The sound of barking and snapping behind her shouldn’t have been unfamiliar to her. If anything, Vanellope had been asking for trouble by wandering too close to the castle grounds without reason. She did have a reason, of course, but her candy gathering was of little concern to the king in question. Thus, he had sent his devil dogs after her without a second thought.
Vanellope’s heart was racing as she ran for the candy cane forest. She was slowed by the weight of the candy in her arms, but she didn’t care. Her goal was to get into a tree and lose the dogs in question. However, it was looking like that would be a difficult task to achieve. She could see a tree that looked safe enough ahead of her, though, and so Vanellope’s focus honed in on it. It wasn’t long before she was climbing.
"Go away, you stupid pastry mutts!" Vanellope snapped as she hopped up onto a higher branch. The dogs remained blow her, pawing at the trunk, and continued to bark at her as she got higher up. Unfortunately, because Vanellope wasn’t paying as much attention as she normally would, she touched a double stripe branch.
Now, unbeknownst to her, a hooded figure cloaked in grey was observing her all the while. He’d been watching her that day, mostly to make sure she stayed out of trouble, and had seen the trouble she’d wound up in. When he saw the branch break, though, he knew he no longer could stand idly by.
Vanellope’s frightened gasp filled the air as the branch beneath her broke, and she was sent falling down toward the dogs with her candy raining down on them. She squeezed her eyes shut and curled in on herself, all the while expecting the inevitable doom.
…It never came.
She felt herself being grabbed by strong arms powerful enough to snatch her out of the air. From there, she was hugged close to whomever it was that had saved her, and it felt as though they had been flying for a few brief moments. Vanellope was too afraid to open her eyes, though, so she didn’t get to see who her savior was.
When she opened her eyes, Vanellope found herself outside of Diet Cola Mountain. Her scraps of candy were gone, which was to be expected, but she thought she saw a fleeting glimpse of her rescuer.
"Wait! Wait!" Vanellope called after him. She got up to chase after him, but the feeling of her foot brushing against something made her stop. Vanellope looked down, and she saw that her foot had pushed against a very familiar looking cookie medal.
The very one she had made for Thunder all those months ago…