Posts Tagged ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’

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: Hawaii Pt. 10

September 4, 2021

In the morning, something happened that had not happened in days. Jumba came out of the underground lab. He was carrying Maui’s hook and he carefully set it down on the table as Maui, Moana, and Adam were having breakfast. Maui instantly snatched it up, obviously happy to have it back in his sights.

“Not a scratch on it,” Jumba said. The alien looked tired and Moana watched him some concern at first but knew that Jumba would not have accepted her fretting over him. Jumba had similar bravado to Maui. It was easy to spot but not exactly easy to deal with.

“Of course not,” Moana said. “It’s fine.” She put a little force into her voice to try and convince Maui to not worry so much. For all of his bravado, Moana knew that her friend could be very insecure. Out of every mortal creature in her whole world, Moana actually knew the demigod the best. The bond they had formed was strong.

“Uh huh,” Maui said with some doubt in his eyes. He was looking over the hook in minute detail, determined to find any slight bit of damage. He got up from the table and started using the hook to transform into various animals. Each transformation was very sudden and startling and Adam tried to keep calm watching it. Moana seemed to be used to it and ignored it. Adam tried to do the same.

“Did the hook help you figure anything out?” Adam asked, getting to the real topic at hand.

Jumba’s face brightened a bit from its usual stoic expression. “Yes!” he said excitedly. “I discovered many things. This object has opened many doors in my studies.”

Maui transformed back into his musclebound humanoid self and managed to tear his eyes away from his hook. “Anything specific to what we’re dealing with?” he asked. He sat back down at the table. He seemed to be back on mission once he was sure that the hook was intact.

“Oh yes,” Jumba said and put a small disc-shaped object down on the table. He smiled slightly and looked at the three sitting at the table. They looked at the device and then they all looked back at Jumba. They stared at each other for a few beats.

“What is it?” Adam asked, looking dubious. He leaned over momentarily to get a closer look. If he was still The Beast, he might have sniffed it. Since his arrival, he had seen a lot of strange so-called technology. It was all still very new to him. Magic had seemed much simpler in his world but somehow more wondrous. Moana seemed to be better adapted to it all but Adam looked at her and she was just as clueless.

“It is a tracker for the source of the transformation magic,” Jumba said. He pressed a button in the center of the device and a blinking arrow appeared and then started pointing in a direction away from the city. “Magic is over there. Apparently.” He stepped back and looked proud.

“That’s great, Jumba!” Moana said. “Now we can hunt down whoever or whatever is doing this and maybe fix things around here. Maybe we can even get everybody back to where they belong.” She took a deep breath. “One step at a time. Let’s finish eating and then we’ll get out there.” She started to eat her breakfast again. She was excited to solve the mystery and save the day but she knew that she had to take care of herself.

“We’re going to make somebody hurt,” Maui said. “Fuel up for beast mode, Adam.” He punched Adam’s shoulder playfully. Adam tried to smile. He was still not completely at ease with his inner beast especially when it became his outer beast. He was not sure if he knew how to control the transformation.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 10

August 14, 2021

Aurora and Ariel rushed back toward the library. Ariel was worried for Belle for two reasons. One, Belle might have gotten skittish and opened another portal and she would be in some other world alone. Two, one or more of the Poor Unfortunate Souls might have slipped in and gone after the biggest source of magic in the palace. Aurora had left the troops to burn the body of the sea witch. Esmerelda and a few others were busy reacquainting the Unfortunates with reality again. Things were looking up in the kingdom and Ariel hoped that people were waking up below the waves as well. She needed her father to be ok and she needed him to restore order to Atlantica.


Belle and Tiana were pacing in the library. Belle had the incantation ready to open the portal and was trembling as she held onto the book. Tiana was clutching a frying pan as she tried to listen out. There was the sound of running footsteps in the hallway.

“Somebody’s coming!” Tiana whispered.

“Who is it?” Belle asked, her eyes wide. “Is it the invaders?”

“I’m not taking any chances,” Tiana said.

As somebody stepped into the room, Tiana swung the pan hard in a downward stroke. Thankfully, the blow glanced off of Aurora’s steel bracer as she reached up to block the shot. Aurora stood there with a smirk and Tiana looked embarrassed and dropped the pan.

“Sorry!” Tiana said. “I thought you might be one of them.”

“Don’t apologize,” Aurora said. “If I was one of them, you would have taken me out. You did the right thing.”

“What happened?” Belle asked. “Are we safe?”

“I think that the danger is past,” Ariel said. “Ursula the Sea Witch is dead again.”

“Let’s hope it sticks this time,” Tiana said.

“Agreed,” Aurora said. “So what now?”

“Now, we need to open up that portal and try to focus it towards somewhere we can solve this whole problem,” Ariel said. “We each have loved ones still out there. We have to get them back.”

“We’re still a bit shaky on directing the portal,” Belle said. “We can’t be completely sure where it will lead us.”

“That’s troubling,” Aurora said. “I don’t like that at all.”

“We just have to focus is all,” Ariel said.

“Focus on what?” Tiana asked.

“We need to focus on what might help us save our friends,” Belle said. “Magic seems to be largely a matter of willpower and emotion. After all of the preparations and the ingredients and the words, it comes down to thought more than anything.”

“So we focus on what?” Tiana asked again.

“I could be selfish and say ‘Prince Eric’,” Ariel said. “but I think we should focus on the heart of the matter. The source of all of this. Ursula was not working alone. Somebody organized this.”

“Let’s do it,” Aurora said. “The sooner we go, the sooner I get Phillip back.”

“And I get Naveen,” Tiana said.

“Adam,” Belle said. “Let’s do it.”

There was suddenly a crackling sound and a bright light followed by a rushing noise.

“What’s happening?” Aurora shouted over the noise. “I thought it involved more words and preparation.”

“That’s not us,” Belle shouted. “We didn’t do it.”

The rushing sound got louder and the light got brighter and all of them were forced to shut their eyes or be blinded. Then the sound stopped and there was dead silence. They all opened their eyes. There was a stunningly beautiful woman standing there in the middle of the library. Aurora started to draw her sword but the woman wiggled her fingers and the sword just was not there anymore.

“Who are you?” Ariel asked.

She ignored the question and looked at Belle. “I heard your thoughts and they pulled me here, young Belle,” the woman said. “You’re the one who broke my curse. The woman who tamed the Beast.”

“You!” Belle shouted, astonished.

“Me!” The woman yelled back and laughed. “They call me the Enchantress.”

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 pleaseā€¦” 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: 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.”

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.”


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