Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 7

July 31, 2021

With the help of Genie and Elsa, the locks on the cells opened much more easily. Jasmine let them do the opening and was one of the people who comforted and helped the prisoners adjust to being conscious again. There was no way of telling how long people had been left in suspension in these cells. She woke up a young woman named Namaari who raged desperately until she was reunited with her girlfriend. There were two little boys named Luca and Alberto who looked like fish one moment and then like humans the next. An impossibly muscular man in armor named Hercules. There were five fairies of various sizes. Three were dressed in blue, one in green, one in red, and one who was tiny enough that it was hard to see her clearly when she lit up. They were assembling a small army

Jasmine found a box nearby and climbed up onto it to get her head above the crowd. “Everybody, please listen!” she called out. Nobody turned toward her.

Genie turned his thumb into a whistle and blew into it, letting the shrill sound echo through the cavernous space.

“Thank you,” Jasmine said, her ears ringing a bit. “I’m glad that you are all free. We will figure out some way to get you all to where you belong. For now, you are in the middle of a desert outside of my home, Agrabah. I am Jasmine. We need to clear out this facility and stop these people. I recommend that we apprehend and not kill these people. Please. Those who can fight, scour the building. Those who can’t, please find someplace out of the way. Everybody keep an eye out for some sort of magic to get us home.”

Everybody started to move in a more orderly manner. Jasmine hopped down from her box and picked a direction to head in herself.

“Jasmine,” Genie said, floating beside her. “Don’t you think you should rest? Leave the heavy lifting to the rest of us. You’ve earned it.”

“Thank you, Genie,” Jasmine said. “but I won’t rest until I get Aladdin back.”

“Al’s missing?” Genie asked. “Say no more. We’ll find him together.”

Jasmine walked down a hallway while Genie floated. They turned a corner and there was a very angry hooded woman standing there.

“You!” the woman yelled. “You’re one of the people who ruined things here.”

Jasmine’s eyes narrowed. “And who might you be?” she asked. “The warden of this prison perhaps?”

“My name is Mother Gothel,” the woman said. “All prisoners belong in their cells. We’ll see if we can find you one.”

“That will not happen,” Jasmine said. “No more cages and I will not be taken prisoner again.”

“Then you will die,” Gothel said and produced a knife.

“Genie,” Jasmine said with a calm smile forming on her lips. “Apprehend her.”

Genie smirked and cracked his knuckles but before he could act, Gothel pointed at him and he evaporated. Jasmine was stunned but was forced to get over it quickly as Gothel lunged with the knife. Jasmine had brought her sword and raised it to block the slash. She then thrust her shoulder into the older woman to push her back and took two big steps backward to create distance. The two circled each other. Jasmine could sense that Gothel was not a practiced fighter when it came to a straight-up physical fight. She was a magician and judging by her anger she was used to being in control. Being caught off guard had made Gothel unbalanced and unpredictable.

Gothel lashed out again and again. Suddenly, Jasmine lost her footing and tumbled to the stone floor. She lost her grip on the sword, sending it sliding out of reach. This was a painful reminder that Jasmine was also not really a seasoned fighter although she was quickly learning. Gothel approached rapidly, a decidedly evil laugh starting to echo through the room. Jasmine raised her hand as if to ask for mercy she knew that would not come. With a flash, a blue sword formed in her hand and she blocked Gothel’s shot, much to both of their surprise. The sword dissolved and the blue stretched up Jasmine’s arm, making it enormous and muscular. She punched Gothel and the villain was out like a light.

Jasmine’s arm returned to normal and the blue smoke stretched and grew into Genie’s form.

“Sorry,” Genie said. “it took me a bit to pull myself back together but you did great, kid.”

“Thank you for the assist, Genie,” Jasmine said. “It looks like there are some scattered papers and journals here. Let’s gather them up and bring them back to the others. There may be some clue to the magic for traveling beyond our world.”

“I’ll carry, you lead the way,” Genie said, starting to scoop everything up carefully.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 9

July 10, 2021

The wagon full of fireworks had made its way quickly yet stealthily toward the palace. Anna was driving again. Merrida was reclining on top again, under a cloth. Aladdin, Rapunzel, and Mulan were inside. Everybody was tense. There were a couple of times where they had to hide the cart to avoid patrols. They were all tense as they traveled but they remained safe. There was another contingent sneaking their way with another load of fireworks to a ridge near the palace. They were the distraction force and Mulan’s contingent of foreigners was the main infiltration force. The soldiers on the ridge were under strict orders not to risk too much but Mulan could see that they were tired of hiding. It was time to fight. This plan had put hope back in everyone’s eyes.

Mulan and her group stayed under the cover of a half-destroyed lean-to until nightfall and then fireworks were suddenly raining down on the Imperial City. The monsters did not know what to do and there was a great noise of confusion. Anna got the horses moving again and the cart rushed at speed toward the gates. The monsters had not noticed their cart yet. Anna goaded the horses to go faster and everyone grabbed hold. Merrida and Anna looked at each other as they braced themselves. The horses ran at the gate and managed to burst through, kicking their powerful hooves forward and only hesitating for a moment. Everybody on that cart took a deep breath and waited to see if the fireworks would set off. They did not.

Anna looked ahead of them and saw a swirling purple smoke and then that smoke started to take the form of a massive dragon. Merrida started to aim her bow but Anna caught hold of it and shook her head. The dragon was too big for that. Merrida banged wildly on the top of the cart and scrambled to the front of the cart with Anna. They started to get ready to unhook the horses as they hurtled toward the dragon. Inside the cart, Mulan supervised the lighting of fuses for the fireworks. At the last minute, the horses ran free and the dragon lunged at the cart. The cart exploded in the dragon’s face, sending it screaming at the sky. The dragon’s face was burning and, for the moment, it seemed like it was enraged but blinded.

In an alleyway, Mulan’s team sat and caught their breath. At the last moment, they had tucked and rolled and run away in the confusion. They sat and smiled at each other, eyes wide with amazement. They were thankful that not only had their plan worked for the moment but they had also survived it. The courtyard of the Imperial City was now burning but it was a small price to pay. Everybody got back to their feet and took stock of themselves and made sure they all still had the proper amount of limbs. They were satisfied that they only ended up lightly singed and it looked like the monsters were still very interested in the fireworks coming from the ridge.

Mulan’s team started to creep through the shadows toward the palace. Aladdin in particular was really good at it from all of his experience as a thief in Agrabah. The normally bubbly Anna and Rapunzel were both deadly serious and everybody remained quiet as they made their way. They hoped to not use their weapons for as long as possible. If they were fighting, they were getting slowed down and if they were too far from their objective, they would never make it. Therefore, stealth was key and everybody understood that. They were a pretty intelligent bunch of seasoned adventurers. They had all been through a lot and this was just one more thing they had to do. Still, it felt like the biggest thing they had ever faced.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 9

July 3, 2021

Maui led the way back down the stairs to Jumba and Pleakley’s laboratory. Reluctantly, he was carrying his hook, a literal gift of the gods. He had rejoiced in the hook’s power when it was first gifted to him. It allowed him to take so many forms and travel the world freely and do whatever he wanted. When he lost it to Tamatoa in Lalotai, he had been devastated. Then he was marooned on that island. When Moana helped him win it back and then Te Fiti fixed it, he felt joy in his heart again. Part of that was the lifting of the weight on his conscience from stealing Te Fiti’s heart in the first place but part of it was also regaining that freedom. Now he was risking that by handing over his most prized possession. Of course, he was doing it for his best friend in all of the worlds. Moana had that effect on people.

“He’s down here!” Pleakley said excitedly. “I thought he didn’t come down here anymore.”

“Things must be pretty bad up there,” Jumba said. “Big man is desperate.”

“I’m not desperate,” Maui said defensively. “I’ve fought giant monsters.” He paused. “But it is pretty bad up there. So could you please…” He trailed off.

“Maui,” Moana said softly.

Please look at my hook.”

“We are looking,” Jumba said, almost teasing the demigod. “It is impressive.”

“Focus, Jumba,” Moana said. “We need you to do your ‘science’ thing and see if we can change all of the people back.”

“We have been studying the snake gentleman that you brought back earlier as well as signals in the air,” Jumba said. “I believe that I have more of a grasp on this so-called magic.”

“So you don’t even need to touch my hook?” Maui asked.

“No the hook is the key,” Jumba said. “Please hand it over.”

Maui hesitated.

“Maui, you tower over them,” Adam said, placing a hand on the big man’s shoulder. “If it came to it, you could just take your hook back. Besides, they are trying to help you. One thing I’ve learned lately is to accept when people want to help you.”

“He’s right,” Moana said. “Stop being a baby.” She smirked but her eyes showed she knew how important this moment was.

“No, you’re being a baby!” Maui said reflexively and then relaxed. “You’re right.” He held out the hook. “Please be gentle.”

It took both Pleakley and Jumba to hold up the giant hook and carry it to a piece of equipment that looked like it was attached to the snake’s cage. Maui, Moana, and Adam watched them work, trying to stay out of the way. Everything the two aliens were doing was absolutely foreign to them but it involved a lot of flashing lights, ominous hums, and mystifying actions. After a while, the three heroes were tired and the two scientists were still working. Lilo and Stitch brought in supper and they all eight together but still the aliens kept working, caught up in what must be very intriguing. At last, Jumba turned to them.

“We are still working,” he said. “Go to sleep and we will talk in the morning.”

“But I have to leave my hook here?” Maui asked.

Moana started pushing him up the stairs. “It’s going to be fine, Maui,” she said. “I promise. We’ll get this solved tomorrow.” She turned to Jumba and Pleakley. “Tomorrow, right?”

“Don’t rush us!” Pleakley said.

“Science takes how long it takes,” Jumba said. “Go.”

Adam followed Maui and Moana back up the stairs, carrying an already sleeping Lilo and Stitch on his shoulders. He dropped the two youngsters off with Lilo’s sister and walked toward his bed. He was tired but now that he was alone, he started to think of home and Belle. He hoped she was safe wherever she was. He hoped they could figure things out when they were reunited. He had barely had time to think after the incident with Gaston and he had a lot to make up for. He loved her and he knew she loved him but that was not always enough. He had to be better for her.

The lights in the lab stayed on all night as Jumba worked feverishly with Pleakley’s help. He had created many fantastic things and creatures but this ‘magic’ was all new to him. It was exciting and aggravating all at once. Eventually, Pleakley fell asleep in his bed and Jumba kept working. He felt he owed it at least to Lilo and Stitch to help them save their new world.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 9

June 26, 2021

Belle and Ariel had made an attempt at the ritual after lunch the next day with some favorable results. They had painstakingly designed the ritual and had ended up creating a portal the size of a teacup. They went back to the drawing board and made corrections and revisions and then two days later they were ready to try again. Ariel was busy deciding who was going to make the jump through the portal. Belle had begged off, claiming that she was a researcher and not a fighter. Aurora and Esmerelda eagerly stepped up to volunteer and Tiana insisted on coming as well. Belle and Ariel arranged things for the ritual again and got everything ready.

It was at that point that there was a commotion from the guards at the gate. Aurora came running and reported that a raven-haired woman was approaching with a huge crowd of people. Something about the description irked Ariel and she went to the wall to see for herself. Aurora and Belle followed her with Belle being very nervous about this sudden turn of events. They climbed to the top of the wall and Ariel froze before turning to Belle.

“Go and protect the ritual site,” Ariel said. “Please stay safe. If things go wrong here, I’ll send you a signal and you should try to escape through the portal with anybody else you can grab.”

“What’s the signal?” Belle asked, turning a bit pale.

“Oh, you’ll know it,” Ariel said. “Now go. Grab Tiana and bring her with you.”

Belle ran off back toward the library and the ritual site. Aurora turned to Ariel, trusting her completely.

“What’s going on?” Aurora asked, peering down at the crowd gathering at the gates.

“That’s Ursula,” Ariel said, pointing at the dark-haired beauty in the center of the crowd. “She took that form once before. She called herself Vanessa then. It didn’t fool me then and it doesn’t fool me now.”

“How do you want to play this?” Aurora asked. There was no second-guessing, just two women who trusted each other.

“We open up the gates,” Ariel said. “I’m tired of hiding. It’s time to fight.”

“And if that means that we don’t make the portal?” Aurora asked, again without judgment.

“Then hopefully Belle and Tiana find help and bring it back here,” Ariel said. “In the meantime, we throw open the gates and go to war. Remember that all the others are just puppets.”

“So we cut the strings,” Aurora said, already heading toward the ladder to climb back down. As she went, she started to spread the word to remind people not to kill anybody. Of course, everybody already knew that but it was helpful to be reminded right before the heat of battle.

Ariel headed to stand at the gate and took a deep breath before motioning for it to be opened. She hoped she was making the right choice. As the gates creaked open, there was “Vanessa” standing front and center.

“Nobody’s fooled, Ursula,” Ariel called out and drew her sword. “It’s time we ended this. For good this time.”

Ursula laughed and somehow her deep, husky voice came out of that lithe body. “This is just a more convenient form on land, child,” she said. “I’m not caught up on appearances. I’m into power.”

“You always were,” Ariel said. “I’m here to take the power back.”

“I’m here to bring you back into the sea in chains,” Ursula said. “Then I can take both of your thrones.”

“You won’t return to the sea again,” Ariel said calmly but with great determination. “You’ll fall right here. Right now.”

Again that deep, rolling laughter. “Bring your best, child,” Ursula said softly.

At that point, chaos erupted as both sides clashed together in battle. Ursula produced a sword from somewhere and she and Ariel started to fight. Their fight was fiercer than anything going on around them. Ariel had learned a lot of fighting from Eric and Ursula was obviously just as skilled. Arrows rained down from the wall, finding their targets and shooting to maim and not kill. The whole time, Ariel and Ursula were deadlocked.

Ursula surprised Ariel by transforming her sword into Triton’s trident. Ursula swung the magical item at Ariel and hit her hard, sending her sprawling to the ground. Ursula pointed the trident at Ariel and it crackled with energy. She had the redhead dead to rights. Ariel was suddenly enveloped in smoke and she felt herself get pulled to safety by Esmerelda just as a beam of energy hit the spot where Ariel had been. Aurora leaped forward and brought her heavy sword against Ursula’s trident and sent it clattering to the ground.

Ursula let out a cry of rage and transformed into her normal form, reaching out with her tentacles. Ursula managed to grab hold of Aurora and Esmerelda and two other soldiers with her tentacles. She reached out for Ariel but Ariel barely dodged the sea witch’s grasp. Ariel dove for the trident and grabbed it, rolled to her knees, and pointed it at Ursula. There was a moment of realization on Ursula’s face before Ariel sent a beam of energy through Ursula’s torso. The sea witch went limp and bled out on the stones outside of the gate. Ursula’s army went equally as limp and fell to the ground.

Aurora went to pick Ariel up. “We have to get to the ritual site,” Ariel said. “I’m tired of this. I’m tired of waiting.”

“I agree,” Aurora said. “What should we do with Ursula?”

“Burn the body,” Ariel said and started walking back toward the castle.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 8

June 12, 2021

Aladdin and Anna signaled and Merrida brought the wagon around. After they loaded up, Merrida was perched on top of the wagon, staying low and almost looking like a pile of rags. The others huddled near the front with Anna driving. They tried to go as fast as they could but there was suddenly a shrieking cry from above. Four dark monsters with wings had spotted them and were wheeling around to come after them. They were the same as the creatures the three of them had seen before but none of them knew they could fly.

They dove as one and Merrida sprang to her feet and manage to fire three shots in rapid succession. She nailed two of the beasts but her third shot was deflected. The beasts landed hard on the wagon and Aladdin climbed onto the back, sword in hand, and sliced at one of them just in time to save Merrida from getting hit. Together, Merrida and Aladdin fought off the beasts. Aladdin skewered one on his sword and the other fell under the wagon’s wheel, bringing it dangerously close to breaking. Still, the wagon kept going and the witnesses were dead. Hopefully, they could get back without alerting any more of the army.

The rest of the ride was a lot more peaceful and they made it back to the compound quickly. Rapunzel was instantly there checking them for wounds, fussing over them while Mulan checked over the fireworks. Both the fireworks and the three heroes seemed to be alright. They had an impromptu meeting right there in the courtyard next to the wagon.

“Excellent!” Mulan said. “This is exactly what we need. With this, we’ll be able to distract the evil army and inflict damage on their defenses. If it creates an opening, we can slip through and see what we can find.” Her excitement was infectious and everybody’s spirits around her rose. For those who knew her, knew that she was the hero of China and had been honored twice by the Emperor. The outsiders saw that and got the message. Mulan was a big deal and her people believed in her.

“We need to move soon,” Anna said. “We encountered some of the creatures on the way back and they weren’t easy to kill.” She was still a little rattled by the experience but that only made her resolve to keep helping all the stronger.

“But they did go down,” Aladdin said. “I think this plan could work. They’re not unstoppable.” He was right, the monsters had not stood up very well to their weapons.

“The dragon is another thing entirely,” Mulan said. “but we will cross that river when we reach it.” This made them all picture a dragon which definitely brought up different pictures but none of those pictures were good.

“I once took on a giant snake,” Aladdin said, trying to be encouraging. “For a few seconds, at least.”

“I think we work well together,” Merrida said. “The fight on the wagon proved that. We’ll do alright.” She was proud and brave but her words seemed to be more than just empty bluster. It was more like hope.

“Then we’ll make our move after sunset,” Mulan said. “That will increase the effect of the fireworks and give us cover otherwise. Rest well and I will give the soldiers their orders in the plan.”

“Are you forgetting something?” Anna asked. “You’re needed here. They need a leader and if we fail, they’ll need somebody to come up with another plan. Not that I expect us to fail or anything. We’re going to do great.”

“I have to go,” Mulan said. “We have to put everything into this plan. I cannot stay behind just in case. The backup plan will just have to be thought of by somebody else.”

“Maybe I can do it,” Shang said, walking out of the infirmary. He was not quite standing upright but he was walking and he was conscious which was a great improvement.

Mulan rushed to hug and kiss her husband. “Shang!” she cried out. “You’re alright?”

Shang nodded. “I’m getting there,” he said. “I need you to finish this so I can get some more rest, though.” He looked tired but determined. This was the man that Mulan had fallen in love with and she was overjoyed to see him on his feet again.

“That’s the plan,” Mulan said. “I need to go with these outsiders to try and make that plan a reality.”

Shang smiled. “If anybody can pull off a crazy plan to save China, it’s my wife,” Shang said. “I believe in you.” The two of them kissed again.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Mulan said. “I promise.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 8

June 5, 2021

Adam hesitated when Maui asked him for his story point blank but part of changing for the better was confronting the past straight on. He took a deep breath.

“I was a wealthy prince in the countryside of France,” he said. “I was arrogant, I was pushy, and I was practically begging for karma. Finally, it showed up in the form of an enchantress. She appeared in the form of a beggar so I had my servants turn her away. She repaid me by cursing me to live forever in that beast form that you saw earlier. She also cursed all of my servants to become all of the furniture and objects in the castle. If I did not find true love, we would all remain in our cursed forms forever.”

“What happened?” Moana asked. “Obviously, you broke the curse. Well, sort of.”

Adam nodded. Here came the worst part. “I took a woman hostage and kept her in my castle. I’m not proud of it. It was a horrible thing to do and no explanation could excuse my behavior. I bullied her, I raged at her, and I treated her horribly while my servants were courteous and kind. Her kindness and compassion softened my heart especially since I did not deserve it. She broke the spell and freed me and I’ve been trying since to make it up to her and be a better person.”

“Except you can still turn into that beast,” Maui said. “What’s that about?” It was a good question. It definitely gave Adam pause. He spent a lot of time in his own head but he easily recognized that he was not very wise. He rarely had the answer. He paid people to have the answer.

“I don’t know,” Adam said with a sigh. “Magic never really made any sense to me. Maybe I still need the Beast for now. Maybe this time the Beast will get me back to Belle.”

“Maybe,” Moana said. “or maybe once we fix things, you’ll go back to normal. That happened on my adventure.” She thought of how a little bit of compassion

“Our adventure,” Maui said, feeling a compulsion to correct her.

“Yeah, I guess you did some things too,” Moana said, gently teasing the demigod. “and now we’re a trio. We’re going to solve this thing and get things back to normal. Well, as normal as they ever are.”

“All those people out there are cursed like I was,” Adam said. “Turned into animals. We need to reverse the curse and set them free. I know how they must feel.”

“Too bad they can’t just turn back like I can,” Maui said, raising his hook for a moment. Moana caught sight of the hook and her eyes widened with a sudden realization. That look made Maui as nervous as it did from the beginning. He had learned not to underestimate her.

“Maybe they can,” Moana said. “but you’re going to have to let Pleakley and Jumba study your hook.”

“My hook!?” Maui yelled. “You must be crazy.”

“She’s right,” Adam said. “If that thing lets you change into animals and back then maybe it can help all of those people.” He shrugged. It seemed as good an idea as any.

“This ‘thing’ is a gift from the Gods,” Maui said indignantly. “It’s not a toy. It’s mine. I went through a lot to get it back.” He looked at Moana and crossed his arms. “We went through a lot to get it back.” It meant a lot that Maui was sharing credit. It almost never happened.

“We’ll make sure they’re careful with it,” Moana said. “It won’t be damaged again.”

Maui sighed. “If it will help, they can study it,” he said. “But I will watch their every movie.”

“Deal,” Moana said with a little laugh. “Thank you.” That thank you was genuine and heartfelt. Maui was close to her heart even if he could be a total goof and a selfish pig sometimes.

“You’re welcome,” Maui said gruffly before rolling his eyes and smiling. “Maui to the rescue again.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 8

May 29, 2021

Belle pointed excitedly at a page in the book she had been reading. “Come and look at this, Ariel,” she said. “It’s like Milo said from one of his interviews. There are all sorts of things in here about Hades.” It had been days but the two women had continued to study with the support of Milo and the Professor. Tiana had brought meals directly to the library eventually. It had been a long road but finally, there was a glimmer of hope in the book sitting on the table in front of Belle.

“Hades?” Ariel asked, walking over to look at the page Belle was pointing at. “The God of the Underworld that a few of our guests mentioned terrorizing that place called Greece?”

“Exactly,” Belle said. “I actually remember reading about him back in my world as well. He presides over all of those who have passed away. It’s his job to keep them forever.” She had read every book in her village and every book in the library that Adam had gifted her. So many fantastic tales that felt much less fantastic now.

“It seems he let Ursula slip by on his watch,” Ariel said. “and whoever Ursula is working with as well.” They knew at least one of her cohorts. Maleficent, the fairy that had tormented Aurora. There were probably others. Not to mention the new tricks that Ursula had picked up, like that hideous shadow she had tortured Sebastian with.

Belle pointed at the page. “I think they could have done it with this,” she said. “The Ring of Hades. It can open up the gates of the Underworld. After that, they would just need to walk back to the land of the living. I think.”

“It seems like a good enough theory to me,” Ariel said. “If we can zero in on that ring, maybe we can find whoever is responsible for all of this.”

“That makes sense,” Belle said. “We’re not going to get much farther in this siege that Ursula has the castle under. Right?”

“Right,” Ariel said. “Our forces are tired and outmatched. We need a new path.”

“So we invoke the ring and we go wherever it leads us,” Belle said. “The problem is that I have no idea how to do that. I’ve been reading about magic but I have no talent for it myself.”

“I’ve practiced some,” Ariel said. “I studied under my father and I researched Ursula’s things when she was dead. I wanted to make sure I was ready if it ever happened again. The magic I learned is the only thing keeping this castle fortified against Ursula’s magic and the Unfortunate clamoring at the gates.”

“I’m thankful that you learned then,” Belle said. “Magic was nothing but trouble in my world but I suppose if the Enchantress had used her power more positively and less spitefully, we would have been better off.”

“Who is the Enchantress?” Ariel asked, curiosity shining in those big blue eyes.

“Oh!” Belle said with some surprise. “I got a little lost for a moment. The Enchantress was a woman who cursed my husband before I met him. I never met her but she had to be very powerful.” She had transformed an entire household with a single curse, she must have been impressive.

“I wish she was on our side,” Ariel said. “We could use her right about now.”

“I’m more than confident relying on you,” Belle said. “No more wild cards. Please.”

“I guess I can’t disagree with you there,” Ariel said. “So, maybe I can conjure up some sort of path or gateway out of here.”

“Using the ring as a focus maybe,” Belle said. “and we can get to the heart of the matter before things go any further.”

“We’ll assemble a group in case we actually manage to succeed in leaving this world,” Ariel said. “Aurora and Esmerelda will suffice, I think.”

“Agreed,” Belle said. “I’m not much for fighting and those two seem to be much better in a physical fight.”

“Then we’ll make an attempt tomorrow after lunch,” Ariel said. “In the meantime, we need to design the ritual and get the research completed.”

“You had me at research,” Belle said. “I’m at your service.”

The Yeti Adventure – A Disney S.E.A. Story

April 29, 2021

Danny Reed had a twinge of regret as he watched the plane fly away but any thoughts in his head were blown away by the cold wind that kicked up. He looked around and hurried to catch up with Mariah Mystic. She looked over her shoulder and gave him a mocking smile.

“Keep up, Reed!” She yelled over the roaring wind. “Keep up or you’re out!”

Danny grunted and kept moving in her wake as they walked away from the landing strip and toward a small cabin. They had taken several planes and ended up near a mountain range in Nepal. It was absolutely frigid and Danny felt like he had not been adequately prepared for that. The plane was too small to fully gear up so they had to get inside quickly. The cabin was not very warm but at least there was no wind. Mariah pointed at the fireplace and Danny grumbled and got to work starting a fire. Thankfully there was dry wood. After a while, the place started to warm up and Mariah and Danny took off their jackets. They sat down.

“You’re not doing that bad a job, Reed,” Mariah said. She had hung a kettle over the fire and they were waiting for it boil. There were rations stocked in the cabin but no actual food. “You still with me?”

Danny fought not to sigh. “I’m still with you,” he said. “I’m not as used to cold weather as you are, apparently.”

“Better get used to it, Reed,” Mariah said. “The Society of Explorers and Adventurers are expected to go anywhere on Earth at the drop of a hat. You never know where knowledge might be hiding.”

“I don’t think it’s knowledge that is hiding here in Nepal, huh?” Danny asked. “We’re here on a specific mission.” He started to unwrap and dig into his rations.

“Why don’t you recite our mission, Reed,” Mariah said with a smirk. “In full.”

“Come on,” Danny said with a groan. “Is this a test?”

“It’s only a test if you’re about to fail it,” Mariah said. “I only do this kind of thing to prepare you for life in the S. E. A.. Reed. I grew up in this life. My family goes back generations in the Society so I was raised with all of this. You’re new. I want to make sure that you get caught up with the rest of us. It’s not personal.”

“It feels a little personal,” Danny said. “I mean, I can’t really blame you if your perception of my family is colored by your grandfather.”

Mariah took a deep breath. “The fact that my grandfather expelled your grandfather from the Society does not color my opinion of you,” she said. “It was a shameful chapter in the Society’s history and it was unfortunate that Garrett Reed earned his expulsion.”

“What did he do to get tossed?” Danny asked. “I never really asked and gramps got really distant after it all went down. I never saw him again, really. Not until the funeral.”

“My condolences on that last part,” Mariah said with all sincerity. “Nobody in the Society wished for Garrett Reed to die. My grandfather caught him acting inappropriately in regards to some mystical items in a dig in Egypt. After his expulsion, he clashed with Doctor Indiana Jones on several occasions.”

“Well, that tracks with why he was found strangled by vines,” Danny said. “Magic had to have been involved. At some point, I’d love further details, though. That wasn’t really a full explanation.”

“I can loan you my grandfather’s journals if you like and the official Society record,” Mariah said. “Your grandfather was not the only one expelled from the Society. We take our duties seriously and the supernatural can corrupt people quickly.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Danny said.

“Now recite our mission,” Mariah said with a wicked grin. “You may have thought I forgot about that but I never forget.”

“I’ll keep that in mind too,” Danny said, rolling his eyes. “We’re here in Nepal to look for a missing Yeti. It used to be observed and ‘managed’ by the S. E. A. near Everest but the Yeti was attacked. A Joe Rohde attacked the creature with a series of flashbangs which frightened it away from its lair. Madame Zarkov was able to locate the Yeti here further along the Himalayas and we are here to aid the Yeti in getting back to the Forbidden Mountain.”

“Nice summary,” Mariah said. “We will sleep here tonight. Arnold Lindsey will arrive tomorrow morning with the rest of our gear and a guide. Rest well, Reed. Tomorrow will be another long day.”

“You can call me Danny,” he said.

Mariah took a deep breath. “Danny then,” she said. “That doesn’t mean you can call me Mariah yet. You have to earn it.”

Wilde and Hopps Detective Agency – A Zootopia Story

April 27, 2021

Nick followed Judy into the dusty old office. The building was on a little side street off of Savanna Central. It would have been a prime location if the building had not been so neglected. It must have been missed by the new Mayor’s beautification programs. Nick had made a face when he saw the building but Judy had not seemed to notice it. Nick had lived in and been to plenty of sketchy places but he thought that part of his life was over. And yet, here he was following Judy Hopps into another situation.

“Explain what this place is again?” Nick asked, gesturing around them. He ran a single furry finger along a desk and came away with a thick bit of dust. He wiped it off on his pants.

“This is my new office,” Judy said. “Our new office if you still want to join me.” She seemed to be in exceptionally high spirits but Judy Hopps was almost always vibrating with energy. At least, that’s how Nick had always known her. It was part of what had convinced him to go straight.

“I still can’t believe that you quit the police force,” Nick said. “Wasn’t that your dream from when you were a little kid?”

“It was my dream,” Judy said with a smile. “but things change. When I had that dream, I didn’t really know what it would mean for it to come true. Mayor Lionheart and then Mayor Bellwether proved that the system is broken and it can’t be fixed from the inside. I don’t regret working hard for that dream because it gave me the skills for my new dream. I want to really help people.”

“So that’s why we’re here?” Nick asked. “That’s why you need an office?”

“Yeah,” Judy said. “I want to be a private investigator. No case too big or small. I want to help people. That was my real dream.”

Nick laughed and shrugged. “I kind of wish you had this epiphany a lot earlier,” he said. “You know, before I went through the Academy too.”

“It wasn’t a mistake for me to join the Academy and the force,” Judy said. “but it was a mistake not to really talk to you before you did the same. I’m sorry.”

“Hey, it’s not that huge a deal,” Nick said. “It’s just really weird for us to be reversed from when we met. Me the police officer, you the civilian.”

“Yeah,” Judy said with a laugh. “It is a bit weird. At least I haven’t devolved into a life of crime.”

“Yeah yeah,” Nick said. “I guess I sort of deserve that. I’ve gone straight but don’t think for a minute that I haven’t lost my cred on the street.”

“Heaven forbid,” Judy said in mock indignation. “I would never suggest such a thing. Your street cred is what made you so effective on our first case together.”

“Our first and only case,” Nick said. “unless I quit the force, of course. That’s a big ask, Judy.” He leveled his gaze at her and watched her tense up and look embarassed.

“Right,” Judy said softly. “It is a big ask and it was wrong of me to pressure you. Besides, I can always use a man on the inside.”

“I’m just kidding, Judy,” Nick said with a laugh. “I’d quit in a heartbeat for you. I proved that I belonged. We both did. You proved that a bunny could do it and I proved that a fox could do it. I have nothing left to prove. Besides, what you have in mind sounds more fun.”

“I’m so glad you said that,” Judy said. “because we have to clean this place up.”

“Suddenly, this sounds like not as much fun,” Nick said, his shoulders slumping.

“A little hard work isn’t going to kill you, Nick,” Judy said.

“We’ll see,” Nick said.

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.


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