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The Care Bear Caper!

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Author: Alex Warlorn
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Xanadu story universe
This is the first shared story universe I have ever written for, this is the first pure non-fanfiction TF story I've ever written.

The cameos used in this story are totally without permission, if a cease and desist notice is given, it will be heeded.

Hats off to the Star Trek novels in particular.
Tenderheart
The de facto leader of his fuzzy brethren.
fur
brownish orange
symbol
heart
Wish Bear
She helps make wishes come true, and although they don't always come true, making wishes and working hard to help make them come true is still fun.
fur
turquoise
symbol
shooting star
Cheer Bear
Cheer Bear has made it her goal to help everyone be joyous as she is (sometimes whether they like it not).
fur
pink
symbol
rainbow

"So everyone remember the plan? Will? Charles? Galen?"

"Like my cellphone number Trace," Will said indifferently.

"Even you should Galen," Trace chided a rough looking man driving the van, "We've been over it a hundred times already. Old man Winters' security couldn't be more lax at this freak show. We move in just after the checks are handed out, pull money bags out of there, and Galen gives up a clean get away."

"You don't need to tell me my part again Trace," Galen rolled his eyes, "I move the van in three minutes after the awards are given out right at the front door, you pile in with the old man bagged, and we beat it."

"Just making sure boys," Trace said with a steely glint in his eyes, "We can't afford to screw up on this one, one mistake and we're looking at prison time till the next turn of the millennium, but if we do this right, we're looking at enough dough to get ourselves each our own private island."

Will fidgeted underneath the fake blue green fur of his costume as they turned a corner. "First thing I'm gonna do is buy as much junk related to these things as possible then set it all on fire! Why'd you pick such retarded disguises anyway Trace?"

Trace crossed his costume's brownish orange arms. "I told you before, whose gonna suspect a gig like ours from people dress like this? They'll all think we're forty year old men who watch kid porn wearing these things!"

Galen laughed over his shoulder, "Heh! I bet you was just looking for an excuse to dress up like this! Why else would you know so much about the freakin' show and torture us so many meaningless details? I'm -glad- I slept through half of that."

"Shut up and drive Galen!" Trace growled, "I just did research that's all!"

Chris sniggered, adding, "Yea! When you were six!"

Trace glared at Chris, saying, "You want to know what it's like to land on a street at thirty miles per hour? No? Then stop bellyaching; you drew the short straw so you wear the pink one. And if you boys want to so badly, you -can- burn these things after we ransom Winters!"

Will laughed. "That's the best news I've heard all day!"

Chris looked suspiciously at the oversized head in his lap, saying, "You sure we're gonna be able to see in these things Trace? I mean the eye holes-"

"I told you before Chris, the eyes are colored one way glass, try on the head and see for yourself."

"No way," Chris insisted, "I'm not keeping this thing on for any longer than necessary."

"Suit yourself, 'Cheer Bear.'" Trace smirked

Wearing the consolation prize, Chris was dressed as a rainbow bellied pink bear from the neck down. That it was a girl character was not enough to keep his nerves from being rubbed raw from the statement. "Call me that again and I'll blow your brains out 'Tender Heart.'" he threatened.

Trace was uncowed. "Looks like it's a good thing I decided to explain things again on the drive over after all," he said cooly, "We can't risk saying our names, and in the chaos we might stir up we can't just say 'hey you' to each other. We're best off using the character names. Half the people who go these things are crazy enough to think the people wearing these costumes are the real deal, kids who never grew up while their bodies did."

"Just like you," came a voice from the driver up front.

"I said shut up Galen," Trace groaned.

"Ha! Maybe you should have put on the 'Grumpy Bear' costume instead of me," their so-disguised driver said, in a blue bear costume that'd make this the perfect getaway.

"We drew straws and this is how it turned out," Trace insisted, brushing at his Tenderheart costume.

Chris moaned. "I still say you rigged them."

"'Wish Bear' seconds that." Will chimed in.

"Everyone just stay focused", Trace insisted, "This is going to be the biggest gig of our lives, a little dress up isn't going to kill us in the name of having it made for the rest of our lives."

"As you say 'oh great leader.' Why do I have to wear one if I'm not going in?" Galen barked, his mood matching the rain cloud on his costume's belly.

"Just in case, that's why. We can't have anything the cameras will scope us with."

Will looked down at the shooting star on his costume's white belly and wished that they could have convinced Trace for them to all go as Hockey Players or Skiiers instead. Too late now, at least the grab and run would be over soon enough and he'd never have to enduring wearing fur again.

"We arrive half an hour before the checks are given out to the biggest geeks. Split up, do -not- head to the mark room in a straight line, or anything that would give you away."

"Then maybe you should have chosen costumes that weren't on a theme." Chris returned.

Trace growled, though he had the costume head on, Chris knew the man wanted to take out the internal organ out of his compatriot so cheerfully rendered on Trace's fake stomach.

"Moving on, you might run into nerds who liked this show-"

"Like you."

"Galen-"

"I know, I know shut up." The man in the blue fur surrendered.

"So just remember to stay in character until the designated time," Trace said, "Then all bets are off and we make like bandits."

"We've got our weapons hidden perfectly underneath these things, nothing can go wrong." Will padded a perfectly normal looking part of his costume's hip.

"Never say never." Trace reminded. "And remember Murphy's law and be on the look out for it." Galen announced. "Party time boys, we're here."

The nondescript van calmly set onto the edge of the parking lot.

The three other criminals put on the fake smiling bear heads that completed their disguises, Chris going last. Chris did have to admit Trace had been right; he was able to see fairly well through the fake glass eyes.

Trace insisted that Galen have the mask head on until the get away, and Galen didn't want to get on the closet kiddies show idiot's bad side. So those going into the Xanadu convention where greeted to the sight of Grumpy The Care Bear driving a white color van along side the curve and letting out Tender Heart, Wish Bear, and Cheer Bear.

Of course there would be kids there, some sneak ins, some with their elder siblings, most of them of course didn't have a clue who the three men in bear costumes were supposed to be, but that didn't matter, they were brightly colored, friendly looking and all had big smiles on their faces. The few that did called out their names and the men remembering their instructions happy turned their head and waved silently like actor at Disney theme parks.

Chris was honestly tempted to take off his head and shout 'Boo' at them just to see their crying faces. But there were more important things to worry about and they couldn't draw attention to themselves. So Chris played along. A couple of the teens and young adults who knew more than the kids laughed and played along, adding to the illusion. One or two whispered to Chris saying that they admired someone willing to do something like this. Chris couldn't help it and replied.

"You have no idea."

The young adult blinked stunned then just made a small laugh again and murmured. "Typical." He made no other comment.

Following the plan they split up on entering the convention center, each other taking a different path towards the hall they knew from previous intelligence Winters would be to give out the checks. Will wandered slightly, having been distracted by a Star Trek Orion slave girl, but didn't take too much of a look remembering what Trace said about not standing out, though Will thought the instruction were a tad strict, there was too much money on the line to have a slight mess up ruin things. Looking at the star on his chest he thought. 'I wish I may, I wish I might, be with one of those girls tonight.' He thought how that wasn't a very Care Bear thing to think, but he doubted Trace would mind. He did notice one guy dress as a Borg, moaning how he didn't have any other 'Drone' to form a 'Collective' with. Yea, Will liked Star Trek, so sue'em.

A Klingon Warrior gave the standard greetings for a servant of the empire and commented on the work of his costume, "Much guile and cunning behind such a guise, did ye weave it yourself?"

Actually enjoying this (besides mixing with the crowd would make the 'security cat' less suspicious) Will nodded and said. "Golly no Mr. Klingon, we all got our fur fixed up by someone else."

"A pity, but I suppose that be the price ones pays for having one fast and ready to go during these gatherings of great warriors."

"As long as you come away happy." Will returned.

"Ye, now I must returning to making sure my sword brothers do not break their warrior oaths with these green skinned temptresses."

"Nice meeting you Mr. Klingon." Will waved, actually smiling underneath, who said you couldn't have fun while on the job?

Trace had heard this was the largest costume event in history, but he didn't believe it until now. If you named a Japanese cartoon, science fiction series, or comic book hero, you'd find it here.

Heck, name a toy line and you'd find it here. Not to mention some web comics, most played by the artists. He even spotted a white Auto-Bot with green and red highlights who looked like he could really change into a car form, the effort these geeks put into their stuff. Trace doubted any of his 'care mates' could appreciate this as much as he could. He had honestly tried for the entertainment business once, sadly his scripts didn't fit into any of the slots Hollywood was looking for, See: horror movie, sexy comedy, and big explosion thriller. And the market for kids' films was cornered.

Bookie was his career second choice and he stepped up from there.

He ran into a Barney whom he talked to who couldn't have been more out of character, at least he brought all the attention to himself the way he was acting. He told the Barney to 'Take Care' and was flipped off. Trace wanted to shoot him, but he wasn't stupid. He causally noted a Renamon moving about a lot like he was, doing her (?) best to not be noticed, and was she eyeing the little kids? Oh well, if she meant causing trouble then here Trace hope he caused his before she did hers. Though one thought of what she might be after made him want to Care Bear stare her full of bloody holes. Whatever, wasn't his business, he had more important things to care about at the moment. He almost laughed to himself thinking 'And one shouldn't jump to conclusion' though Trace knew better; he knew the naive bears from the show never did.

While the characters themselves were not in Chris' taste, even he had to admit just how much effort the costume shop had put into them (Trace planned to dumb the costumes before the pricey rent came due). These things might have been off slightly in the color from the show but what did you expect? The little plastic heart shapes on the rears were in scale to the ones on the teddy bears. Heck, it was like they -were- walking teddy bears.

More than a few guys (and girls) had commented on his costume, as a joke he even used a high pitched voice to say thanks for their compliments and told them to have a cheerful time at the 'party' and promised some of the guys to 'see you later.' (Poor morons.)

Of course, he had no idea which ones were guys and which ones were girls, he had bumped into one pretty faced fox woman in a rubber body suit whose surprised male voice gave away everything. When the two realized their secrets they even laughed about it. They went as far as to share sympathies about the intolerable nature of their costumes' insides. Chris even told 'her' servant being lead along by a lease to 'be cheerful' about serving his 'owner.' The male fox just nodded staying in his servitude character. Parting ways quick Chris took a look with his eye balls so not to move the head, yea, security was mind numbingly lax here, and the ones there were, were looking out for pick pockets and 'grab and runners' rather than possible kidnappers.

"Hey!" Will nearly jumped out of his costume and went for his revolver hidden inside his costume when he felt a hand (he assumed through his costume) take hold of his shoulder. He turned around to see a petit thing in a blue and white sailor uniform with matching blue hair. She was smiling friendly at him and hardly looked serious but Will wasn't stupid and was still ready just in case.

"I know it's none of my business . . . but I couldn't help but notice you're trying too hard."

"What?" Will blinked behind the glass eyes.

"The way you're acting, you're trying too hard." She continued. "Don't think so much about it. Just relax, you look as stiff as a board. Girls don't move like robots no matter what the model shows say."

"Girl?!" Will yelped eyes wide; he promised Trace would pay for this . . .

The lass blinked then made a cute laugh. "Your friend did a real number on you didn't they? Lose a coin toss? Oh well I guess it doesn't matter. But as long you're going around as one you might as well not let on you're the wrong gender for the costume right?"

"I guess so . . ., " Will mumbled.

"Oh where are my manners? Amy Anderson, Sailor Mercury but don't tell anyone." She bowed in typical Japanese manner and put out her hand, after a moment's hesitation Will took it.

Will rolled his eyes. "Sure, you got it."

"I find staying in character helps maintain the illusion. One more detail, raise your voice a few octaves higher, with the muddle through the costume head, no one will be able to tell the difference."

"You sure that'll work?"

Sailor Mercury took a very different stance and spoke in a much different voice. "It's worked so far hasn't it?"

Will almost had a heart attack. "You're-"

"No I'm not. But this is all pretend anyway, so why not let go?" He explained back in his girly voice. "Real name's Nick, how about you?"

Will knew better than to give that away. "I'm just Wish Bear Miss Amy!" He said in a girly voice like Nick had.

"Well if that's how you want to play it you're choice, just remember what I said and you can walk away from this with your dignity."

Will nodded, just hoping Nick wasn't going to be at the hall where the prizes would be given out. He'd prefer not to have to shot a guy who just gave him so many tid-bits.

"Care to hang out for a Minute Miss Wish Bear?" Nick said back to that girly voice. "I'm looking for Sailor Jupiter but she seems to have split off."

"Er, sorry, but, uhm, Tender Heart and friends are joining up soon." "Okay, maybe we can talk later." He said turning around calmly entering the anime section of the convention.

"Okay Miss Mercury." Will lied in the girly voice.

Trace checked out a clock barely visible behind the various booth and platforms. Almost show time. Looking at his costume one last time in the reflective surface of someone's Silver Surfer costume, he had to admit just how much 'nice' the original designers of the show had put into these characters . . . if it could be shaped like a heart it was! Trace had no intention of letting the boys know he had indeed watched the show as a child. Unlike most boys who watched it he actually took in some of the story morals, of course fantasies don't last forever, and you have to grow up sooner or later. And Trace had a job to do, so much planning and hard work, about to come down to a few critical few minutes.

Having happily pranced around the various exits and eyeing anyone he could tell was likely security in disguise he moved past the odd collection of a yellow skinned Captain America and the super odd pair of a child Sailor Saturn and twenty something Misty from Pocket Monsters towards the meeting point he had agreed upon to the rest of his gang.

Chris allowed himself some fun by 'cheerfully' bumping two kids apart who were locked at the elbows, one dressed like a baseball player the other a hooker (he had no way of knowing they were actually dressed like Ash and Misty from pokemon, but he wouldn't have cared) thinking of it as his 'good deed for that year.' He saw Trace was waiting for him.

Approaching from the opposite direction Will did have to admit Nick was right, it was easier this way, and at least his costume fur didn't chafe as much this way (though that wasn't saying much). The three men 'cheerfully' greeted each other, using their costume names as pre-instructed. Just a few minutes left till show time. And no suspected a thing. They didn't dare go over the plan now, and there was no need to. This was it.

They marched through the doors to the spectacle of a girl looking like a wannabe from the musical 'Cats.'

The men had taken the time to familiarize themselves with the convention lay out from a real life perspective rather than blue prints. They knew the escape rout to take. No one thought anything odd of a costume group moving through the crowd closer and closer to the stage to get a better view, they had to get close enough before the announcement, everyone would stop moving then and they'd stick out like a trio of sore thumbs. They calmly laid their hands over their hidden weapons. Trace held his breath and cleared his mind.

"Eric Winters, everyone!" Announced a green skinned woman on stage.

Their mark took center stage (assuming it wasn't a decoy but that was too cliché), dressed in black with an old looking bird mask. Winters staggered on stage looking out at the crowd. Trace held on the signal, it would be awful if the nice old man had a heart attack there on stage, they wouldn't, be able to, take, him, afterwards to, their, place. He felt his hip, he knew something was supposed to be there, something he was supposed to use now, but he didn't know what, hopefully everything could go smoothly without it though.

Will felt his fur feel the best it had in hours, it felt so soft and comfy, he quietly slipped behind his two buddies, so no one would take notice of him, she didn't want to draw attention. She had never been a fan of being in the spot light.

Chris felt excited, charged, almost happy, here it was, the big event. He was so full of cheer; he was glade he could be here. While her aqua friend showed fear, he knew she was glade to be here. Looking at the strong stance of his orange leader, she was a believer. People began to scream and shout, now what was all this about?

"Yikes!" Yelped Wish Bear as Tender Heart pulled her out of the way of a racing bull man.

"That wasn't very nice! Look out for those in your sight!" Called Cheer bear over the bedlam as the big guy kept running in the very big confusion.

"What's going on Tender Heart?" Wish whispered meekly looking around as the as the negative feelings pressed down on the three short Care Bears.

"I don't know." Tender Heart admitted. "But we had better help everybody we can. Spread out and do what you can before the police get here and meet back with Grumpy."

"Alright." Wish Bear nodded, not looking foreword to being by her lonesome but knew she had to.

"Hey! Anything you say!" Cheer Bear smiled with one of her trademark rhythms.

Tender Heart said, "No one cares like a bear," and the fuzzy animals broke ranks. Having been at the front of the crowd they had been spared being trampled by people rushing for the exits.

Each Bear took a separate door, remembering the lay out from all the mingling they had done before. While the Care Bears were supposed to carry out their mission in semi-secrecy, in this crowd, it was doubtful anyone would notice them.

Going the way she came through, Wish was so small (like all the Care Bears) that no one really took notice of her, she wasn't the size of a real teddy bear of course, but most kids still had to lean down to look at her in the face.

She gasped at the sight in the room she had been in less than an hour before. A magenta color sticky stuff that smelled like blood splattered some of the upturned table. The bluish tube with the glowing lights had been torn out and taken away by someone. Who she had no idea of course; she just hoped no one had gotten hurt in the mean time.

Hearing some mechanical whirling sounds, she saw a frighteningly pale bald man in a black jump suit covered in gadgets stir, his expression remaining blank. Wish watched in fascination as the burnt holes in the jump suit closed up all by themselves leaving no trace they had ever been there. A little red light turned on the hearing aid on the side of the man's head as he almost mechanically surveyed the room.

He ignored Wish Bear and marched to a table on its side leaning on the opposite wall and with one arm pulled the metal table away and throwing it over his back. Hiding underneath the table had been a boy, couldn't be more than eight, in a blue jacket and short with a bright red tie, but what stood out most on him was his big eyes and equally large pair of glasses.

"You will be assimilated, resistance is futile." The bald man droned in a voice devoid of emotion or anything else that would define it as coming from a living person.

The little boy scurried away, pure panic in his eyes, the bald man calmly walked after him, two black tubes came out of the bald man's hand, slowly waving in the air.

Wish Bear wanted to use her Stare but this man didn't even seem to have a heart to touch! "Get away!" The boy screamed using his smaller size to put as many obstacles between him and the bald man as possible.

"Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated." It eyed Wish with that red light and spoke again in that dead voice. "You too will be assimilated."

The boy was too scared by this inhuman horror to think straight, Wish herself felt the powerful urge to just run away and not look back. But she wouldn't abandon the boy to the mercy of this terrible man. Then she did something drastic, and brave. "So you wish I was like you?"

The bald man didn't even stop his chase as he soullessly replied. "Compliance."

"You got it!" The shooting star on Wish Bear's belly glowed gold and there was a flash of light. When it settled down, there was a very light gray care bear where the bald man had been with a heart screened computer symbol on his belly. The boy who had been running sat there stunned. "I'm Techy Bear," The new care bear said cheerfully. "I'm sorry I was so scary to you before, wanna be friends?"

"Uh . . ." The boy didn't know weather to make heads or tails of this. "It's alright, we can be friends later if you want."

Wish Bear's power was as unpredictable as it was unreliable. She could have ended up just like the bald man the other way around just as easy, but she had learned that her gift seemed to flip wishes around on people who could reach a goal on their own and instead took a short cut. It had been risky, and she felt sad for what she had done . . . but she had to do that . . . or the boy would ended up like the bald man . . . that made it a good thing . . . right? She wished she knew, and wished almost she could use her power on herself.

She went over to the two and Techy Bear looked at her nicely and asked. "Hi, wanna be friends?"

"Okay." And they shook hands, nothing bad happened. "Why don't you follow me outside so you can meet the others?"

"Okay." The gray care bear nodded happily.

She looked back at the little boy. "Are you okay?"

"You, you're a Care Bear! You turned that borg into a Care Bear! You just saved my life!"

"Yes I am and double did." She sounded like Cheer. "I'm sorry I couldn't help sooner, but Tender Heart always says it's when you are there that counts. Do you need any help?"

"No I . . . I'm okay . . . I was just . . . scared that's all. I'm normally a lot more cool than this, uh, what's your name?"

"I'm Wish Bear!"

"I'm . . . I'm . . . guess Conan Edogawa is as good a name as any now."

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'll be okay, I just wish Rachel was here."

Wish started as her star glowed.

"Jimmy!" Called a tall lass with long brown hair in a pink shirt and blue genes, she came running into the room, ignoring the bears. "Is . . . is that you?! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, everyone turned into their costumes, I guess we're no different."

"Yea Rachel, it does appear that way, assuming this is not a dream, or a mass delusion, I would say we're dealing with magic."

"Magic that's crazy."

"No, just very very unlikely, and until we have a more logical conclusion since I've already experienced pain which you can't in a dream, and we're both seeing the same thing I presume, I would say magic is the best bet for now unless we're all wired into a giant VR machine."

"Don't scare me like that Jimmy! I . . . I can't remember my real name! All I remember is that I was someone else before coming here . . . "

"Me too . . . but at least we have each other."

"That's true." The teen lass kneeled and hugged him and returned the hug. Wish bear led Techy away, happy that she had done some good with her gift.

Cheer knew how to dance, and to dance now meant to bop and weave your way through and past people trying to make sense of everything. She sensed a rather depressing heart in the room full of pictures made out of tinny squares; it looked like over half the room had been blown to bits. She saw a familiar looking naked male fox standing protectively over a woman fox in a skin tight outfit and a blue large ear rabbit standing in front of her protectively. Before them was a short humanoid black hedgehog with red high lights in his quills. His face was almost devoid of emotion.

"Leave Mistress be!" The fox in the collar shouted. "She's hurt, I just want to get her away from here!"

"And she will." The black hedgehog promised. "Along with everyone else, far away indeed, into the next life!"

"Why!" The blue rabbit looked ready to do a wild attack against the short, yet super menacing hedgehog.

Cheer hopped closer.

"Because . . . my Mariah is gone, dead! Because of selfish people! All people are selfish! They all need to pay for taking her away from me!"

"I won't let you!"

"You don't have a choice." The black hedgehog took a green gem out from nowhere. "Prepare to die!" "Ya know, bro, being that mean, ain't so clean."

The black hedgehog blinked and stared at the pink bear. "You've to be kidding me." "Naw, I dance and jig, but I never kid. I really hate to bug, but you could really use a hug." "I deal with you in a second." The black hedgehog rolled his eyes and turned back at the foxes and rabbit.

"Your heart, it's crying out, even with your dark intentions about. If this is want you want, then soon we'll do nothing but haunt, but tell me, is this what your Mariah would want?" Care Bears as a whole had a way of unlocking even the most stubborn heart. Cheer could feel this heart wanted to be opened on the inside; the outside however didn't want to let the inside out.

"Don't you dare talk about her!" The black hedgehog swore. "I'm Shadow the ultimate life! I won't be talked down to by anyone!"

"Someone you've loved, they've gone away, but you should know you'll be together again some day. But if you ya do this in her name, will ya be the same? Cause if you end up down below, you know you weren't the same Shadow."

Shadow started at this. "Not the same?"

"Did Mariah love you because you ignored those in need? If so then by all means proceed." They had a habit of slipping past pride too.

Shadow took a step back as if he was suddenly scared of Cheer.

"She . . . she loved me because . . . because . . . I never gave up, and she said I had what it took to be a hero." The green gem dropped from Shadow's fingers, vanishing. Shadow looked back at the fox pair. "Let me help you." Shadow asked the fox man. He didn't seem to like the idea.

"It's all right, it's bright . . ." Assured Cheer. "I can feel it from here, his heart, it's opening is near."

The fox man didn't trust Shadow but he did seem to trust Cheer and let him lean the unconscious on his shoulders while Shadow was able to carry her legs, the blue rabbit keeping an eye on him but otherwise tagging along. Cheer knew the police would be coming soon, so she had better make like the dish and the spoon! Shadow however took one look back at her and breathed. "Thank you."

"Thank you, no more boo hoos."    Cheer pranced toward one of the exits.

Having Stared a really big pair of bug things (one brown looking like a caterpillar with scyths slobbering "Overmind" , one black looking kinda techno organic with a long head and a mouth within a mouth) into a nicer mood and afterwards with no desire to hurt others, and one person hidden head to toe in a black hooded rain coat with silver chain strings who screamed that Tender Heart's Stare 'burns!' before running off against a wall (running ON the wall).

The alpha Care Bear was witness to an odd sight. A skinny man in orange scaly skin with eye stalk and big ears like a rabbit was running towards an exit when he stopped a dozen yard away from a short little man in a blue robe with a straw hat, his face totally hidden by shadow.

"Dude!" The short man declared. "I can't believe my luck! First I get all these killer powers! Now I get to kill off the lamest of George Lucas' mistakes and no one will care! Ha ha! Get ready toa dia losa! Fire-3!!" A huge burst of flame came into being where the orange man had been standing a moment before. Right now the orange man was doing a triple foreword flip in the air as he pulled two chain-linked flashlights off opposite sides of his belt. They proved to be much more as they turned on a moment later to produce blades made out of green and blue light. He constantly spun them around, yet not touching anything or anyone with the deadly beams of light.

"Stabby! Stabby!" The short man in a blink of an eye pulled out a long wicked looking dagger which half of a blink of an eye later was several inches shorter.

"Yousa! Gonna respecta! Jedi Masta Jar Jar Binksa! And his light saber chucksa!"

"#&$*%!!" The short man cursed, dropped the smoking hilt, and turned around running away screaming. He got about three yards before running face first into the waiting steel hard body of a man in orange shade red tights with a white half cape with gold lining. The light physical impact was all it took to render the short man unconscious.

Tender Heart smiled, glade to know people weren't dependent on them to solve their problems like Grumpy sometimes mumbled. However someone -had- to have called 911 at this point and he and other had to get going, news coverage was the last thing Tender Heart needed or wanted.

Tender Heart made it outside and did indeed see black and white cars with red lights on top blocking off some of the street exits. He only waited a minute (most people were either running or flying in and out of the doors not just standing by them so he was hardly noticed) before he met up with his teammates. He was surprised by Wish Bear towing behind her a light gray Care Bear Tender Heart had never seen before. Who had wished for what now (?): He wondered. However he knew right now wasn't the time for questions, they had to leave now or risk getting exposed. After all, people couldn't have faith in Tender Heart's kind's existence, if they had solid proof that they did.

Thankfully the police were still more interested in rounding up the adults and those who stood out more than a couple of oddly color bears running along waist high.

Tender Heart still didn't understand why they hadn't been allowed to bring a cloud runner here. They vanished and appeared as need be so there no chance of them being sighted while not in use. When the four bears got to the truck at the edge of the parking lot, they found Grumpy still in the driver's seat, but he looked unwell. H body swayed, and honestly seemed to be sick. He started and looked at them with saucer eyes when they knocked on the car door and was called by name.

"What the hell! What's going on! You guys shrunk! I've shrunk! How are you getting those costume mouths to move? Whose that new guy? Why didn't you tell me there another guy in on things." The three senior care bears looked at each other in concern while Techy looked in confusion. They knew Grumpy took pride in the permanent figurative rain cloud over his head, but talking dirty and raving wasn't like him at all.

"Grumpy are you okay?" Tender Heart asked worried for his best friend. Grumpy had always been the pessimist to Tender Heart's optimism. Which made the right decision all the more likely between the two of them.

"Don't call me that Tender Heart! I'm funking Grumpy! Grumpy! I mean, why can't I say my name? I meant to say Tender Heart to you! Huh? And why can't I say funk?! I said heck a second ago!" Tender Heart spoke in a slightly scared voice. "Grumpy I think it might best if I drive us away, Cheer Bear can work the petals. You're not well."

"I'm perfectly all right it's you guys who are funking crazy! I mean, all those humans come in and all those other things come out! What's going on here?"

Tender Heart shook his head. "We don't know, but we've done what we can so we should head home now."

"Humph!" Grumpy crossed his arms and turned his head away. "Just like you, acting like you do know when you don't know."

"We can only work with what we do know." Tender returned thinking this was bringing Grumpy back into his right frame of mind.

"Which isn't very much yet you go ahead and do it anyway."

"It's better than standing still doing nothing." Wish injected.

"If you want to risk failing." Grumpy returned.

"Now that's the Grumpy we all know and I love!" Cheer said for once not using a poem style speech.

"The hawk to Tender's dove." Or not.

"I've been normal from the start, it's you guys who were acting funny." Leave it to Grumpy to stay contradictory to the bitter end.

"Funny is as funny does, love love!"

Grumpy moaned and got out of the driver's seat and opening the doors for his friends. The four bears piled in, Techy and Wish taking the chance to explain things to everyone while Cheer and Tender Heart took the lower and Upper control of the van. Tender Heart however, being the dare devil he always was, made off at a fast speed and a couple sharp turns. Grumpy swore to never risk riding with his friend if he could help it.

When they got back to their ground base, they found a lot of home videos of themselves, but no way back home. Without a cloud car, they would simply have to make one. Techy volunteered almost at once. Pulling the combustion engine out the bears located a window where the sunlight was hitting just right producing a rainbow that was just the right size. Pulling the rainbow out of its spot, they placed it in the hood of the van. That evening they were blessed with some slight fog and molded it into the proper shapes for the van's new wheels while Techy reshaped the dials and gages inside to more proper shapes for them. Working as busy as bees through the night, the bears were done easily by just before noon the next day.

Sadly, they found they could not find Carealot once they had the cloud van air born. After trying for several days they finally listened to Grumpy and stopped looking, clearly being lost. However Tender Heart was not that discouraged, and promising if they couldn't find Carealot, they would simply build it. Grumpy said they would take forever, but no one was listening to him.

Building up from the cloud banks on which they landed their transportation, Wish and Cheer were quick to recreate their respective homes, while Techy with some more trips to the surface was able to rebuild a lot of their lost equipment including the Care-O-Meter and a lot of their observation gear. Grumpy finally helped in by remaking by hand the one way clouds that let sun light in but blocked cameras in orbit from spying down on them.

After nearly a month of hard work, sweat, lack of sleep, and frustration, it was done, Carealot stood rebuilt. Wish Bear had planted a new Forest of Feelings, but it would be years before it was fully-grown. It was all right, they had time to wait, as long as there was love, they would exist. And in the mean time, they could sense people all over the world at cross roads in their lives, confused, angry, scared, but not alone. Yes there were only five of them now. But that would be more than enough, to make a difference. After all, all it took was one.

And who knew? Maybe they would find others like them, the rest of their family someday, after all, no one cared like a bear.

   ~ A new beginning