Brave Little Toaster Fanfiction: TBLT: Finds The Recalled - 17. Lost And Found, Bits Abound
17. Lost And Found, Bits Abound
By the time Lampy thought it was safe to unfreeze, he was in Moe’s cargo area, along with an ensemble of lamps, and Lammond’s troupe. Worry crept onto his face as the door was shut, casting them all into darkness. As Lammond lit up the area from a large, stray box he sat upon, someone spoke.
“Excuse us! Sorry, sorry. Please pardon us. Excuse us; thank you. We’re just trying to find…” Lampy’s prior feeling dissipated with a relieved sigh, recognizing Toaster’s voice, and seeing a trail of empty space forming as lamps moved out of the way.
“Is that one him?” Blanky asked.
“No, that’s Lampford; Lampy’s normal-sized.”
“Well, it’s not that much of a difference…” The aforementioned added.
“No no, of course not! I didn’t mean it like that!” Good ol’ Slothead, trying not to offend someone, Lampy mused to himself with a knowing grin. Then, he stood on the tip of his base, straightening out his gooseneck to be visible above the mass of lamps.
“Over here!” He called, with an added wave of his cord. Following this, the surrounding lamps parted, just enough to let the rest of his companions reach him. Once reunited, Lampy relaxed his posture.
“Oh man, for a moment there I thought…” He commented, before trailing off. Toaster picked it up again.
“Not a chance,” He replied, in assurance.
The ride itself, while otherwise filled with excited or nervous chatter amongst the occupants, was somehow still rather quiet. Perhaps it was the atmosphere that gave such an empty air about it.
From his position, Lampford was not looking forward to the destination. However, his contempt was well-hidden within the amount of activity around him. While the rest of his model (excluding Lampy) seemed at least willing to give this all a try, his guard was raised.
Eventually, Moe’s driver stopped him, the ignition being killed not long after. Toaster and the other three non-Luxleys took refuge inside Lammond’s box seat, while everyone else froze and the work lamp switched off. They listened as a few Humans came in and out, carting off the lamps as well as Lammond and his troupe.
Time passed, the door was shut, and the voices faded to silence. Finally, they got out from under the box, heading over to the door although the area was now dark. They tried to pry it open, to no avail.
“Moe, was it?” Radio piped up to ask the delivery truck in question, “Could you perhaps open sesame this door here?” Even when the others gave him a look, they witnessed it rising up, light of the Sun shining through. They were hindered for only a moment, then exiting Moe’s cargo space.
“Thank you!” Toaster added politely.
“Don’t get caught out there, you hear?” Moe said back, as the smaller appliances took off.
For the second time today, Lampy found himself separated from his companions. However, now he was in a more… Familiar place, aside from the bountiful additions of his model lookalikes. If Scotty’s words were to be believed, even more would be arriving sometime soon. Probably the Unsold ones, he guessed.
He wasn’t sure what to think about being back after what happened before. He just hoped things would be different this time, in a good way. At least, his housemates would make sure of that.
As he managed to glance around, while the others let curiosity guide them, he finally made the realization that a certain fan was missing from the waiting room.
Well, of course she wouldn’t be here, he quickly surmised with a quiet sigh, the likes of which went thankfully unheard. According to Radio’s recount, it’s been three days, and so she would’ve been repaired and sent home a long time ago.
Three days. That sounded familiar. Then, it came back to him, in a flash.
Oooh, six! Flynn’s voice sounded within his head. That’s a good number. Sounds like… About a three-day wait.
Three days?! His own followed. I most certainly hope not!
Holy mother of Edison, how did she even do that? It was only a shame that he’d be unable to see her again, let alone tell her about it.
There was an abrupt opening of the door. As there was no knock to signify it being from an appliance, everyone inside froze immediately. However, upon hearing the sounds of non-Human footsteps, Lampy was first to undo the facade.
“You forgot to knock,” Radio uttered, sounding unimpressed.
“Oh, right…” Toaster’s reply gave off an embarrassed tone. Then, raising his voice a little, he added, “Don’t worry! It’s just us!” The other lamps of the room followed this by unfreezing.
“Boy, y’all startled me at first!” Lampta was heard, accompanied by a giggle. “What a clever team you are, sneaking here through a facility you’ve barely been into!”
“Yes, quite remarkable,” Lampford joined in, trying to sound impressed. In reality, he couldn’t bring himself to, as much as he meant those words.
“Oh, thank you!” Toaster awkwardly tried to say, “We try.”
“So, fellas,” Radio turned to the flocks of lamps with a wave of his antenna, “We’re gonna have to have another round of “Where’s Lampy”, aren’t we?” His tone was rather playful, but a trap nonetheless.
“No, you’re not!” Lampy took the bait, hopping through the crowd of lamps and approaching his group of companions. He was glaring, but Radio knew exactly what kind it was.
“Oh, look! There he is! I win!” He bounced a couple times in victory. Along with his voice, he played a canned cheering audience track. “And the crowd goes wild! Ha ha, none of you stood a chance! The Eagle Eye of I Spy and Where’s Waldo can never be bested- Whoa there!”
He was finally cut off when Lampy closed the distance, attempting to strike at Radio’s alarm button with his shade. Radio dodged with ease, before scampering away while Lampy gave chase. “Oh, how the tables have turned! It seems that the hunter has become the hunted!”
“Get back here, Mr. Loudmouth!” Lampy called to him, while the other three were essentially unfazed (aside from Toaster’s inability to refrain from smiling), much to the surprise of the rest of the lamps. As Radio sharply turned around and darted under a table, Lampy skid on his base in having to adapt. “Just you wait; I’ll catch you, and you’ll be sorry! Just you wait!”
“I’m sick of waiting! Just hit me like a ton of bricks!” Ironically enough, Radio was dogpiled when Lampy got a running start and jumped toward him. The two rolled a few times as Lampy wrapped his cord around Radio, the latter still somehow managing to dodge his strikes to the button. In retaliation, Radio whacked his antenna against Lampy’s head, though the loud sounds of impact were superficial compared to the barely noticeable pain endured.
Finally, the two quarreling appliances were interrupted by the entry of Lammond. Unfortunately, he managed to see a small portion of the altercation. While he was admittedly perplexed by the McGroarty guests being here as well, it didn’t stop him.
“What… Is going on in here?!” His displeasure was clear. Lampy and Radio separated in an instant, turning their attention to the rightfully unnerved witnesses, but particularly Lammond.
“Oh…!” Lampy tried to dissuade the obvious implication, while waving it off with his plug. Yet, he was uneasy. “It’s really not what it looks like, really! This is just a… Just a…” He trailed off, unable to find a good way to word it. Radio picked up on his pal’s distress.
“It’s a bit,” He started, matter-of-factly. “It’s always been a bit, for as long as we can remember. What’s life without a little scuffle here and there between companions? Besides… I started it. So don’t blame him.” Lampy couldn’t help but look over at Radio, touched by his last few phrases. Radio glanced at him in return, with body language that only Lampy could register as assurance.
“Really, now…?” Lammond wasn’t so easily fooled, but given his uncertainty, it was to be expected. Kirby gave a whir of his motor, roving a few feet forward. He was followed by Toaster and Blanky.
“Now, don’t start making assumptions,” Kirby’s no-nonsense voice picked up where Radio left off. “It’s like a routine, alright? Those… Rascals,” He paused with a point in the once-bickering appliances’ direction. “Used to do this every other day, you know. Now, it’s about… Once a month.” From afar, Lucy was paying attention, but went unnoticed.
“And they never hurt each other, either!” Blanky added, remembering all the times in the past. “It’s funny to watch, usually… Why, last time, they couldn’t even agree on which is Greenland and which is Iceland!”
“Plus, there’s a big difference between their bit, and a real fight,” Toaster decided to include, for what he hoped to be a good comparison. “If they weren’t getting along for real, they wouldn’t be roughhousing – they’d be avoiding each other. And that… Is very rare.”
“Alright, fine… I’ll let this slide this one time,” Lammond caved in, though wasn’t happy about it. “Not because of any imminent danger, but the fact I want to ensure that no one here ends up worse off on my watch. That being said…” Lammond paused, his tone changing. Toaster, Blanky, and Kirby stepped aside, upon Lammond referring to Lampy.
“Zero-six. Lampy.” He began again, trying to sound professional, but it was coming out as subtle disbelief. “The mechanic will see to you shortly.” Then, he turned his attention to the rest of the lamps, who’d by now settled down from what occurred prior. “Be sure to return to your line-up positions. And, to our guests…” A pause as he thought about it. “Find somewhere to hide, and wait here.” Finally, Lammond turned and left the room.
Lampy grew anxious, quickly. He knew this was coming sooner or later, but he didn’t feel ready. His soon-to-be trainwreck of a thought process was cut short with Radio winding his antenna around the middle of his gooseneck.
“You’re going to be fine, I promise you that,” Unlike when he talked before, Radio’s voice was soft. “And we’ll be right here, waiting for you to come back. We’re not going anywhere, and neither are you. Not this time.”
Lampy exhaled, just as the other three approached him, giving Radio’s words more weight.
“Thanks, fellas,” He managed to respond. Unfortunately, “line-up positions” included him as well as the other lamps, so he had to hop back onto the table he was placed on, resting at his designated spot. The now four guest appliances wondered where they should go. Lampford noticed.
“Use the closet,” He spoke with little expression, eyeing the second door of the room. “The employees won’t find you in there.”
“Okay, thanks!” Toaster nodded in agreement, as he and the rest of them booked it to hide out. Once inside, they listened as the door to the waiting room opened, a Human (probably Marley) picking up Lampy. He left, shutting the door behind him.
“And now,” Kirby announced in a low volume, “We wait.” Moments after, Blanky had a question.
“… How did Lampford know this was a closet? And why does he seem so down, all of a sudden?”
“I-… Well, he…” Toaster found himself lacking any sort of answer. “I don’t know… Maybe he’s… Been here before?”
“Before they were all sent away?” Radio remarked, scratching his top in thought. “I’d believe it, if that were the case. That doesn’t answer for his sudden shift in mood, though. I have a good hunch as to why.”
“Oh, boy…” Kirby sighed, but deep down was curious. “Let’s hear it, then.”
“All the other lamps, they’re happy to be here,” Radio then began, sounding unusually serious. “To be repaired, to possibly find a new home. Makes sense, right? But that Lampford, he’s not. Oh, and remember the reasoning as to why they never tried leaving, on top of this place not being welcoming to their model? If he’s been here before… Well, isn’t it obvious?”
“No…?” Toaster tried to guess, but wasn’t certain of his answer. By now, the others began to have worrying expressions. It certainly didn’t help when Radio spoke again.
“Something terrible happened in this building, and he witnessed it.” At once, Toaster grew shocked.
“You don’t think… It has anything to do with…” He almost had to force out what he wanted to say. “The rebellion?”
“This whole place was once a battlefield,” Radio added not long after the thought sunk in. “A total warzone. Oh, God; it’s so much worse than I thought…”
“David, let me make this clear to you.” Solera and PC overheard Scotty speaking. “The only reason I’m not firing you right now is because you’re already struggling to make ends meet as it is. But you’re not off the hook.”
“I got an anonymous tip off about your behavior on Friday,” He continued, in a tone that resembled a stern-but-polite manager voice. “Something about “swindling to buy a new lamp”. Plus, you had general ignorance of our older models. We at Luxley do not appreciate this sort of treatment of our products, no matter how old, outmoded, or obscure.”
“Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir.” David was heard meekly replying. “It won’t happen again…”
“Good, then,” Scotty didn’t sound like he meant it. “We’re on the brink of losing a consumer, which is only contributing to driving this company straight into the mud. We’re lucky that we can help the Marigolds, but that too is a gamble…”
Solera’s interest piqued. Marigolds? Which model was that?
“Of course, Sir,” David managed to say.
“… But, good job on finding Mr. McGroarty’s lamp.” Solera stopped cold. “I suppose we’ll never know why the thief took it and a few of our office appliances to that condemnable warehouse, but…” She was no longer listening to the conversation, almost twitching internally. One thing was for sure, and it was horrifying.
The Curse was back. The employees were none the wiser. She wasn’t going to stand for it.