By the time the rats were able to free Stockton Dupres,
the clone had received over 100 lashes from a drunken captain.
Without medical care, he was placed back in his
leg iron and taken to his bunk below deck.
Lovey was unconscious when Dupres finally got to
him and his back was a mass of mutilated gore.
The rats had to guard Lovey's food from Edward
until he was able to eat several hours later.
The squirrel had learned to fear and to hate
humans for the cruelties they inflict upon animals.
But now he could see that their
inhumanity had no boundaries.
The cruelties that they inflicted upon each other
was even more disturbing than what they
did to animals, for he felt compelled to view
it as a form of cannibalism.
Several rats remained below deck at all times
to guard Lovey as he slowly recovered.
Dupres sent fresh rum soaked rags from
the captain's quarters to clean the gaping wounds.
Meanwhile, he tried to figure out how he would
get them off the ship before it reached Botany Bay.
Though there were times when Dupres thought
the clone would die, Lovey did recover.
But the lash-scarred creature that finally
emerged from Hell's gates was changed indeed
from the meek and kindly Lovey that Dupres
had known before.
The rats had been smuggling extra food to him
during his recovery and he was healthier than ever.
The pity the other convicts felt for him after
the flogging had turned to respect as they
watched his transformation and his
easy command of the rats.
Lovey had become an enigma to them,
even to Edward who coward at meal times
and let Lovey take the biggest share before he took his.
Dupres turned the leg iron key over to Lovey
so that he could exercise
and be ready for the next escape.
But Lovey had devised a different plan.
At night, he would release other prisoners
so that they could all exercise and
sneak up to get fresh air.
They were also buffing up with anything
they could lift during these times.
Lovey himself had taken on the
physique of an athlete. He even seemed
proud of the scars on his back as they gave
him the look of someone very hardened by life.
The clone had a way with the rats, too.
They adored him as squirrels once had.
No prisoner would refuse Lovey anything
for fear of the rats that were always around him.
Finally, the clone confided to Dupres that he
and the other convicts were going to take over the ship.
"And then we can leave, right?"
Asked the squirrel in a testing voice.
"You leave if you want." Said Lovey.
"I'm going to stay on the ship."
Dupres was shocked. "But that's ridiculous!"
"Well," Lovey laughed. "Ridiculous is something
you would know something about."
"But what will you do?"
The squirrel could not believe his ears.
"I've always wanted to be a pirate."
As Lovey said those words,
Dupres saw a man before him
that he didn't recognize.
Lovey's hair and beard had grown long
and scraggly and he held his body in a bold
upright position that was different
from the way he was before.
But it was his eyes that made the squirrel
take his latest fancy seriously.
The lash had murdered the old Lovey
and in his place there stood the new.
This Lovey was the one who survived the beating,
coming forward only after he saw that his body
would die with the old Lovey if he lay dormant.
"Oh, one last thing," said Lovey.
"They call me 'Clone' now."
As he turned and walked away,
the rebel squirrel leader realized that his
initial instinct when he first entered
the Tree of Time was right.
He needed to find a way to go back
and destroy the human race
at its first appearance on Earth.
He would not only be saving the world from them
But he would be saving them from each other.
To be continued . . .
If this makes no sense to you
And you want it to,
There is a link to Time Travel
inside where you can catch up.
While you're here, send or receive a disturbing,
yet free postcard!
You are nut number
The opinions expressed by Stockton Dupres do not
necessarily reflect the views of this website or its creator.
All squirrel animation and photo alterations by b.kee(c)1999
Original squirrel photo (c)Gregg Elovich
Most Music on this site from unknown sources