Posts Tagged ‘AU’

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 11

November 27, 2021

The dragon’s gigantic face rose above the edge of the building and the heroes were prepared for the last stand. Those reptilian eyes filled with bright green fire. The dragon had new bleeding wounds across its face, near the right side of its mouth. As they watched, the dragon erupted into purple smoke and green flame and that green flame formed itself into a woman’s form. The woman stood imperiously tall and carried a large staff. She looked at them with absolute disdain in her eyes.

“Heroes,” she said dismissively. “When will you accept that this land is mine now. Any resistance will be met with death.” She spoke like royalty, her diction impeccable.

Mulan stepped forward, anger flashing in her eyes. “China belongs to its people,” she called out. “Who are you to say otherwise?”

The woman laughed. As her mouth opened wider in that laugh, blood dripped from the wound on her face. She did not even react to the obvious pain she must have been in. “I am Maleficent, child,” she said directly to Mulan. “You will say my name with respect before you die. If you say it now, your deaths will be quick and relatively painless.”

“None of us are dying,” Aladdin said. “We’re going to save this land.”

“Then we’ll find our way back to our worlds,” Rapunzel said.

“And our families and friends,” Anna said.

“For China,” Mulan said. “and for all of the worlds. It’s time to slay the dragon.”

“So be it,” Maleficent said. “Your deaths will not be quick if I can help it. I gave you your chance.”

“No more talk then,” Mulan said. “Time for action.” She raised her sword. Her new friends readied their weapons as well.

Maleficent slowly reformed into her dragon form, towering above them in no time. The battle began in earnest. The heroes had to keep moving to avoid the sheer volume of Maleficient’s dragon form and the occasional fire-breathing attack. They darted in with their swords when they could. Out of them, only Mulan and Merrida had any combat training and only Mulan and Aladdin had real combat experience. The others were holding their own, though. They had to or they would be dead.

Merrida fired arrows from a little bit of rubble she had climbed up on, nailing Maleficent with bullseye after bullseye. Maleficent eventually got tired of it and swung her tail. Merrida barely avoided the attack, tumbling down from her perch and landing hard. The string on her bow broke. Rapunzel ran to help her up as quick as she could.

“I’m out,” Merrida said. “My bow is broken!”

“I’ve got an idea!” Mulan called out. “Rapunzel! Use your hair!” She rushed toward the dragon and Aladdin ran with her. “Aladdin, both sides!”

The two of them dodged a lunge from the dragon.

“What!?” Aladdin yelled. “What does that mean?”

“Like a pincer,” Mulan said as she dodged a blast of fire.

Meanwhile, Rapunzel had plucked a long hair from her head. She wrapped that hair around one end of Merrida’s bow and then the other. As soon as she did, she closed her eyes and focused and the string glowed with golden light and tightened itself. Merrida knocked an arrow which also turned bright and golden.

Mulan and Aladdin drove their swords into the dragon’s neck at the same time from the right and the left. Merrida aimed her shot. Maleficent cried out in pain and Merrida fired into her open mouth. The arrow traveled deep into the dragon and then that arrow exploded. Maleficent exploded in green fire and cried out. Mulan swung her sword again and decapitated the dragon.

The battle was over and the exhausted heroes sat on top of a burning palace in the middle of the Imperial City. The flames surrounded them. There was no way out but they had slain the dragon and China would be free. Mulan saw Maleficent’s staff and picked it up and desperately tried to work it. The flames were so close now. She focused on the staff and it lit up. There was a sudden loud sound and a blast of cold air spread out over the palace quickly.

“It looks like this place needed to cool off,” a voice called out.

Anna sprang to her feet and hugged her sister. “Elsa!” she shouted. “I knew you’d come!”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 11

November 13, 2021

Belle turned to her host, Ariel, her eyes wide. “We can’t listen to her, she’s a vindictive fairy,” she said. She turned to Aurora. “Can we arrest her?”

“Fairy?” Aurora asked. “I was practically raised by fairies. They’re not all bad.” Yet she eyed The Enchantress warily, fingers just touching the hilt of her sword. She had known three wonderful fairies but also one truly horrible one. She was not so naive to trust this stranger right away.

“She cursed my husband!” Belle said. Adam, Lumiere, and Mrs. Potts had told her a lot about the night that this strange woman had transformed everybody in the castle. Her curse had almost reached maturity which would have kept everybody from regaining their human forms. It seemed overly cruel to Belle.

“People can change,” Tiana said. She thought of her own husband and her own personal journey.

“I can at least be a gracious host,” Ariel said. “Welcome to my castle, Enchantress. Can I get you anything?” She gave her best smile, trying to do what she thought Eric or her father would do. She had had such little time to train in the etiquette of human royal life and had been in battle so long that it was hard to remember when things had been normal.

“A spot of tea would be nice,” The Enchantress said. “Thank you.”

“I’ll go make some real quick,” Tiana said. She kind of wanted to get out of that room. Tensions were high and she was pretty sure that Belle had not blinked since The Enchantress had appeared. She walked toward the kitchens.

“Please, have a seat,” Ariel said, gesturing toward a chair. She sat down herself and looked at Belle who begrudgingly sat down as well.

“See?” The Enchantress said with a smile. “If your husband had been this kind, things would have been much easier.” Belle tensed at that. “A joke, my dear.”

“I’m not laughing,” Belle said crossly, folding her arms over her chest.

“The truth is, I have owed your husband and his servants an apology for quite some time,” The Enchantress said. “That curse was probably a bit much. I was looking for somebody to punish and I unleashed on the first person to anger me. If that also harmed you by extension, I apologize.”

Belle blinked in surprise. She was not sure what to say to that.

“Please excuse me for cutting to the chase,” Ariel said. “What is your intention in coming here? We’re sort of in the middle of a crisis at the moment.”

“Yes. I saw you slay the Sea Witch. Well, I came to offer my assistance,” The Enchantress said. “I could feel magical turmoil through the planes. Worlds that were once separate are now connected. The citizens of those worlds have been shuffled like so many cards.”

“We suspected as much,” Belle said. “Although, I suppose that confirmation of that theory is appreciated.” She offered that last statement reluctantly. She was still on her guard and appreciated that Aurora had not relaxed either.

“How can you help us?” Ariel asked. “We managed to open a portal through our own research. We were on the verge of reuniting with our loved ones.”

The Enchantress shrugged. “You have done well on your own, I must admit,” she said. “However, without a guide with power, it will be like groping around in the dark. I am a minor power. I can improve your travel options a thousandfold.”

Tiana brought in the tea with some beignets she had whipped up. Ariel gestured for her to sit and she did. Ariel trusted Tiana not only to cook but as an ally who knew a lot about logistics.

“What do you get in return?” Belle asked.

The Enchantress waived the question away with a laugh. “I’m not asking for anything,” She said. “I’m not the type to ask for first-born children. In truth, you have done me a great favor already in killing Ursula. The possibility that you might take out more rivals has me very willing to offer my assistance.”

“Rivals?” Ariel asked, a little taken aback. “Ursula was your rival? A rival in what?”

“She was a minor rival,” The Enchantress said dismissively. “Anybody who wields magic on her level or above has the potential to cause trouble for me. I would not oppose those who use magic sparingly or benevolently but Ursula and her new allies are unpredictable. If they got hungry enough for power, they could try and steal mine. I can’t have that. I already know that their little coven has imprisoned several of my kind. I will not let that stand.”

“Do you think we can trust her?” Ariel asked the room but looked pointedly at Belle.

“I think it’s worth a shot,” Tiana said.

“We’re kind of at her mercy,” Aurora said. “We’ve already seen how powerful she is compared to us.”

Belle sighed. “Aurora has a point,” she said. “and I actually trust her this time.” She had a hunch that The Enchantress was telling the truth. It was the same feeling that led her to befriend The Beast who had become her husband.

“I guess we’re accepting your help,” Ariel said. “Let’s get down to it. Our friends and loved ones are still out there.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 10

September 11, 2021

Mulan was able to lead her team since she had been to the Imperial City several times before. They crept down several alleyways. The place was crawling with those shadowy creatures and the dragon was raging, stomping around everywhere and large parts of the city were burning with green flame. This whole thing was coming to a head and Mulan knew that she had to end things soon or there would be no China left to protect. They broke a window in the lowest floor they could reach and they all snuck in carefully.

“Which way do we go?” Aladdin asked, crouched against the wall.

Nobody seemed to have an idea right away. The city was chaos and the palace was not much better. Everybody was relatively unscathed from the cart crash. They still had their gear and weapons but there was no way to know which way was the solution to their problems. They could not stay still for long. The longer they stayed still, the more likely it was that they would be found and cornered.

“I’m not sure,” Mulan said. “I feel like logic would dictate that we’re heading to the throne room but that could be wrong.”

Suddenly, Rapunzel’s short brunette hair started to pulsate with bright white light and momentarily became blonde before growing down to her shoulders. Everybody looked surprised and Merrida opened the door a crack to make sure the sudden blazing light had not attracted attention. Rapunzel had taken hold of her hair and was marveling at it with a mixture of awe and worry.

“What is going on with you?” Merrida asked. She came off as gruff but everybody was concerned at the surprising turn of events.

“Are you alright?” Anna asked, taking hold of Rapunzel. Anna definitely wanted to fix everything for everybody and she was beside herself.

“I think so?” Rapunzel said. “This is actually sort of how my hair used to be. There is a lot of magic floating around this place.” She tied back her hair with a bit of string she found on her person.

“Do you have a feel for where the biggest mass of it is?” Mulan asked. “Where are we headed?”

Rapunzel closed her eyes and thought. “The highest point,” Rapunzel said softly. “I think.” She pointed upwards toward what Mulan knew to be the top floor of the palace. The Emperor’s living quarters were up there. It made sense.

“That’s good enough for me,” Aladdin said.

“I can lead us there,” Mulan said with a smile, her confidence returning to her. Everybody else looked bolstered by this news as well. “Follow me.”

They set off again and crept through the palace. Their pulses were pounding so loud that they thought somebody would hear them. Their stealth could only last so long and soon they were having pitched battles in the hallways and on the stairs. The shadowy creatures were all around them but they fought bravely. The fighters fought and the more peaceful people supported as best they could. They all knew that it was only a matter of time before this fighting would attract the dragon. If that happened, their time might really be up.

They fought to the top of the palace except that much of the Emperor’s quarters had been burned away and that level was exposed to the open air. Mulan hoped that the Emperor and his family were safe somewhere. They looked around and there was nothing too obvious. There were what looked like they could be magical objects of some sort but it was all foreign to the adventurers.

As they stood trying to figure it out, a massive claw hooked onto the edge of the roof and green flame erupted. The adventurers gathered their weapons for a fight.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 4

March 6, 2021

Kuzco had been in the basket for what felt forever. He had felt the strangers pick the thing up, load him onto the wagon and he had tumbled end over end. He had landed in a very uncomfortable position but because of the produce around him, he could not easily move. The basket had been still for a long time and no light was seeping into the basket. He wiggled and squirmed and somehow reached up to the edge of the basket and used it to right himself. He burst out of the basket, sending the lid flying and then he looked around. It was very dark with a single torch lighting the room and everything was very silent. This would be the best moment to make his move. Somebody would eventually come back to distribute or organize the food and supplies, right?

He wiggled his legs, trying to find firm ground to push off of as he leaned to reach to hold the handle on the side for leverage. This only led to him tumbling out of the basket, barely avoiding tipping the basket over. Instead, he flopped hard to the stone floor below and tried to groan as quietly as possible. A melon bounced on the floor next to him and he reached out to grab it. As he stood up, his knees wobbling, he clutched the melon close as if he would use it as a weapon should anybody burst in on him. He moved toward the door and pressed himself against the wall next to the door and cracked it open. The coast seemed to be clear or at least he thought it was. He walked timidly into the hallway and started to stumble down it.

He had tried to do what Naveen had suggested and tried to guess how many turns they had made and when but he was upside down and he had no idea. He thought he might have fallen asleep at one point due to all of the blood rushing to his head. He felt a little dizzy at that moment and he could not see perfectly straight. He had had more fun as a llama. He tried to figure out which way the door might be but it was hard to tell. He moved down the corridor, pressed to the wall. He was in luck that the lighting was so dim but he worried about what sorts of people could exist in this low-lit place. Maybe they were not human.

Somebody or something came around the corner and Kuzco tried in vain to push himself through the wall. However, he did find some sort of chute that he promptly fell down headfirst. He did not hear any astonished cries so he hoped he had at least avoided detection. He landed in what appeared to be a pile of mud. He briefly considered just staying there. He felt the mud soak into his clothes. He then considered that it might be mud and then he was worried that it was not mud. He pushed himself to his feet and tried not to breathe in through his nose. Then he worried about breathing through his mouth. Then he figured he should start moving again.

It felt like hours while he stumbled around the building, avoiding patrols and dodging obstacles. The whole time he still clutched that melon as if it would save his life. He finally came upon a lever that looked promising and he tried to pull it. It did not budge. He jumped up and pulled on the lever and it did not budge. Finally, he crawled up onto the lever and finally it began to sink. The wall next to the lever started to slowly slide open and it was so loud. Kuzco looked wildly around, hoping nobody heard. He fell back to the floor and then stumbled into the opening. Thankfully, he saw the desert and a few moments later three camels carrying Jasmine, Naveen, and Mattias. Kuzco fell to the ground.

“Kuzco!” Jasmine called out. “Are you alright?”

“I’m just gonna lie down for a bit,” Kuzco said, cradling the melon to his chest.

“What’s with the melon?” Naveen asked. “Did you need a snack?”

“Melon weapon,” Kuzco muttered. He had a thousand-yard stare.

“Uh,” Mattias said as he looked at the others. “Is he alright?”

“Seems our friend has had a time,” Naveen said. “You did a good job, Kuzco.”

“You rest here, Kuzco,” Jasmine said. “Come join us when you’re ready. It’s time to fight.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 6

November 7, 2020

“So do we have a plan?” Aladdin asked. “We haven’t been here long but we have to do something before that monster army comes and smashes this place. I’ve been out there. I’ve seen it from above and it is really bad.”

“I’m familiar with how big the army is,” Mulan said. “Shang and I dodged a lot of patrols getting out of the palace. I’m open to suggestions. I’ve got plenty of soldiers but I’m short on advisors.” Mulan was not too proud to accept help and, from the sound of it, these people all had

“Obviously, there is some sort of dark magic afoot,” Merrida said. “What do we have to counter that?” Her eyes showed that she knew the pain of magic gone awry.

“I am not actually that familiar with magic,” Mulan said. “Just a little bit, really.” She knew that her family had guardians and that her ancestors helped from beyond but magic was not in her everyday life. It showed itself in little ways in big moments.

“My sister has a lot of magic but I have no idea where she is,” Anna said. “I only know a little how magic works. It just kind of works. In my world you usually have to be born with it. I wish the trolls were here.”

“I was born with magic,” Rapunzel said. “A lot of it is gone now.”

“When I messed with magic it went poorly,” Merrida said. “I really blundered my way through it. It has to be done by the experts or it all goes wrong.”

“If only my friend Genie was here,” Aladdin said. “He can do just about anything. He used to grant wishes but he’s still pretty powerful without all of that.”

“Come to think of it, my magical companion Mushu is missing,” Mulan said. “He’s a dragon. A family guardian.” Mushu’s absence was really glaring as he rarely let a moment go by without offering comment on the situation. The talkative little dragon had hurt things as much as he had helped but he had behaved himself more recently. Mulan found herself missing him.

“We could really use that kind of firepower,” Anna said. “We need something to fight back with.”

“Last time I used fireworks to finish the fight,” Mulan said. “If we could get a hold of enough of that we could surprise the army.” She thought back to wiping out Shan Yu’s army with fireworks in the mountains.

“If we could reverse whatever happened to send us here or keep our friends away, Genie and Mushu could come help make things even.”

“And Elsa too!” Anna said excitedly. “How do we make these things happen?”

“I’m totally on board with whatever we’re doing!” Rapunzel cried out. Mulan could tell that Anna and Rapunzel were both very excitable people and would need somebody to rein them in. They were like lit fireworks ready to explode. She needed that passion but she also needed cooler heads to prevail.

“With proper planning,” Mulan said, trying to invoke calm in the room. “We have to obtain the fireworks and we need to get into the palace. I have a feeling that whatever needs to be done is in there.”

“I agree,” Anna said. “If we can just sort of open the door, our friends can come help us.” It sounded so easy when she said it and that optimism was refreshing.

“And we can help them,” Rapunzel said. “I hope everybody back home is alright.” That gave all of the visitors from beyond pause. Mulan felt grateful that she knew where Shang was but it did make her worry about her family. They were smart enough to go to ground if things got dangerous but they were far far away from the Imperial City.

“I guess I could scout for fireworks,” Aladdin said. “Somebody will have to tell me what they look like.”

“I can do that,” Mulan said. “I can also ask around the camp to see who might know of some.”

“I can help with that!” Rapunzel shouted happily.

“Actually, I can help with that,” Anna said. “You’re much more valuable as a healer.”

“Agreed,” Mulan said. “Please do what you can to heal Shang and any other injured. We will need everything we have to win this fight.”

Aftershocks: Dark Carnival Pt. 3

October 17, 2020

Nancy stood seething and breathing hard in her anger with her fists clenched. Lydia moved to her side and gently touched her arm and Nancy calmed down a little bit. Rob stepped up to her other side and gave her a little nod. She nodded back.

“Killjoy!” Nancy shouted out. “If you’re working for my dad, we have a problem. Come out here!”

“No no, you little shits,” Killjoy shouted out through the PA system. “I still don’t think I am going to do that. Not when I still have people to fight for me. I pick my spots.”

“Show yourself clown!” Lydia called out. “We want to get this over with.”

“Unless you’re a coward,” Rob said with a smirk. This set off some grumbled curses over the PA system. Obviously, they had touched a nerve.

This was when a spotlight went on and in the middle of the pool of light stood the most pathetic, rotten-looking clown that any of the three had seen. They all instantly recoiled from him as he had a sinister air to him. He only had one eye and the missing one looked like it had been stabbed with a bladed weapon. Everything about him looked disheveled or injured, unlike the bright-painted clowns they had just dispatched. He was calmly smoking a cigarette. This thing had a completely dirty feel to it rather than the flashy, dangerous feel of the others.

“Who are you?” Nancy asked, all of them tensing up again. They knew that even the most pathetic looking demon could still be a threat.

“The name’s Stitches,” Stitches said in a Scottish accent. “I’m about to rain on your parade.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a flower and put it on his lapel. The flower suddenly erupted with a geyser of water that the three barely dodged. Stitches adjusted aim to follow them and ended up hitting Nancy who was nearly washed away. She dug her claws into the ground and held on tight. She tried to turn her head so she did not swallow all of the water.

“Stop it!” Rob shouted and fired his shotgun, the ironshot and salt mix pelting Stitches on his right side. Stitches looked annoyed at best.

“Quit it,” Stitches said calmly and gestured at Roy and a noisemaker shot out and somehow knocked Rob off of his feet.

Lydia muttered a few words and threw a fireball at Stitches. At the last moment, Stitches pulled out a red-stained umbrella and used it to block the fireball.

“Cool off!” Stitches growled angrily but the geyser of water died down as he turned toward Lydia. A blade sprang from the point of the umbrella and he advanced on Lydia with extra menace. Nancy was still struggling to her feet, belching water onto the ground. Stitches swiped and stabbed at Lydia who had to scramble backward. She used her baseball bat to deflect some of the shots. The situation was dire.

“Stop!” Nancy managed to get out. “It’s me you want. It’s me that my father wants.” She started to struggle to her feet. She was soaked to the bone but she was still staring daggers at Stitches which only seemed to amuse the clown. He laughed and walked a few steps toward Nancy.

“That’s true enough,” Stitches said. “but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun first. Hell does not really like your friends here. The three of you have been a pain in the arse and Hell will be glad to be rid of both of them before we drag you home to daddy.”

“Come get me then,” Nancy said, getting to her feet. “Come and get me already.”

Stitches started to walk toward her in earnest, spurred on by her taunting. At that point, Rob attacked on Stitches’ blindside and stabbed him in his empty socket. Stitches cried out and screamed and then started laughing.

“Third time is not the charm, boy,” Stitches says. “I’ve been stabbed before.”

“Not with an angel blade,” Rob said and smiled. Stitches’ smile faded and he suddenly cracked like an eggshell and collapsed into nothing.

Lydia moved to hug Nancy. “Are you alright?” she asked.

Nancy nodded. “I’m just tired and very, very angry,” she said. “I want to go home.”

“We’re almost done,” Lydia said. “One to go.”

Aftershocks: Dark Carnival Pt. 2

October 10, 2020

The three of them arrived at the fairgrounds and looked up at large tent that had appeared only two hours previously. They had taken the time to gather their weapons and get ready for whatever or whoever they would be facing. They had faced a handful of threats together but who knew what the future might hold? Lydia had recently enchanted a baseball bat which she had gotten pretty good at wielding. She had inscribed runes on its surface and then she had applied a finish to protect the writing. When she had reconnected with Dorothy and her friends, she had also reconnected with her mystical training. She was trying to embrace that. It was silly to handicap herself considering all of the threats they were facing lately.

Rob had a shotgun slung over his shoulder and a makeshift scabbard that held his angel blade. Lydia was still not entirely sure what Rob was. The first night they met she had seen him grow a glowing set of wings amid an explosion. He kept talking about family that he had not elaborated on them but she knew that they hunted monsters. Rob had somehow inherited a bunker from them. There were books on all manner of creatures and she kept seeing the word “hunter” everywhere as if that had a specific meaning. Lydia had worried that he might object to Nancy now knowing about her demon heritage. He had never once backed down from his support of Nancy.

Nancy was wearing her familiar striped sweater that changed shape based on her mood. It usually got baggier and looser as she got more nervous so she could hide inside of it. At her most confident, it could become a t-shirt. It was currently only a slightly loose knit sweater. Her hands were balled into fists but Lydia had seen those hands form into vicious claws. She had seen Nancy do inhuman things. With her own history with he who literally should not be named, she should have been repulsed but she loved her friend even more. Despite the demon heritage, Nancy was so vulnerable but she was still defying the forces of Hell. Lydia could never walk away from that. They were in this together.

A heavily painted female clown stepped out of the tent. She had green hair and a curious design painted on her belly that looked like a vertical mouth with sharp pointed teeth. She also had a smirk on her face.

“Oh look!” the clown said. “It’s little miss daddy issues.”

“Go to Hell,” Lydia said. She looked over and saw Nancy tensing in anger.

“Oh we awe going back but not without you little demon missy,” the demon said. “Come with me and you won’t get huwt.”

“Get ready for a fight, clown,” Nancy said, her look fierce.

“The name’s Batty Boop, pintsize,” Batty said. “You awe a little eawly but we awe weady for you. Step right up!”

The three adventurers charged forward, Nancy at the front with claws extending from her hands. Batty laughed and disappeared in a shower of confetti. The three looked around and then entered the tent. They were immediately met with a blinding spotlight and they all had to adjust for a moment. As soon as they did, the spotlight went off which absolutely ruined their night vision.

“Welcome welcome ladies, gents, and pipsqueaks to the greatest circus on Earth or in Hell, Killjoy’s Psycho Circus!” a voice rang out. “Nancy! You have won an all-expenses paid trip to Hell! The rest of you get a lovely parting gift of death. I think we’ll kill a whole bunch of people before we leave town. What do you think?”

“Come down here and fight us!” Rob yelled out.

“Hmm no I don’t think I’ll do that,” Killjoy said. “I think you should say hello to my friends instead!”

A large shape moved through the darkness and hit Nancy like a bus, sending her sprawling. A spotlight hit the shape and revealed a large hobo clown with comically big boxing gloves. He advanced on the girl with a grunt. As Lydia moved to stop Punchy with her bat, she was cut off by the sudden appearance of Batty Boop. Batty almost sliced into Lydia with a nasty-looking sword. Rob turned to face the last figure which was an odd mime conjoined with what looked to be a robot baby. The baby detached itself and leapt at Rob who was forced to wrestle it to the ground. The three of them were forced to struggle with the three killer clowns. The laughter of Killjoy could be heard from somewhere up above.

Nancy made it to her feet just as Punchy swung down at her. She dodged to the side and had to keep dodging his brutal strikes as she shook off the earlier blow. She was so angry all of a sudden and she wanted so badly to hit back. She balled her fist up and jumped into the air and landed a heavy punch right on Punchy’s chin, sending him stumbling backwards. She punched him again and again and finally wound up and hit him with an uppercut. She punched him so hard that her fist went through his jaw and out through the back of his head. Punchy exploded into confetti.

Lydia dodged wild sword swipes from Batty, the sword clanging off of her baseball bat. Lydia hung in there as Batty got more and more sloppy. The demon clown was not used to prolonged fights. She was more used to seduction and surprise attacks against more helpless prey. Still, she was definitely giving Lydia a lot of trouble. With a tongue foreign from Earth, Lydia lit the runes on her bat. Lightning arced from the bat through the sword and into Batty’s body. She fell to her knees smoking. Lydia tried to think of a pun on Batty’s name and using a bat but just swung for the fences. Batty’s head and then her body exploded into confetti.

Rob wrestled with the little machine as it gnashed its teeth and tried to strike at him. Eventually, he was able to grab his angel blade and stabbed the little baby in an explosion of confetti. The mime swung downward with a pickaxe but Rob rolled away. He recovered his shotgun and one shot sent the mime to an otherwise silent death.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 2

July 11, 2020

The carpet approached a large fortress far outside the outskirts of the Imperial City. Aladdin was determined and Mulan just held tight to Shang, trying to keep him still and stable on the fluttering fabric. It was at this point that an arrow whizzed past them, managing to nick Aladdin’s ear making him wince in pain. It was a good thing he was not the one actually controlling the carpet. The carpet slowed down and approached the guard tower where the arrow had come from. A young woman with striking, frizzy red hair and shockingly white skin came out of hiding carrying a massive longbow. She had a fierce look in her eyes as she leveled the bow toward them and drew back an arrow halfway and held it.

“Halt and declare yerself,” the woman said. “I cannae let you pass.” She had a thick accent and the posture of a warrior of some renown. Mulan sensed that the woman was used to people watching her, something Mulan was just starting to get used to.

Aladdin slowly maneuvered between the woman and his passengers. “Stand down Merrida,” he said. “You know me. It’s Aladdin. We just saw each other a little while ago.”

“Oh. Yer back from scouting too quick,” Merrida said, squinting a bit at Aladdin. “Can you blame me for getting a wee bit twitchy?”

“I guess not,” Aladdin said. “I’d probably be angrier if you had actually aimed for me.”

“Nae,” Merrida said coldly. “You wouldna feel a thing. You’d be dead.” Then she smiled and shrugged.

Aladdin smirked. “Tough talk,” he said. “I came back early because I spotted these two. One of them is injured.”

“Who do ye got there?” Merrida asked and Carpet rotated slowly to reveal Mulan and Shang.

“My name is Mulan,” she said. “This is Shang. He’s bleeding out. Please let us go.”

“If yer good with Aladdin here then yer good with me,” Merrida said. “Go on to the healers and give my best.” She relaxed her draw on the bow, un-nocked her arrow, and slipped back inside the tower without another word.

As soon as she was gone, Carpet floated over the fort’s walls and down toward a small building toward the rear. As they descended, there was shouting from below. Another white girl came rushing out of the building. She had light brown hair that was cut very short in a style that Mulan kind of wished she could adopt. The girl had big, beautiful eyes full of optimism even in grim surroundings.

“Get the injured inside and on a table!” the girl called out. “We need to stop the bleeding immediately. Bring bandages and herbs.” She clapped her hands and everybody started running around. Mulan and Aladdin helped carry Shang inside but then the short white girl pushed both of them back outside. Mulan fumed and was about to head back inside when Aladdin caught her by the arm. She almost took a swing at him but backed off.

“He’s in good hands with Rapunzel,” Aladdin said. “You’d do best keeping out of her way. I need to scrub the blood out of Carpet before I do anything else.”

“Who put you people in charge?” Mulan asked. She was still on edge and she was tired of having to trust absolute strangers in the midst of danger.

“We’re not in charge,” a young woman said, walking toward Mulan and Aladdin. She swept her hood back and Mulan could see that she was also white and had a long braid with a single shock of white hair running through it. Mulan had seen more white people on this day than she had seen during her entire life to date. Something very strange was going on even beyond the destruction of the palace and a strange gray army swarming over everything. “My name is Anna. We’re just trying to help out since the soldiers took us in. If you’re looking for who is in charge, that would be Lieutenant Yao.”

“My name is Fa Mulan,” she said. “Yao’s here? I know him. Where is he?”

“I can take you to him,” Anna said. “I’m sure he’d be glad to see a friend. We’ve been trying to help but this land is very foreign to us. It’s weird.”

Mulan shrugged. “It’s all I’ve ever known,” she said. “Lead me to Yao so we can start getting to the bottom of things.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 1

July 4, 2020

Mulan wrapped a cloth around Shang’s wound and felt his forehead. He was fading in and out of consciousness and he did not look bad. She needed a cool damp rag but she had very little since they had barely gotten away from the Imperial City with their lives. Those things had been terrifying and seemed to come out of nowhere and then part of the palace had exploded into green flame. Mulan and Shang had been able to flee with many soldiers into the countryside but they had been separated from everyone in the madness. Things were not looking good when suddenly she heard a voice from above her.

“You look like you could use some help,” a young man said. Mulan looked up and saw a man dressed in slightly torn clothing standing on what seemed to be a rug floating in the air. He had kind eyes and a reassuring smile.

“Those things came out of nowhere,” Mulan said. “They overtook the city and destroyed the palace. They can’t be far behind us.” Her eyes were wild and she tried to calm down as best as she could. She took deep breaths.

The man and the carpet floated upwards a short distance and he scanned the horizon. He floated back down. “I can’t see them but you’re probably right. We need to get out of here. I was only scouting

“He got hit with a spear,” Mulan said. “It went all the way through. He needs medical attention quickly.”

The carpet lowered to the ground and the man leaned down to look at Shang. “You’re right. It doesn’t look good,” the young man said. “There’s a fort near here where we can get him help. Carpet can take us.”

Mulan looked dubiously at the flying carpet. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Is it safe?”

“Yeah,” the man said. “Do you trust me?” Something about his eyes made Mulan want to say yes but trust should not come so easily.

“I don’t even know you,” Mulan said. “I could hardly trust you.” She wanted to, but her head was spinning and she was equally likely to lash out as she was to accept a favor.

“Let me put it this way,” the man said. “Do you really have any better options right now?” Mulan had seen that the man wore a curved sword but she had a feeling she could outfight him if she had to even in her exhausted state.

“No,” Mulan admitted. “I’m willing to let you prove yourself. Thank you for your help.” She ran her hand along the fabric of the carpet and it responded as if it was a big friendly dog. “This is magic, right?” She only had a little bit of experience with magic but Mushu was nowhere in sight lately. Her guardian had disappeared and she was worried about the little guy.

“His name is Carpet from the Cave of Wonders,” the man said. “My name is Aladdin, by the way.” He offered her his hand. Mulan had never heard of such a cave but it sounded like a place that would have a flying carpet in it. The man looked foreign and Aladdin was definitely not a Chinese name but she and Shang were in a tight spot. She would have to trust him and hope for the best. She took his hand and shook it.

“My name is Fa Mulan,” Mulan said. “This is General Li Shang. Please help us.” Cards were on the table and it was either sink or swim now. She clutched her sword tightly.

“Of course,” Aladdin said. “I’m at your service.” He reached down and helped Mulan get Shang onto Carpet as gently as possible. Mulan knelt down and Carpet took to the air. She was amazed to see that Aladdin was able to stay standing, keeping a wide stance.

They flew over the countryside, shooting through the air as fast as Carpet dared. The ride was surprisingly smooth but all the same, Mulan held onto Shang. She was so worried about him and the blood that was slowly soaking the bandage on his shoulder. She could barely process what had happened. With transport taken care of, she almost passed out from the stress and exhaustion. She hoped that Shang could hang on. Her husband was dear to her.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 4

June 20, 2020

The palace under the sea had changed recently. It had grown darker and strange new, toxic plants had started to sprout up everywhere. Fissures had opened up all over that flooded the area with hotter, sulfurous water which helped the plants grow. There were a lot fewer citizens in the kingdom. Many of the fish and other creatures had fled, getting as much distance as possible from the gathering darkness under the waves. The merpeople who were left drifted about rather listlessly as if their very will had been drained from them. Periodically, teams of them would swim to the surface where they would sprout legs for some evil purpose.

In a little cage in the throne room was a crab who still had life in his eyes but not much. As Ursula, the Sea Witch swam close to the cage, Sebastian the crab trembled. He could not escape and he knew that Ursula kept him prisoner to spite the King and Ariel. His eyes briefly flicked toward Triton’s trident leaning against the throne and knew that with it, Ursula would not be opposed.

“Sad little crab,” Ursula said in a mocking tone before chuckling. “You could go free in an instant.”

Sebastian looked defiantly through the bars. “There is a catch,” he said. “You always have a catch.”

Ursula shrugged. “I admit that I almost strictly believe in the concept of quid pro quo,” Ursula said. “Tit for tat, little crab. I love to make a deal.” She grinned, knowing that the crab knew well the deal that the witch had given Princess Ariel and the trouble that had followed. He also knew something of the other ‘poor unfortunate souls’ that had fallen for Ursula’s tricks.

“Whatever you want, you are not getting it,” Sebastian said. “Do what you will.”

“Oh Sebastian,” Ursula said and the sound of his name made the crab shiver. “All I want is for you to spill all of Triton’s secrets.”

“I know nothing,” Sebastian said. “I am simply the palace composer.”

“Nonsense,” Ursula said. “You’re selling yourself short. I know that you have been an adviser to the King and a close confidant with Princess Ariel.”

“I know no secrets, witch,” Sebastian said. “Leave me alone.”

“Maybe I should do to you what I did to Triton and his other daughters,” Ursula said, bringing her smirking face very close to the cage.

Sebastian’s eyes went wide. “W-what did you do to them?” he asked with the tiniest bit of a stutter.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Ursula said and laughed. “You’ll find out soon enough. For now, I should introduce you to my new friend.”

Ursula swam over to the throne and took hold of a strange jar with a writhing shadow within it. Sebastian looked on with both fear and curiosity. The shadow was new to him.

“Have I told you yet how I won this time?” Ursula asked. “I finally beat Triton and it is because of my new friend here. I was gifted this shadowy fellow by a visitor to this world. The visitor said they had found it in the far off land of ‘New Orleans’ wherever that is. It lets me expand my magic so deliciously. With my magic, the shadow, and the trident, I am unbeatable. It is only a matter of time before the surface world is mine. They will kneel before me or they will drown.”

“You’re evil,” Sebastian said. “Ariel will stop you.” He was loyal to his core to the King and he had grown to love Triton’s daughters, and especially Ariel as if they were his own family.

“She can try,” Ursula said with another laugh. “I have allies from beyond and I have sent her beloved to another realm. She’s all but done.”

“That girl never gives up,” Sebastian said. “She beat you once. She will beat you again.”

Ursula shrugged. “Enough talk,” she said. “You bore me, little crab. I will let you play with my shadow and then we’ll see how much you’ll sing for me.”

Ursula slowly unscrewed the jar and the shadow slithered out as if it were her own black ink. It circled the cage as Sebastian struggled with the bars fruitlessly. Its approach was maddeningly slow and Sebastian could see that it was inevitable. He tried to brace himself as it drew closer.


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