of it- and now he was here again.
Only he wasn’t alone in the Fells with Avariel. They suddenly had a large audience as urchins appeared as if from the ground itself cheering him. Tepic was the first to run up to him, grinning, “Told yer yer was a hero Mr. Arnold!”
Lo was right behind him in saying how happy she was that he was alright, followed by Nathaniel, Taylor Muggins, Snow, Leon, Scald, and others he hadn’t seen in a long time like Gadget. Jimmy just gave a grin and a wave from back aways. Not everyone was there, but Arnold couldn’t help but be overwhelmed. Eventually Avariel cleared a path back to him.
“Now, as the Good Unicorn of New Babbage, it is my honor to give you your reward!” Avariel stated matter of factly. “A new adventure!”
“Really?” Arnold looked back at the crashed ship and remembered those final desperate moments with clarity now. Bleeding from open wounds and clinging desperately to a rope of the flying Vole to escape. “That’s the reward?”
“It is the best reward ever!” Avariel nodded emphatically. “And when you’re done I’ll come up with an even better name than just the Hero-Kitty of New Babbage!” She nodded her head twice, making her mane dance about. His ears perked as he focused on her, and what she was about to say. “You need to take the Dinosaur’s Blood to Clockhaven!”
“The Dinosaur’s Blood?” Arnold asked, as he turned back to the inferno that was the wreckage. “How am I supposed to-”
“Don’t worry, you already have it!” Avariel assured him and poked him gently with her horn and started to nudge him towards the city. “Now off with you on your new adventure!”
“Wait!” Tepic cried from the crowd, grinning mischeviously. “Ya can’t go dressed like that Mr. Arnold! Yer a hero now, so’s yer should dress like one!” Tepic reached into a bag and rummaged for a bit, and from out of the tiny bag he produced a glowing white top-hat and cane, as well as a scarlet red waistcoat and a white jacket with silver lining with matching pants.
Before he knew what was happening, Arnold was already dressed in it, the urchin clothes were gone except for the urchin tie. “There ya go, Mr. Arnold! Ye finally look how ye should look!”
Arnold frowned at the attire. He had been told countless times that he was a hero, that it was what he wanted, but it felt wrong. Finally he made his way towards the city intending to head for Clockhaven. As he entered the city he thought he saw a bird man smiling at him from underneath a hat, who wished him luck, sai.