A Friend In Need is the second in the 8-story long "Wonderland Chronicles" series and is set around 5 months after the events of A Dragon's Tale - it is a story which focuses on Red and Inferno's relationship as a snobbish prince makes Inferno feel somewhat out-of-place, leading him to help a villager who claims his friend has been captured by criminals.. though can this villager truly be trusted or has Inferno fallen into a trap?
The story began late one night on the outskirts of Red's Kingdom, a shooting star passed over the inky sky as a farmhand observed the stars - becoming more and more curious as he looked at them with awe and thought back to his childhood and the many wishes he would make on stars.
However his dreaming was cut short as another shooting star flew down, this time landing in the nearby forest - smoke already rising from the trees.. startled the farmhand got up and grabbed a pitchfork before making his way over to the site, knowing it was foolish yet unable to stop his curiosity.
As he neared the scene his eyes grew wide and his legs refused to go further, the farmhand freezing in place as a mass of strange semi-liquid crystal oozed its way out from a nearby crater and flew out towards him: panicking he dropped his pitchfork and fled, yet the crystal ooze paid him little heed as it enveloped the pitchfork, shivering as it consumed the primitive tool and began to glow an eerie shade of orange.
It only took a few moments for the orange to fade away and the ooze bubbled, shivering some more before a skeletal hand burst out from the ooze, long razor-like claws resembling in many ways the now utterly consumed pitchfork: the ooze continuing to warp until another skeletal arm emerged - followed by a long body and legs but no head.
The creature stood for a while in the darkness before a head finally sprouted from its body - long and skeletal with several crystal-like "eyes" dotted across it: flexing its claws slightly before it moved on towards the nearby Kingdom uttering in a mechanical tone:
<<..Inhabited world detected - all units prepare for launch when given the signal.. scouting ahead.. over>>.
The scene shifted to the next day within the royal gardens of Red's Kingdom, it was a glorious day and the garden was decked with elaborate decorations as well as fancy chairs and tables as visiting royalty from a nearby kingdom sat patiently, waiting upon the arrival of Queen Red and her consort, Inferno Pendragon.
However from within the castle Red was showing signs of anger as she crossed her arms and leaned her back against a wall, tapping her foot impatiently as she spoke out:
"Inferno, need I remind you we have Prince Upton and Lady Pretta in the garden awaiting our presence? How long can it take you to get Murk prepared? he's only a child.."
"Give me a second! This "child" has claws.. come on Murk.."
"No! I look stupid!"
"Nonsense! Red picked your suit especially for this occassion.."
"Then make *her* wear it!"
Eventually the door swung open and Inferno emerged, dressed in his regal uniform - dragging out Murk, who was dressed in a blue sailor suit with a blonde wig and hat.