Snow Devil Fright is no
With apologies to Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbara and anyone else who might hate this story. (although I believe any true Scooby Doo fan will love it!) All borrowed characters have been safely returned intact and healthy. This is a Scrappy free story. It's a long one, so, feel free to print it out and save it for later reading!
As she comes to, Velma realizes that every inch of her body hurts. All she can see is a white blur with shadows. Slowly, she moves her aching arm and removes the mangled ski-goggles from her face. Everything comes into focus. She gasps for breath, but the wind has been knocked out of her and she can't speak. In her mind, she tries to put the events together. She remembers Daphne screaming, then something ripping the skis off of her feet. The falling on her face, and the hurtling through the woods... No.. A cliff... Flying towards the edge and grabbing onto, or maybe just getting tangled in some kind of wires... That was what happened! She stares upwards at the roof of a cave. There are wires coming into the cave from above. They loop downward to where she is laying. Slowly, and very painfully, she sits up and looks around. She can hear Daphne calling in the distance, but still can not respond with anything but a whisper. Her eyes follow the wires. They lead about forty or fifty feet into the cave to a stack of electronic equipment. There is a small green light lit on the front of one of the units. Whatever it was, it was on and it was doing something. Too much pain to think it out right now. She ran her hands down her legs. Lots of pain, but nothing was broken. She tried taking another breath and speaking. "I've heard of stumbling onto a clue, but this is ridiculous! Owww... It hurts to laugh..." Slowly, she worked her way up until she was standing on her feet. "Nothing broken.. I didn't even loose my glasses!" Once again, she hears Daphne calling in the distance. "I'm down here", she tries to scream back, but she knows Daphne can't hear her. Velma starts walking toward the back of the cave where the equipment is. She spies an empty reel that looks just like the one that was in the kitchen. "Interesting. Well, if they got this stuff down in here, there must be a way out." There is a small bend in the cave, as She turns the corner, she finds a ladder that leads up to a crack in the roof of the cave. She tries to climb it, but stops because of the pain. "Ok, I've got to do this." Again she takes a step up the ladder, then another, then another. As she nears the roof, she can see that a hole has been bored through the rock, and there is some kind of hatch at the top of the ladder. Finally, she makes it to the top and flips open the hatch. She pushes herself upward and out of the top. Looking around, she can see that the hatch is actually the top of an old tree stump. "Wow, I feel like I'm on that old Tv show, Hogan's Heros!" Daphne is about fifty feet away, still looking over the cliff and calling her name. Even tho she is in a lot of pain, Velma can't help but pull a bit of a joke on Daphne. She sneaks up behind her, taps her on the shoulder and asks, "Looking for someone?" With a blood-curdling scream, Daphne spins around. First horrified, then mad, then glad! She leaps up and hugs Velma! "Arrggg.. Your killing me Daph!" Daphne lets go. "I thought you were dead! I thought you went over that cliff!" Velma catches her breath and then says, "I did!"
With the snow cleared from behind the van, Freddy slips under and attaches a chain to the tow hooks on the rear frame. He gets up and gives the signal to Steve, who puts the tractor in gear and pulls the van free from the snow-pack like a foot coming out of a shoe. Freddy walks around the van, looking for damage, and is pleasantly surprised not to find any. Shaggy and Scooby are laughing hysterically. "What's so funny guys?", Freddy asks. Shaggy points towards the snow. The hole in the snow forms a perfect relief image of the van. Freddy and Steve join in the laughter. "Thank you Steve, we owe you a lot", Freddy says. Steve looks embarrassed. "Hey, it really broke the monotony for me!" Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby pile into the van and follow Steve back to the hotel. All are sitting around a table in the kitchen drinking some coffee, when Daphne bursts in with Velma limping and hanging on her shoulder. Freddy is startled. "What happened?", he says in horror. Daphne gives him a look. Freddy can see from the look that there is a long story to be told, but only in private. Daphne responds, "We had a little skiing accident. Velma is hurt." Velma lets go of Daphne's shoulder and leans against the wall. "I'm fine. Just some bumps and bruises." Freddy thinks up a diversion. "Well, I guess we're all a little cold and wet, and in need of a change in cloths. Lets head up to the rooms, get changed, then come back down for lunch." The gang heads upstairs but all go into one room. Velma flops out on the bed. Freddy turns to Daphne. "Ok, what really happened?" Daphne explains about the close brush with death that Velma had, and the cave with the equipment that she had found. Freddy gives a low whistle. "We had a bit of a chat with Steve this morning. He blames a lot of the problems the hotel is having on what is going on over on the other side of this hill. Seams last year, some big electronics firm called "Silicon Advantage" built a big facility there. Since then, the hotel has had a lot of problems with everything from tv reception to phone service. He says the thought of a big company so close by also took away some of the romantic atmosphere people liked about this place." Daphne's eyes open wide. "I've heard of them! They were a really creative research company, then about six months ago, they lost their edge. My dad used to have a lot of their stock, but sold it when they started going downhill." Velma propped herself up long enough to look over to Freddy and say, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Both smile. "Rut Row!", says Scooby. Shaggy speaks up, "Rut Row is right! When they start talking like that, then next sentence usually is something like, we've got this figured out, but you and Scooby just have to catch one of the snow devils! That's usually followed by Freddy saying he has a plan, but it involves us as the bait!" Shaggy and Scooby look on with terror as both Fred and Velma nod their heads! "Actually Shaggy", Velma says, "we need a couple of more pieces to figure this mystery out. We need you two to serve as a distraction while we do a little exploring." Shaggy shakes his head. "There is no way. Nothing you can say that will get us to do it!" Velma looks over to Freddy. "Ok, I guess you have to do all that eating while Shaggy and I search the dank, dark, dangerous basement!"
"Hi, Mr Myers!", Shaggy says as he enters the kitchen with Scooby. Steve turns to face them. "Where is everybody else?", he asks. "Oh, they're up with Velma. She took quite a fall skiing this morning, so they want to keep an eye on her. But don't worry, we can eat their food too!" Steve laughs, "I bet you can! I guess we can start in the walk-in frig and see what your in the mood for." Shaggy walks over to a large brown carton. "One gross frozen pizzas... This is a good place to start!" Steve says, "I'll fire up the pizza oven!" "Wraussages!" Shaggy turns around to see Scooby holding the end of a chain of sausages, about one hundred long. "Good idea Scoob, we can cook them up and put them on the pizzas!" Steve, who is over at the oven, looks down at the floor shaking his head. "Oh brother! "
"What are we looking for?" Daphne asks as they come out of the stairwell and into the basement. Velma turns around and explains, "Anything that looks like it has changed in the last few months. This place is very old. New stuff will look out of place. Look for holes drilled in the walls, and especially anything that looks like orange colored wire." Freddy looks around for a second. "It's a big basement. We'd better split up to cover more area. I'll go down this hallway, you and Daphne go the other way." As Freddy walks down the hall, he shines his flashlight along the walls and ceiling. Daphne and Velma are doing the same. Daphne spies a small circuit board laying on the floor. "Velma, What is that?" Velma walks over and picks it up. "Not what we were looking for, but very interesting... Freddy! Come over here!" Freddy stops his search and heads over to where Daphne and Velma are standing. Velma is holding the circuit in front of her face inspecting it. "This looks like a part from a phone system! I don't think anything is wrong with the phones. My guess is someone pulled all of these out of the main phone panel and dropped one as he left!" Freddy looks a little puzzled. "Velma, would we need all of them to get it running?" Velma looks at the card. "I don't think so. Most of these kind of systems either use one per extension, or one per incoming line. We should be able to get something working." Daphne, who has wandered off yells over to them. "Hey, here's a phone! It says extension number 23 on it." Velma and Freddy smile. "Now we just need to find the main phone panel."
"Corn on the cob! And look, chocolate sauce to go on it!" Steve, who is covered with flour and pizza sauce stains, looks horrified. "They ate all the pizzas, and they still have hunger in their eyes!" Scooby is stirring a large pot of soup on the stove. "What flavor is it?" Shaggy asks. "Rall!", says Scooby. Shaggy laughs! "My favorite flavor! All!"
Velma has found the main panel. "All of the cards are missing. Someone did pull them all out! Now, I just have to find slot number 23..." Daphne screams with delight! "You did it! You did it! I can hear dial-tone! Velma, you're a genius!" Velma proudly turns around and says, "So I've said before, What else is news?"
"Hi guys!" Freddy says as the three of them join Scooby, Shaggy, and Steve in the kitchen. Steve is holding his head in his hands. "This food supply was suppose to last the entire winter! There's nothing left... Is Velma feeling any better?" Velma shakes her shoulders, "I'll be ok." Freddy looks around the kitchen. "What a disaster! Is there anything left?" Steve reaches over to the shelf. "One can of broccoli soup." Freddy and Daphne look at each other. "Yeck!", Velma says. Steve walks over to a window. "It's a pretty warm day today, maybe there will be enough snow melt for the state road crews to clear the road and tunnel so you kids could get on your way, and I could get some more supplies." Freddy looks over to Shaggy. "Sorry Mr Myers, I should have warned you about those two! I guess we should all give the van a good going over to make sure there is no hidden damage." As they leave the kitchen and head outdoors, the difference in the weather is dramatic.The clear skies and warm temperature have melted a lot of the snow away. Freddy looks up toward the hills behind the hotel, eyeing up the cave entrance that Velma had found. He opens the door to the van and as the others climb in, he grabs a pair of binoculars and studies the terrain surrounding the cave. After a few moments, he climbs in as well. "This mystery is just about wrapped up, we just need to set the trap", he says. "As usual, the police really can't do anything unless people are caught in the act. This is not like our old capers, where there was diamonds or gold or some other hard evidence we could turn over, but it may be the biggest caper we have ever been on with regards to the amount of money involved!" Shaggy looks puzzled. "No evidence? What kind of crime is this?" Freddy shakes his head. "No time to explain right now, but welcome to the new millennium! Here's the plan..."
Steve looks shocked. "Star gazing??" he says. Velma nods her head. "That's right! We all want to go up to the mountain when it gets dark. The skies are so clear and we're all big astronomy fans. It's a perfect night for it!" Steve looks very upset. "But what about the snow devils?" Velma laughs. "No such thing! Science has proven again and again that these so called paranormal events are nothing but hogwash!" As Freddy finishes packing up the last duffel-bag, the gang heads out the door with Steve still voicing his concerns for their safety. The sun is starting to set as the gang makes the long hike up the pathway and into the hills. Freddy turns to Velma. "How's the phone link?" Velma pulls her portable phone out of her pocket and clicks it on. "Dial-tone, works fine. I have the receiver wired into the main feed, so even if the card gets pulled, it will still work." Freddy turns to Shaggy. "There is still enough snow cover on the hills to ski on. You up to it?" Shaggy turns and laughs. "If those snow devils show up, I think I could ski on rocks! And Velma, you better make good on that box of Scooby Snacks you promised us!" Velma pulls out the box. "Got them right here! They'll be waiting for you when you get back down here with devils in tow!" As the gang makes it up to the plateau above the cave, Velma walks over to the edge, and freezes for a second. "What's the matter?" Daphne yells over. "Just thinking about how close I came to checking out of this world this morning", Velma answers. She gets down on her knees and starts digging through the snow, looking for something. "How do we know these snow devils are going to show up?" Daphne asks. Velma has found what she was looking for, and is holding an orange wire in one hand and a pair of wire cutters in the other. She cuts the wire. "They will now!", she says.
As Scooby and Shaggy make their way up to the top of the slope, Freddy and Daphne remove the trip-wire that was across the path, and reinstall it about one hundred feet up the path. Velma rolls out a net in front of the trip-wire. "Good", Freddy says, "If all goes to plan, Shaggy and Scooby will stop short of the wire, and our devils will hit it and end up in the net!" Daphne frowns. "If all goes to plan...."
As Shaggy and Scooby make it to the top of the slope, Shaggy is complaining. "Why are we always the bait? I mean like, how do I get talked into these things!" Scooby turns around as he slips his paws into the special skis. "Wrood!" Shaggy shakes his head as he puts on his skis. "Yea, food! They always get us with that food thing good buddy. Well, I don't see any snow devils up here, I guess they're a no-show! What a shame!" Shaggy turns to see Scooby frozen in fear. Slowly he moves his eyes to see what Scooby is looking at. "ZOINKS! I spoke too soon!" Out of the woods at the top of the hill, two luminescent figures are heading their way. Half man, half beast, and very angry looking! Shaggy picks up the frozen Scooby, faces him downhill and pushes him. With Scooby on his way, Shaggy pushes off. The snow devils are in hot pursuit. Scooby comes too and leaps upward in fright, ending up in Shaggy's arms. "I can't see!", he yells, as he rounds the first turn, trying to remember where the path is. Freddy, Daphne, and Velma watch as Shaggy, Scooby, and the devils come into view. "Uh oh! He's in trouble!" Velma yells. "They're headed right for the wire!" Freddy yells back. "I can't watch!" Daphne shrieks. BOING!!!
Shaggy flies into the net. Scooby flies out of his arms and hits the snow running. The snow devils swish to a stop about ten feet before the wire. The rest of the gang dives for cover in the woods. As Scooby runs into the woods, his foot hits the hatch cover in the old tree stump, flipping it open. Devil #1 is headed towards Shaggy as Devil #2 yells over to him. "Forget that kid, he's all tied up! We have to get the others!" Both devils head into the woods. The first one spies the open hatch. "They went into the equipment room!" The second one joins up with the first and they climb into the hatch. Scooby reappears out of the woods and flips the hatch shut, jumps on top of the stump, and says "Scooby-Dooby-Doo!" Freddy comes out of the woods scratching his head as Velma makes the call to the sherif. "Well, it isn't how I planned it, but it looks like Scooby caught the devils!"
Back at the hotel, the sherif stands alongside two other officers. In handcuffs are the two so called snow devils. The sherif turns to Freddy and Velma. "Ok, I realize that some kind of crime has been committed, but I don't know much about computers and that kind of stuff, so please run this by me one more time." Freddy walks up to the one devil and pulls off the mask as Velma pulls off the mask of the other one. "This time, it's not the faces that are telling", Freddy says. He pulls open the top of the costume, revealing a shirt that has a GG logo on it. Once again, Velma does the same to the other. "Gerbil Graphics!", Daphne says, "They are a small computer company that has been taking the market by storm the last few months, at the same time Silicon Advantage, the company on the other side of the hill, has been floundering." Velma takes over the explanation. "Somehow, these guys taped into the computer system at the research facility and ran a fiber-optic cable all the way up and over the hill to the hotel. The information was then up-linked by satellite and feed to the Gerbil Graphics research department. That's what that equipment was doing in the cave! Gerbil Graphics was stealing tens of millions of dollars in research work from Silicon Advantage, then beating the company to market with their own products." The sherif looked amazed. "But how could they do it without help from the hotel?" At that moment, Steve makes a run for the door. Freddy, who knew this would happened, blocked his exit and grabbed Steve. Velma continues the story. "He had plenty of help from Steve here. When I was looking for my glasses, I found a huge roll of fiber-optic cable right here in the kitchen! Later, Steve said that the phones went out during the snowstorm, but we found that someone had taken the phone system apart. I bet you find plenty of Steve's fingerprints on those parts as well!" Snow-devil #1 fills in more details. "It was actually his idea to begin with! The hotel was headed for bankruptcy. Steve is not only the caretaker, he is part owner as well. He blamed Silicon Advantage for all of the problems he was having. We supplied the equipment and he supplied us with the information about that old storm drain that ran under the new plant they built. Heck! He even gave us the electricity to run our stuff! We would have gotten away with the whole thing if it wasn't for these snoopers and their dog!"
The Mystery Machine heads down the road, through the tunnel, and back towards home. "Well, as usual, we try to go on vacation and end up solving a mystery!", says Daphne. Velma rubs her sore neck. "I think I need a vacation from our vacations!" Shaggy puts in his two cents. "Well, on the bright side, we don't have to repay Steve for all the food we ate!" Freddy turns around. "We?? ... Well there is another bright side, Silicon Advantage was so grateful for what we did, that they are sending us on an all expenses paid Hawaiian Vacation!" Shaggy drops back into his seat. "Great! So we can get chased around by Tiki gods again!" Velma laughs, "Wait till they get the food bill covering you and Scooby, They'll think the data theft was cheaper!"
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