Hungry like the wolf

“Wait, what’s that!?” Jay turned, his eyes scanning the trees around them. Tense.
“What -” Bruno began, but Jay held up a hand, silencing him at once.
Twigs snapped, somewhere nearby in the undergrowth...
<end snip>
Bruno saw it first, and pointed, muting a scream by covering his mouth. It had four legs, fur, and lots and lots of teeth. A wolf prowled slowly out of the darkness towards them, baring its teeth.
“We need weapons” shouted Jay. They all looked around, they were completely defenceless.
Bruno picked up a stick. Something measly. Everyone else looked at him. “What?”
“Is that really the best we can do?” said Jade. Then looked around. She shrugged then picked one up herself.
Jay picked up an even larger stick, which made Bruno look at his own with embarrassment. Then he dropped it and picked up an even bigger one. Jay looked at his, dropped it then found an even bigger one.
“Guys, cut it out, it's not a competition!” Said Cass. But Bruno was hanging off a tree branch, trying to snap it off.
The snarling wolf wasn't in the mood for antics though. It pounced at the group, and everyone scattered. Jay got a good swipe at it, but it was Bruno's branch which snapped just at the right time and fell, impaling the wolf in place. It's eyes fizzed, them popped out on springs. There was the sound of a mechanism whirring down.
“It's robotic.” Said Jamie. He carefully approached it, and parted the fur where it'd been impaled.
“There's a tag at this side.” Said Bruno. “Like some sort of toy. It says, 'manufactured by Hallow’een droid inc, a subsidery of Diva Droid International'”.
“Oh my god!” said Jamie.
“Yeah, I know.” Said Bruno. “They’ve put the apostrophe in the wrong place!”

“We need to figure out what's going on.” Said Jay. “Where have these things come from?” He turned to Bruno. “As you’re supposed to be the Captain...”
“I AM the Captain. Was. Am. Don’t want to be.”
“...maybe you can access the Ship’s log files and figure out where these came from?”
Bruno nodded and they walked down the Promenade, which had been turned into a spooky forest, towards a ship console.

Bruno was hanging behind, taking large steps.
“What are you doing?” Jade asked him, turning around.
“Avoiding the cracks.” Bruno said honestly. Then looked around and hopped onto the next floor plate. “It’s unlucky to step on a crack”.
Jay sighed. “Hurry up then, there’s a Holly console over here.”
Bruno halted at a part of the corridor where the deck plating had been shattered into fragments due to one of the recent explosions. He mused the best path.

Jay faced the monitor at the end of the corridor “Holly, what’s going on? What are all these things? The wolves and the witches?”
“It started with our latest mission, but I can’t tell you any more. Top secret! Command staff only!” Said Holly. “Also, who is this ‘Holly’? I’m Hilly!”
“Why would that be I wonder?” Cass and Jay looked at each other.

Meanwhile, Bruno was still unable to step on a crack, until a witches cackle behind him changed his mind. Jade grabbed his hand and dragged him towards Holly.
“Woah, Holly’s a girl!” Bruno said. “I can’t talk to girls.”
“You can talk to me.” Said Jade.
“Bruno opened his mouth to reply, then went red and looked away.”
“Captain Downing. Didn’t see you there.” Said Holly (or Hilly). “So we were ordered to mine asteroid H31-10, which is inside a sacred area of Ffionian space.”
“That’s why they were attacking us then.” Said Jay.
“...We docked with the asteroid, but it turns out it was a garbage ball of discarded Halloween toys.”
“These aren’t just toys!” Said Bruno, picking his nose.
“They were manufactured for a realistic theme-park, where visitors wanted to feel like they’re in actual danger. Problem is, they were. Health and safety shut them down.”
“Health and safety gone mad!” Said Bruno shaking his fist. Then realised everyone was eyeballing him.

They heard a cackling behind them, and a ghostly witch appeared through the wall.
“I thought they were robots - how come that came through a wall?” Bruno asked.
“Most of them are. I’ve no idea what that is though.” Said Hilly.

The witch riding a hoover instead of a broomstick floated at the opposite end of the corridor, holding a flaming pumpkin which she was about to throw.

Problem is, they were trapped in a corridor and had to get past her to escape.


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