Posts Tagged ‘Crossover’

Summers in Neptune Pt. 2

May 1, 2021

When Buffy and Veronica pushed open the doors to the Library, they immediately spotted the two Queens of the Library. Willow Rosenberg sat on the floor with a circle of old books around her. Occasionally, the books would float into the air and travel to the shelves only to be replaced by another floating book. It was trippy. Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie was similarly surrounded by computer monitors although none of them ever floated. The two of them had immediately gotten along and worked together pretty much seamlessly. They had a fairly similar energy even if they came from different backgrounds.

“Hey Willow, hey Mac,” Buffy said. “How’s it going?” Even though she was literally battle-hardened, Buffy ended up being a bit sunnier than Veronica. Veronica found that a bit more amusing than Buffy did. Maybe it was sad.

“Any information to report?” Veronica asked. “It’s still pretty nasty out there and that needs to stop so we can go back to shoveling 09ers shit.”

Mac turned from her screens. “Language, Veronica,” but she said it smirking. “When will you put your claws away?”

“We have friends where claws are literally a thing,” Willow said. “It’s a lot to adjust to.”

“I can only imagine,” Mac said with a shudder.

“I don’t think we’ll have to with this Hellmouth,” Veronica said. “Sooner or later we’ll meet every monster that ever was. We need to solve this thing.”

“It’s not quite like one of your detective cases,” Buffy said. “We can’t just tie it in a neat bow right away.”

“I know,” Veronica said. “but for the record, my longest case took years to solve. Any problem can be solved.”

“Let’s not rehash the painful past,” Mac said and it was beyond true. “We should confront the painful present. Let’s move on.”

“I’ll go first,” Willow said, standing up. “I’ve been studying this new Hellmouth with my research assistants. Dawn and Wallace have been working so hard that I gave them the afternoon off. They’re getting ice cream.”

“What have you found out?” Veronica asked. Straight to the point, that was Veronica Mars. When she had a problem to solve, she was like a dog with a bone.

“Well,” Willow said, shrugging a little bit. “I’ve read a lot of the local lore, I’ve monitored the ley lines, and I’ve consulted the local fey folk.”

“Neptune has fey folk?” Veronica asked, interrupting but the phrase had been to ridiculous to let pass. She had grown up with Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tinkerbell. It had been a long time since she had clapped.

“Plenty,” Willow said. “I’ll tell them you said ‘hi’. Actually, I won’t. They’re really dangerous to get to know and the less exposure you have, the better. Anyway, I have a few leads. More like linchpins. Demons and other nasties that, if we take them out, the Hellmouth could asplode.”

“Asplode, huh?” Buffy asked. “Sounds good to me and yes I heard the word ‘could’. Come find us when you have some specific targets to stake.”

“We’ll rustle up Logan. Kennedy, and Xander and get out there and take care of business for you,” Veronica said.

“Sounds good,” Willow said. “I’ll even join you if only to protect my lovely wife.”

“Well, that makes sense to me,” Veronica said. “I’ve got to protect my boyfriend.”

“I guess I’ll protect Xander,” Buffy said. “Hmm. Any word from Angel and Spike’s crew?”

Willow fought not to smirk and almost managed it. “We’ve tried every method I know of between technology and magic and there’s nothing,” she said. “They are not on this plane of existence.”

“What does that mean?” Buffy asked, clearly worried.

“It means that we’ll have to wait for them to explain it when they get back,” Willow said. “I’m sure it will be an amazing story.”

“You’re sure they’ll come back?” Buffy asked.

“Angel and Spike have both returned from death several times,” Willow said. “I don’t think I can ever count them out again. Not for sure.”

“True,” Buffy said. “I guess we should move on with the briefing.”

Underworld Hunters – A Disney Crossover Story

April 24, 2021

The room was not very inviting when they arrived. A very large table sat in the middle of it. Many of them would have called it a dining table but who would make a dining table out of stone? It was so cold despite all of the blue flames in the room. There were exactly enough chairs for all of them which meant that the room had been staged just for them. Cruella was smart enough to be unnerved by that but she did not think the others noticed. They did not strike her as very bright. They reminded her of the Baddun brothers. Fairly stupid but also arrogant.

She was not a fool so she knew where she was. She remembered her death and her arrival in what could only be the Underworld. It was different than she had suspected. She had expected pearly gates but after a lot of reflection in this place, she realized that she probably could have been nicer to those dogs. She probably could have been nicer to a lot of people. The moment had passed and now she was stuck in this hole. However, this room was new and it certainly broke the monotony.

Suddenly, one of the others spoke up. It was a big oaf with his feet propped up on the table.

“When are we going to find out why we’re here?” the man said loudly. “This is boring!” The man was wearing a tight red shirt and even tighter pants. His dark black hair was in a ponytail.

“Shut your mouth, you fool,” Cruella said almost in a hiss. “Don’t you know where you are?”

“I could care less,” the man said. “Don’t you know who I am? I am the great Gaston! I fear nothing!”

“Empty bravado,” Cruella said. “you really are a fool.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with the lady,” a man in a wide-brimmed hat said. “We have to keep one eye open here. McLeach is the name, by the way.” He tipped his hat and somehow the gesture was not polite but threatening. The man had skin like leather from being out in the sun too much and his words were thick with what Cruella guessed was an Australian accent.

“At least there’s a little intelligence in this room,” Cruella said.

“What’s your name, lady?” McLeach asked.

“Cruella de Ville,” Cruella said with a flourish. “Certainly you’ve heard of me.”

“Nobody’s heard of you,” the third and final man said. “Neither have I heard of Gaston or McLeach. All nonsense names. I hardly expect you to know my name either even though it is known in many circles.” The man looked absolutely put together with slicked-back hair and a thin pencil mustache.

“What is your name then?” Cruella asked.

“William Clayton,” the man said. “Greatest hunter that ever lived.”

McLeach and Gaston laughed at that, each in their own way.

“Noone hunts like Gaston!” Gaston cried out. “I doubt you could match me kill for kill.”

“Calm down there, Frenchie,” McLeach said. “I know I’m a better hunter than you but I’m not about to get into a pissing contest. Where have you hunted, Clayton?”

“Africa mostly,” Clayton said. “The most dangerous continent.”

“Doesn’t hold a candle to Australia,” McLeach said with a chuckle.

“I thought we weren’t engaging in pissing contests,” Cruella said with a smirk that caused McLeach to frown.

“Is your name really devil,” Gaston asked suddenly.

“Shut up,” Cruella said simply.

“How about we all shut up?” a voice said as the doors opened. A gaunt man with blue flames for hair and a smirk on his face walked in. “How about we all just settle down and play nice for the moment, huh?”

“Who are you?” Gaston asked indignantly.

“What are you?” Clayton asked, aghast at the supernatural figure before him.

“Hades,” the man said. “Lord of the Underworld. You’re in my house so you play by my rules. Capiche? Great. Now I’ve invited you four because I have a bit of a problem and you’re just ruthless enough to solve it. Two days ago, a coven of witches escaped from the Underworld. Now, I’m the boss around here but I have to deal with my brothers who are big pains in the keister. Frankly, I love to send chaos up there but these were unauthorized. I need you to go up there and take them out. The hard way.”

Before anybody could say anything, Cruella raised her hand. “We accept,” she said simply. “Give us weapons and we’ll bag these witches for you. If it means getting out of here ourselves for even a moment, we accept.” She glared at the others and they all nodded.

Summers in Neptune Pt. 1 – A BTVS/Veronica Mars Story

April 22, 2021

After what was only a moderately violent patrol, Buffy Summers and Veronica Mars returned to the compound. The compound had been hastily put together on the outskirts of Neptune. It had started with the donation of Logan’s beachfront house and, after that, the slayers’ magicians had magicked up an underground base below it with a separate entrance through a cave. It was pretty cool and all of it still blew Veronica’s mind. She had personally requested that they move Mars Investigations to the underground bunker. She wanted her people to be safe now that she knew the dangers.

She was still a little hazy on all of the lore but the long and short of it was that Veronica, Keith, Logan, and Mac had been investigating a really strange murder case. The victim had been completely drained of blood. In the middle of a late-night surveillance (she refused to call it a stakeout now), she and Logan had witnessed a blonde woman tussling with some guy who appeared to be really strong. Military man Logan had tried to leap to the rescue but the blonde did not need the help. She stuck a wooden stake in the bad guy and he evaporated into dust. The woman had tried to slip away but Veronica tracked her down the next day.

When pressed, Buffy had decided to come clean as soon as Veronica and Logan had assured her that they could keep a secret. Veronica and Logan were both really good at secrets. Buffy had clued her and Logan into the Hellmouth that had formed under Neptune. Apparently, all of the bad blood and death from the literal class warfare had awakened something dark in Neptune. The Hellmouth was closed but it did attract a lot of supernatural threats that Buffy and her crew were there to fight. Veronica and her friends had volunteered to help, mostly by being eyes and ears for the so-called Scooby Gang and their slayer friends. However, Veronica and Logan had insisted on fighting too which is why Veronica had been out on patrol with Buffy.

“How was that?” Veronica asked, peeling off her armor. “I think I’m getting better out there.” The gear she had was custom-made for her. A lot of leather and kevlar to keep monsters from scratching or biting her. She felt like a cool biker chick in it. She took the magazines out of her twin pistols and made sure the chamber was clear too.

“You’re really good for a normal human,” Buffy said with a sunny smile. “and before you ask, that’s not a backhanded compliment. It’s an actual compliment.”

“Thanks,” Veronica said. “I was going to ask. I guess you guys don’t usually use guns.”

“I have once or twice but I tend to favor stakes and bladed weapons if anything,” Buffy said. “I did use a bazooka once, though.”

“Whoa, no way,” Veronica said with a laugh. “I guess there are some perks to the job.”

“A few,” Buffy admitted. “but a lot of downsides.” Her face got dark for a moment and, although Buffy had not related the whole story, Veronica could guess that the story was not a good one. Veronica had thought she had had a tough time but it seemed that Buffy had literally been through Hell.

“I can see that,” Veronica said. “What with the Hellmouth and the constant danger. Still, more exciting than snapping pictures outside of a motel room.”

“Usually just as gross, though,” Buffy said. The two of them had been spattered with demon blood on patrol and it had been nasty.

“Speaking of,” Veronica said. “Let’s hit the showers. We have to get this stuff off of us.”

“Good call,” Buffy said. “Then we can check in with Information Central.”

“Also known as Mars Investigations: After Dark,” Veronica said.

“We’ll workshop the name,” Buffy said with a laugh.

The two of them headed for the showers. The hot water felt good and both of them felt better that the bunker had a closed system and they were not sending demon blood into the groundwater. They changed into actual clothes before heading deeper into the bunker to what was affectionately known as The Library. Veronica did not really understand why the Scooby Gang said that word with such reverence but it definitely served its purpose.

Kanata and Dax – A Star Wars/Star Trek Crossover Story

April 13, 2021

Alarms went off in the small ship. A lot of alarms. The ship had been on autopilot so Maz Kanata woke up and scrambled out of her bunk. She rubbed her eyes and pulled on a jacket.

“Rose!” Maz yelled out. “What is that alarm? I’ve never heard that one before.”

Maz acted nonchalant as usual but Rose Tico could tell that she was worried. Rose was beyond worried herself and stopped cursing under her breath long enough to talk. She gestured to Maz to follow and then led her to the cockpit where she abruptly took the ship out of hyperdrive. The alarm suddenly stopped blaring.

“The ship detected an imminent collision while we were in hyperspace,” Rose said. “Now that we’re out of hyperdrive, the collision won’t happen. This shouldn’t happen, though. The odds of intersecting with another ship’s path in hyperspace are pretty astronomical.”

“And yet, we seem to have beaten those odds,” Maz said. “Lucky us. I suppose we should see who the culprit is and see if they’re also alright.”

“Well, that’s them right there,” Rose said as she pointed through the cockpit window. “I’ve never seen a ship like that before. It’s very pretty. All the round edges remind me of the pictures I’ve seen of the Old Republic days.”

“I can assure you that this ship is not designed like anything I’ve ever seen,” Maz said. “and I’ve been on Old Republic era ships. It reminds me of the Falcon but sleeker.”

“I should have guessed,” Rose said. “You’ve been everywhere by now. Oh, I think I know why we almost crashed. There’s a space object a quarter of a light-year back that may have altered our course.” She was pressing buttons on the console as she talked. Multi-tasking was one of the skills that had led Maz to recruit Rose.

“A space object,” Maz said. “How descriptive.”

“I’m an engineer, not a scientist,” Rose said. “I’m scanning frequencies to see if we can have a chat with our new friends.”

After a few minutes, the subspace radio crackled to life.

“I repeat,” a woman’s voice said. “This is Jadzia Dax of the USS Defiant. Please respond. We encountered a space/time distortion while in warp and we are worried that your ship may have been damaged. Please respond.”

Rose pressed a button on the console and gestured to Maz. After all, Maz Kanata was the leader of this little partnership.

“This is Maz Kanata of the New Republic Defense Force,” Maz said. “Can you hear me?”

“I can hear you loud and clear, Ms. Kanata,” Jadzia said. “I’m not getting any visuals. It seems our systems are barely compatible. Would you like to come aboard so our medics can have a look at you?”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Maz said. “but we’re always open to meeting new friends and our rendezvous can wait a little longer, I suppose. We’ll come around and dock.”

“No need,” Jadzia said. “We can beam you aboard. It’ll be quicker.”

“Beam?” Rose asked. “What does that mean?”

A shimmering blue light surrounded Maz and Rose but, before either could react, they vanished from the cockpit of their ship and were in the strangest place either had been which said a lot. A young woman with long, braided hair and peculiar birthmarks along her hairline and down along her neck smiled at them.

“Sorry about that,” Jadzia said. “My name is Jadzia Dax and this is the Starfleet vessel Defiant. What New Republic did you say you represent?”

“What’s Starfleet?” Rose asked.

“Good question,” Maz said. “but to answer a question, we’re from the New Republic. The new government formed after the fall of the Empire. I would have thought the news was more well-known by now.”

“None of that really made sense to me,” Jadzia said. “and did you hit your head and forget what Starfleet is? Can my medics check you out?”

Maz and Rose nodded, looking just as confused as Jadzia. The medics stepped forward and started to wave strange devices close to Maz and Rose’s body without touching. The medic near Maz started to look even more confused.

“This species, it’s not in any of our medical databases,” the medic said. “However, it does somewhat match some ancient archaeological data.”

“Oh,” Jadzia said. “I think we have quite a mystery on our hands.”

Image Isn’t Everything – A Munsters/Addams Crossover Story

April 10, 2021

Marilyn stepped into the bar, a little frazzled because she was running behind. She had had so many errands to do for the family. Marilyn could never say no to Eddie, Lily, Herman, and Grandpa and she did not see a reason to stop now. Still, she felt a little guilty about being late. It would have to be alright because she could not change things now. She took a deep breath and approached the bartender. She put on her best smile.

“Excuse me,” she said. “I’m here to meet a friend. Is there anybody here who is waiting?” Her eyes twinkled with her smile and she could tell that it threw the bartender off of his game.

“Um,” the bartender said, taking a bit to reboot his brain. “No offense but it’s your friend. Don’t you know what your friend looks like?”

“We’ve never actually met,” Marilyn said. “We’ve only talked online.”

“Well,” The bartender said after a deep breath. “Is your friend male or female?”

“She’s female,” Marilyn said.

A shadow passed over the bartender’s face. “Oh,” he said. “There’s only one woman alone and it’s her.” He said the word like it was a slur and pointed past Marilyn to a darkened booth. There was a young woman dressed in black with pale skin and long black hair. She had a dark look about her that Marilyn found familiar given her family.

“Can I get you a drink?” the bartender asked. “It’s on the house.”

“Aren’t you sweet!” Marilyn said. “I’ll take a scotch and soda.”

The bartender quickly went about mixing her drink which was done in a flash and Marilyn took it and walked over to the table.

“Hello,” she said. “I’m Monster64 but you can call me Marilyn. My name’s Marilyn Munster”

The woman looked up at her without smiling. “My name’s Wednesday,” she said. “Please have a seat.” She gestured toward a seat. She had a glass of red wine in front of her.

Marilyn sat down with a smile. “I didn’t realize that was actually your name,” she said, “I thought it was just a screen name.” Marilyn was nervous because why else would that fall out of her mouth?

“My name is Wednesday Addams,” Wednesday said with the slightest Mona Lisa smile. “I’ve known it’s not a normal name for a long time.”

Marilyn nodded. “Sorry that I’m late,” she said. “I lost track of time back at the house. I hope I didn’t keep you.”

“My wife is out of town,” Wednesday said and sipped her wine. “I don’t have anywhere else to be.” Her sort of dry, monotone delivery made Wednesday hard to read but there was something in her eyes that was not friendly but it was also not unfriendly. Marilyn sensed that the woman did not make friends easily.

“Oh,” Marilyn said. “I didn’t know you have a wife.” She thought of something. “This isn’t one of those unicorn things, right? I’m not into girls.”

Wednesday gave Marilyn another Mona Lisa smile. “I’m very satisfied with my wife,” she said. “You said you wanted to be friends. You seemed like you had a lot in common with me.”

Marilyn breathed a sigh of relief. “Sorry, that was awkward,” she said and there was a bit of silence. “Wednesday is a great name,” Marilyn said. “My name is so ordinary.”

“I mean, yeah,” Wednesday said with brutal honesty. “It’s very ordinary. Not exactly what I expected.”

“Oh?” Marilyn asked. “and what did you expect?”

“Your emails talked about you living with monsters,” Wednesday said. “Real monsters. Not metaphorical ones. You look so normal.”

“I know!” Marilyn said. “That’s the problem. My family looks so good but I look so ugly.” She pulled out her phone and showed Wednesday a picture of her family. Wednesday saw a patchwork monster, a vampire, a hairy little boy with fangs, and a woman who could have been her mother’s sister. They looked even better than Wednesday would have guessed.

“You’re not ugly,” Wednesday said. “I mean, when I was little somebody who looked like you would have scared the hell out of me but I’ve seen a lot since then. My nanny looked kind of like you and she was a serial killer. My wife looked like you when we first met at summer camp.”

“So what are you saying?” Marilyn asked. Her head was spinning a little at the mention of serial killers.

“I’m saying that image isn’t everything,” Wednesday said. “If you’re a monster inside, that’s all that really counts. Your looks just make it so you fit in better out here. People fear me.”

“Oh I don’t find you very scary,” Marilyn said.

“I like when people fear me,” Wednesday said. “but I guess I can see how we could be friends.”

“Oh good,” Marilyn said. “I always need more friends.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 6

March 20, 2021

Jasmine, Naveen, and Kuzco stepped back with Jasmine and Kuzco hugging their arms close to their bodies against the sudden gust of cold in the space. Naveen nervously ran a hand through his hair. Mattias stepped forward, seemingly unafraid, and reached to help Queen Elsa to her feet. He helped her up gently but authoritatively, a man of service for sure.

“Your majesty,” Mattias said. “You have been held captive. Are you alright?” He was protective, almost instinctively keeping his body between Elsa and the others standing outside of the cell.

“I’m fine,” Elsa said politely and Mattias instantly withdrew his support and Elsa stood steady. “Is my sister here?”

“Not to my knowledge, your majesty,” Mattias said. “We have both been transported magically to a foreign land. One that I had never heard of. Apparently, they thought you dangerous enough to actually imprison you.”

“That was a smart choice,” Elsa said with a sarcastic smirk. “Who did this?”

Mattias shook his head. “We haven’t really figured out who they are yet,” he said. “We fought them but they have not identified themselves yet. They are clearly not friendly, though”

“They will be held accountable whoever they are,” Jasmine said. “I promise that, your majesty.” Jasmine stood as tall and as regal as she could considering she was an inexperienced warrior who had just been through the wringer. She did have a lifetime of experience standing with her father and she could strike a pose with the best of them.

“Mattias, why haven’t you introduced us?” Elsa asked with a slight smile. She stood a little straighter, drawing on her own royal training.

“My apologies,” Mattias said. “Queen Elsa, this is Jasmine, the ruler of this desert kingdom Agrabah. Behind her is Prince Naveen of New Orleans and Emperor Kuzco of Inca.”

“It’s actually ‘former queen’ but let’s dispense with the honorifics for a while until we’re out of this,” Elsa said. “Do we have a deal?”

“I like you already,” Jasmine said. “Are you sure you feel alright?”

“I’m sure,” Elsa said with a smile. “It’s nice to meet all of you and I’m grateful for the rescue. Agrabah, New Orleans, Inca. I have never heard of these places but let’s set that aside. If these people are threatening Northuldra and Arendelle, they will answer to me. To us.”

“Agreed,” Jasmine said. “Nobody invades Agrabah.”

“Yes, I agree as well,” Naveen said. His face was kind but his voice was stern, something nobody was used to in the short time that they had known Naveen. He almost always had a joke. To hear him being this serious was jarring.

“What about all these other cells?” Kuzco asked. “Shouldn’t we free them too?” He gestured around, master of the shortcut at work.

“Yes!” Elsa said. “Fortunately, I know what happens when locks freeze. We’ll free them all.” She suddenly looked much stronger than she had looked after standing up earlier.

“I assume that we will find only allies in these cells,” Mattias said. “At least, I hope so.” He seemed less than completely sure but he trusted Elsa with his life and she obviously felt the same. Besides, it was a logical assumption to make. If these people would imprison Elsa and held malicious designs for Agrabah, the other prisoners would at least be more likely to fight their captors than their liberators.

“We’ll have to take our chances,” Jasmine said. “We can’t handle them on our own. We have to rescue our loved ones.”

“I agree,” Elsa said. “Anna is out there somewhere and there will be no mercy for anybody who gets between us.”

An involuntary shiver ran through everybody but Elsa. She slowly walked past them all and into the hallway of cells.

“I checked,” Kuzco said. “This is only one hallway. There’s a lot of them.”

Elsa seethed with anger for a moment and her footsteps were outlined in ice for a moment. “Let’s open that big one on the end first, shall we?” she asked through clenched teeth. She pointed her palm toward the door at the end of the hallway and ice flew from her hand and slammed into the rough metal. The door shuddered and then large cracks started to form in the metal. Finally, the doors expanded, shuddered, and fell apart. The hallway briefly filled with mist.

Suddenly, a blue blur moved through the mist and enveloped Jasmine. Everybody drew their weapon but Jasmine waved a free hand even as she floated off the ground.

“It’s alright!” she yelled out, tears of happiness flowing down her cheeks. “It’s just my friend Genie.”

The blue man turned to look at everyone else. “Hey everybody,” he said. “Are we having a party?”

“More like a fight, Genie,” Jasmine said. “I’m so glad we found you. We need your help.”

“You name your wish,” Genie said. “I’ll make it come true.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 5

March 13, 2021

Jasmine, Mattias, and Naveen walked slowly and carefully down the hallway of the mysterious building. Jasmine had a scimitar, Mattias had his short sword and shield, and Naveen had opted for a wooden staff. Naveen had never really seen combat, at least not in his normal human form. Jasmine had been caught off guard before so she had received some training from her husband Aladdin and the palace guard but she had no experience. Mattias had both training and experience so he led the way. He insisted it be that way and Jasmine and Naveen had not argued.

It was not long before they were tested. They came upon some dark-armored ruffians and the combat was hot and heavy. Mattias set them up and left it to Naveen and Jasmine to finish the job. Mattias’ shield saw a lot of action and it was standing against the punishment very well. To his credit, Kuzco actually caught up to them and tried to fight a bit too although the effect was somewhat comical. Whether he was motivated by fear of being left alone or had suddenly found his courage, it did not really matter. The other three were great to have at least one more person. They slowly fought their way through the hallways but it became clear that their enemy would soon bring the full weight of their force against them. That is when Kuzco told them about the air ducts in the place.

They snuck into one of these ducts and ended up in a small storage room. They caught their breath for a bit. Jasmine tied her hair back into place. They all breathed hard.

“We need a plan,” Jasmine said. “We’re doing great but we can’t last.”

“Agreed,” Mattias said. “but we still don’t know the layout of this place.”

“The solution is simple,” Naveen said. “What they don’t want us to see is what they are guarding the most. Predictably, this is the center of the building.”

“Very smart,” Mattias said. “We’ll have to sneak as much as we can.”

“Allow me,” Kuzco said. “If there’s an easier way of doing things, I’m the one who will find it.”

“Lead the way, Emperor,” Jasmine said with a smile. “We’ll follow your lead.”

They went back at it, sliding through ducts, darting across hallways, and climbing up and down stairs. They kept to the shadows and only clashed with guards when necessary. They almost felt refreshed compared to the earlier tiring combat. Kuzco was doing a great job of leading them on the path of least resistance. He was actually a bit inspiring in his cowardice.

It seemed to take forever but they slowly made their way through the maze-like structure. They finally slipped past a large contingent of guards and stumbled into an entirely new section deep in the building. It looked like there were what looked like prison cells. Jasmine had fought to reduce such cells in her own kingdom because of the inhumane treatment witnessed by Aladdin. They got closer and none of them recognized the first few people they looked in on. The people in the cells looked like they were asleep and when Jasmine banged her scimitar against the bars, they did not wake up.

“These people,” Jasmine said. “Most of them don’t look like they are from Agrabah. They look foreign.”

“Who knows how many worlds were affected by this,” Naveen said. “We need to wake them up.”

From down the hall, they heard Mattias cry out. “Queen Elsa!” he nearly screamed, sending the rest rushing toward him. “This is Queen Elsa. We need to get her out. If we get her out, she could get everyone else out. Trust me.”

“Of course we trust you,” Jasmine said.

The four of them scrambled around until Kuzco found a strange crystal embedded in the wall next to Elsa’s cell. They tried to figure out how the crystal worked. Finally, Mattias plunged his sword into it and there was some sort of magical discharge. The cell shook and then jerked open and they rushed in. Slowly, the white-haired queen started to wake up and Jasmine suddenly noticed that she could see her breath. Elsa’s eyes glowed bright blue and Jasmine was very afraid. They all backed off. Elsa rose to her feet, shaking with anger.

“What happened?” she asked, voice still and tense.

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: Agrabah Pt. 3

February 20, 2021

Naveen pulled Kuzco along as they stuck to the shadows on market day. The two of them were on their own as Jasmine, Mattias, and the guards would not dare watch over them in case their observation drew the attention of the strangers. Naveen was trying to keep Kuzco in a good mood, nobody wanted the Emperor to lose his nerve and force them to delay and rethink their plan. The two moved quickly with Naveen making sure that Kuzco did not have time to be reluctant. He had dressed Kuzco in a dark cloak even though the Emperor had complained that it was not his style. He was more of a red and gold kind of guy. Naveen had told him that actually appearances really don’t matter.

“Relax, Kuzco,” Naveen said with an easy smile. “I did this once to get a free ride on a steamer ship and the plan succeeded flawlessly.”

“What’s a steamer ship?” Kuzco asked. “and if it’s so easy for you, why aren’t you doing it?”

“Forget the steamer ship,” Naveen said and waved his hand as if he was shooing the idea from their conversation. “You’re the man for the job, I promise you. All you need to is hide and then open a door. Piece of cake, right?”

“I’m not sure,” Kuzco said. “I usually have somebody do these kinds of things for me. I mean, I had an adventure once but I kind of hated it.”

“That’s the spirit,” Naveen said with heavy sarcasm. “You’re going to do a great job.”

“The old me would have had you tortured for speaking to me like that,” Kuzco said. “I guess I need to do this. The sooner I do it, the sooner I get back on my throne and somebody’s feeding me and somebody else is fanning me.”

“There’s more to life than that,” Naveen said. “Believe me, Kuzco, I used to have it all. I had women hanging all over me and servants and everything.” He thought in particular about his servant Lawrence with a mixture of anger and regret. He knew that he had been a brat and it had come back around to punish him.

“Used to?” Kuzco asked. “What happened? Did you get turned into a llama too?” People rarely seemed to believe in Kuzco’s adventure as a llama.

“A frog, actually,” Naveen said. “but before that I had it all taken away by my parents, the king and queen of my country.” Of course, Naveen was barely fazed by talk of magical transformations. He had his own wild adventure in the swamps of Louisiana as a little frog.

“That’s terrible!” Kuzco said. “Did you win it back?” He had been miserable when his unfortunate transformation and banishment had kept him from his own life of luxury. Everything had been pure torture but then again he thought of his friendship with Pacha, the one pure friend he had ever made.

Naveen smiled and shook his head. “I let it go with the help of my wife,” he said. “When I let it go, it lost its power over me. Now we have enough to be happy and comfortable.” Naveen smiled to himself, thinking of Tiana wherever she was. He and Tiana had really helped each other adjust the course of their life along with Ray and Louis. He enjoyed helping Tiana with her dream restaurant and he could work on his music on the side. It was a good life, one he desperately wanted to get back to.

“Well,” Kuzco said with started with some reluctance. “There is this one girl I have my eye on.”

“There you go!” Naveen said excitedly but quietly as they were still sneaking. “If you help out, you can get back to her and tell her this story. She’ll see how selfless you were. She’ll be very impressed.”

“She’s very smart,” Kuzco said. “I think it would take a lot to impress her.”

“We’ll work on it,” Naveen said. “You’ll charm her when you get back. Look! Here we are!”

Naveen shoved Kuzco into a basket before he could say anything else. He secured the basket lid and then moved away as casually and quickly as he could. He really hoped this plan would work. The boy was not exactly a hero but, then again, neither was Naveen.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 2

February 13, 2021

Jasmine sat in her seat and took a deep breath. “I propose that we cannot wait any longer,” she said. “The longer we wait, the more likely it is for the Obsidian Tower to take over this town. I will not lose Agrabah to these people. I also strongly suspect that they know what has happened to our worlds and our friends. They may be counting on us and I will not fail them by delaying. Taking a leap of faith changed my life for the better once upon a time and that is my position now.”

Mattias coughed politely. “You know that my position is to exercise caution until we know more about our situation,” he said. “Our forces are dwindling and we don’t have the operational intelligence to ensure that we will be victorious.”

“I tend to agree with Jasmine,” Naveen said. “My wife is a planner but even she would admit that sometimes sharp wits and dumb luck mean more than all the knowledge in the world. We should make our move before time runs out. I don’t want to end up regretting leaving things too long.”

“Dumb luck has always worked for me but I’m awesome,” Kuzco said between shoveling food into his mouth. None of the other three knew how Kuzco managed to lead his country. He came off as an arrogant doofus but there was something else there behind it all. He complained but they all noticed that he had never walked away from these meetings and actually did listen.

“It appears that I am outvoted,” Mattias said with a slight smile. “That’s alright. I’m used to playing things by ear when I have to. I suppose I even have a plan.”

“Very resourceful,” Jasmine said. “I am very excited to hear it.” She knew that Mattias had a keen mind and was unquestionably loyal. This was something that Jasmine was still getting used to.

“As Naveen has no doubt noticed when the strangers come to market they use large baskets which they load onto their wagons,” Mattias said.

Naveen nodded. “I’ve definitely noticed,” he said. “I regularly play music down in the market when they arrive to keep eyes on them.”

“I watch from a hidden place,” Mattias said. “I suggest that one of us climb into one of those baskets and open a door for the other two in the dead of night.”

“Other four,” Jasmine said. “Rajah and I will be coming along as well.”

“I’d advise against it,” Mattias said. “You’re the ruler here and if something happens, and something is likely to happen, Agrabah may be completely lost.”

“If we do not succeed, Agrabah may well fall anyway,” Jasmine said. “I’m going. I know how to handle myself in a fight and I will never sit idly by and be the damsel in distress ever again. Tell me, would you be able to keep your Queen from entering the fray?”

Mattias sighed. “I would not be able to hold back either Queen from doing anything,” he said. “They’re both very headstrong. I think they would like you very much.”

“I apologize for causing your upcoming headaches but I will not budge on this,” Jasmine said. “Maybe I can meet your Queens when this is all over.”

“If I can make it happen, I will make it happen,” Mattias said. “I’m sure Anna especially would like to meet all of you and your loved ones.”

“My Tiana will cook us all a good good meal,” Naveen said. “We’ll have a big old party.”

“I look forward to it,” Jasmine said. “Now who will be the one to sneak into a basket?” She looked around at the three men, ready to volunteer herself. It would not be the first time that she went undercover.

“I think it should be Kuzco, actually,” Mattias said. There was a stunned silence following this bold statement.

“Me!?” Kuzco squeaked. “I don’t think so.”

“He does have a sort of harmless manner that might keep him safe,” Naveen said. “If he’s caught he would be alright.”

“I could be caught?” Kuzco asked nervously. He glanced at the door for a moment but he did not run. He was no adventurer but he was also no stranger to adventure.

“There’s something to that,” Jasmine said. “Are you ready to test your ‘dumb luck’?”


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