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Maybe It's Not Too Late After All

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by RedPiggy, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Sorry I didn't update sooner. Didn't realize it'd been a month, LOL.

    I wanted Red's reason to be dealt with, since I'm sure someone might have issues with a Fraggle Peacekeeper. Again, this is like a nightmare version of her daydreams where she is slaying monsters as a warrior princess. She sorta gets her wish, but it's not as swell as our universe's Red would've thought. In Red's mind, she was doing that less for ascention and more for the survival of herself and her species. She sorta figured they wouldn't be interested in some old coot, LOL. Gobo, on the other hand, wouldn't have taken this lying down. I introduced General Red as a kind of cold-blooded killer, committing genocide against monsters, but here we see glimpses that there's more to it than that, kind of like when Bootstrap Bill Turner in Pirates 2 whips William to spare him from someone even meaner.

    I'm watching Season 4 now, so, yeah, I know what you mean about the backstage-type of scenes, LOL. The original intent was for Red to talk to this universe's Mokey, but I've decided to bring her in later. In my original Comeback-verse, Red is the descendant of Princess Gwenalot and Crooner, a Minstrel. This is why that sign appeared on her hand when Cantus tried to teach the Fraggles about their songs ... I took it as an implication she is destined, unlike Mokey, to become a Minstrel and take the Pipe.

    I'm still working on tweaking the plot, as the original intention was to focus more on John and Jareth, but as you may have noticed, this has been a pretty female-centric fic so far, and I intend to continue it, as I don't think there are lots of those lying around. Still, we will see Jareth, but they have to get to him first, LOL.

    And, you're sharp, LOL. Since there is no John and Wormhole Obsession like in Farscape, I wanted to give Scorpius something NEW to fantasize about ....

    edit: Oh, and with the mention of the farm area where Red and Gobo lived, I basically made John into Junior, LOL. In an earlier chapter, he thinks about his family's home on the farm being burned down. He likes gardening. My thinking is that those in the usual universe who are known to have been connected to magical events, or comparable sci-fic events like John and the wormholes, are closer to regaining that connection than others would be.
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh, yeah. Saving Mokey for later, that'll be interesting.
    Actually, the direction this fic's taking in terms of its more prominent characters, the females, is a good thing.
    Red as being destined for minstreldom from ancient ancestors, intereschting plotpoint.
    John = Junior Gorg... I can see it. Though you will note, Luke, someone who has a connection with magics that are just glowy bacteria in the bloodstream, was a good ol' farmboy himself too.

    Looking forward to whatever's next.
  3. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Wow. You're right! And how many quote-unquote "magical" characters in religious texts or fables are agricultural? Someone needs to write an essay on farming and magic, LOL. I bet someone has already done some papers on it.
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah... Maybe they could hook up with Dorothy and share stories about the laylines out in the cropfields connecting them all.
    And maybe flying monkeys will come out of my, er, you know the rest of the line.

    *Need to find new monster that Sal Manilla could be turned into.
  5. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 8

    Zhaan held her breath as Mizumi entered her small quarters. Zhaan half-expected Mizumi to be disturbed by her nudity, since the humans blushed and became visibly uncomfortable as she strolled around without clothes. Still, if she were ever to meet the Goddess, she wanted to do so without hesitation.

    Mizumi, however, appeared completely unphased. Her tone was curt. “Your ministry is going quite well.”

    Zhaan nodded respectfully and smiled. “It pleases me you should appreciate it.”

    “Well, it shouldn’t,” Mizumi retorted, growling slightly.

    Zhaan was taken aback. “How dare --?”

    Mizumi shook her head. “Are you capable of prying yourself away from your Goddess, Delvian? It has been a full cycle since we landed on this planet, and all I’ve seen you do is take all the credit and love meant for the Goddess and practically bathe in it yourself.”

    Zhaan looked away, stunned. For several moments, she could not speak. Finally, she whispered, “You’re just jealous because I’m in a relationship, and the one you’ve lost is still lost.”

    Mizumi laughed. “At least I have a relationship! The difference between you and me is a question of natural power.”

    “Here we go,” Zhaan sighed, rolling her eyes.

    Mizumi crossed her arms in a huff. “Deny it all you want, but the fact remains that you despise me because I am a threat to your religion. Your Goddess hoards all the power, but I have power and you can’t handle the discrepancy.” She paused, realizing Zhaan had no intention of protesting. “Still … I have an idea.”

    “I am not interested in your lies,” replied the Priestess quietly, still avoiding the other’s gaze.

    Mizumi tried to force her tone to be more sympathetic. After all, she, by now, was fairly certain Zhaan was a part of her quest, or the Hand of Destiny would not have had them meet at all. “I … I … respect you,” she began.

    “Of course you do.”

    Mizumi shook her head. The thoughts, the memories, in her head were conflicting, as though two ripples in a lake were clashing and threatening to wipe each other out, but bits and pieces still remained. “I’ve been connected to you, at some point in my life. Whether it is the past, the future, or some other dimension of reality, our souls, our pneumas, have touched. Because of this, you … you can be more. Of this I have little doubt.” She slowly approached the Delvian, who nervously started to put on her clothes without glancing at Mizumi. Mizumi reached out a hand, mist forming in her palm. “I must find my husband. The fate of the universe depends on it. However, I find myself in the unpleasant position of realizing I require the help of the Goddess.”

    Zhaan finally turned, staring into the pool of mist as it formed into a flat vertical oval, images starting to appear on the surface.

    Mizumi nodded. “Do you want it?”

    Zhaan hesitated. “What is it?”

    “A present, nothing more,” she replied softly. “A means of seeing what needs to be seen.” She took back her hand as Zhaan approached. “Your heart must truly belong to the Goddess. You must think not of yourself or your glory, but only the Goddess and the rebirth of the universe in her image.”

    “Will it work?” Zhaan asked timidly.

    About seven hundred cycles ago, on the warm, moist planet of Delvia, Zhaan’s father blocked her from seeing the carnage raging in front of him.

    “Kay'me maia kosa Visha'meel maia kosa ah Khalaan ah Khalaan,” chanted her father quietly, over and over again.

    “Father?” a timid Zhaan asked. “Father, what have we done wrong?”

    Her father turned and kneeled before her, wiping away her tears. “Our race has always been capable of so much good, Zhaan, my love. I know this in the depth of my pneuma. It is our awareness that frightens the Seek, who exist solely to placate the Peacekeepers. Do what you must to survive, but never turn your back on the Goddess. You will be re--.”

    He fell, the acrid smoke billowing up from his back. A tearful Zhaan glanced up at the soldiers, both Peacekeeper and Delvian Seek members.

    One of the Seek members, completely nude and rather obese, grabbed her by the neck. “What is the nature of the Goddess?” he barked.

    Zhaan cried. “I … I do not know. I am unworthy to know her nature, only that she offers the Peacekeepers for our security. Blessed are the Peacekeepers. We are lost without them.”

    Mizumi smirked. “Trust me.”

    Zhaan touched the misty oval in Mizumi’s hand and shrieked in agony, breaking free and sobbing uncontrollably. “She’s … she’s … in … pain.”

    Mizumi’s face fell, letting the mist dissipate in her hand. “Delvian Priestess, the Goddess is pregnant with her child, our universe. We must not let her die in childbirth. Join me, and together we can find her and ease her discomfort.” She placed a hand gently on Zhaan’s shoulder. “It’s time to stop talking of the Goddess, and meet her.”


    The vehicle stopped a metra away from the intended destination.

    Mizumi frowned from her seat, irritated that not only would this inconvenience her, but she could not show the hidden driver her displeasure. “It will take arns to walk there.”

    A female voice on the com replied, “I’m not going within a metra of that place … and no other driver will either. You want to go there, you’ll have to do all the walking yourself.”

    After they exited the vehicle, Zhaan smiled as the warm sun bathed her in light. “Come, feet … we have a journey ahead of us.”

    As the sun started to set, Mizumi and Zhaan found a desolate area, filled with jumbled ruins.

    A female cry startled them. They ran, eager to discover the identity of the screamer. Mizumi gasped when she saw the brown-skinned woman with tattered sea-green hair, writhing on the ground.

    Zhaan averted her eyes, crying. “I cannot bear to watch.”

    Mizumi grabbed her by the arm forcefully. “When you get your wish, it’s best not to decline the favor. Hurry! Time is short,” she replied sharply. Mizumi kneeled before Eshe and blew a mist into her nostrils, relaxing a bit as the woman started to calm.

    Eshe opened her eyes. They were reddened and bleary from constant crying. “Y-you … y-you … d-died too?”

    Mizumi caressed her hair. “Whatever do you mean?”

    “The ghosts,” Eshe whispered. “Only the dead come here.”

    “There’s nothing here, Eshe.”

    Zhaan finally found the courage to speak, though she tried to keep her tone respectful. “Is she sebacean or human? Can she be the Goddess?”

    Mizumi shot a sharp glance at the Priestess. “There’s more to her than you could imagine.” She turned to Eshe. “Where is Jareth?”

    Eshe laughed through her pain. “You’ve … you’ve lost him?”

    Mizumi grunted, irritated. “Yes, and you give life to that which has been thrown away, so --.”

    “I’m nothing.”

    Mizumi nearly dropped Eshe’s head. “Are you joking? If anyone has the power to right the universe, it’s --.”

    “Jareth,” Eshe whispered. “Not Jareth. Everyone. No one. Who knows?” She writhed a bit more. “It’s … it’s too … too late … for me. No … no magic ….”

    “What is going on?” Zhaan demanded.

    Mizumi shook her head. “You don’t understand, Eshe.” She began to say more, but a sudden flash of inspiration hit her. She gasped in shock as she stared out into nothingness. “You – you aren’t native to the Underground at all. All that power … and you’ve been a mere human the whole time.”

    Eshe chuckled, squeezing Mizumi’s hand. “I … took … power. Power that was thrown away. I thought … I thought … unh … that I could save us … but … but … they … I … who … threw away … magic ….” She gasped for air, but could not continue.

    Mizumi’s eyes started to water. As the tears dropped from her face, she could see Moulin’s face on the surface of every drop before they splashed against Eshe’s skin. Mizumi cradled the dying woman tighter. “Gentle Eshe, I understand.”

    “I’m afraid I do not,” Zhaan offered.

    Mizumi started to cry. “Eshe’s gift is to give life to the lifeless, to return that which was thrown away. However, as access to magic has been thrown away, she finds herself in a paradox: for her gifts suffer from the lack of access to magic, but as it was her gift to restore what was lost, her body cannot take the stress.” She sobbed. “Her physical form will soon be destroyed. All is lost. This world, the universe … all will be no more.”
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Mmm, still impressed after reading this again. Zhaan's backstory is interesting and I like how it fits into the overall story. The flat oval Mizumi presented, that was a mirror of sorts? But the true impact is Esh's death towards the end. So the logic problem that makes robots' heads explode which defines grouch-thinking has finally hit the queen of their kingdom to her core... The whole I'm mad because I'm happy but I'm happy because that makes me mad but it's sappy to be so happy when you're mad dicotomic delusion. All I can say is... More please?
  7. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I guess it could be a mirror-like object. I wasn't really thinking of it consciously. All I know is that I didn't want it to look like Jareth's b-- uh, his crystals, LOL. :)

    Eshe hasn't died yet. She's just really bad off. We'll see her again. Her condition came about because I know at some point I had decided she was a human originally, instead of a native magical entity, but that presented a headache-inducing set of issues. Denying access to the Underground (which is how humans can make their dreams come true and what we consider to be supernatural entities can seem far more powerful than their biologies would suggest) means Eshe can't access her powers well, but her power was to access any power "thrown away", but ... and it just snowballed from there. Jareth, Mizumi, Zhaan, Fraggles ... these creatures were born of races that existed prior to the destruction of the Crystal on Thra, so they get to keep at least a portion of their abilities. Since Marjory the Trash Heap noted to Gobo in Fraggle Rock that Silly Creatures were magic too (well, everyone is), humans can still have dreams, but due to the depowering, they lack the will to make those dreams come true. Mizumi thinks the only way to cheat the depowering and set the universe right (which is a problem for her, because in a way you could say she got her wish, which was to bag Jareth and rule the universe) is to get help from Eshe ... but Eshe's having her own problems, so there needs to be a new plan ....
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh... Almost slipped there with Jareth's viewing globes there.

    Understood, Mizumi now needs to find an alternate means of restoring what once went wrong, if she cares for that sort of thing. And I know that somehow that's gonna come into conflict or intersect with Scorpius's scheming of obtaining the magic of the Ditzies.
    BTW: If Esh is meant to be a human who got magic power, granted it was power that was thrown away... How does that connect her to Marjory? I know that during the first act of Comeback King you had her transported to the Trash Kingdom... And there's this episode where Marjory's personality/voice was affected by the relocation of her trash heap form... But is there a relation between the two? That might be an interesting sidestory for another time.
  9. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, there are creatures made of trash in the Trash Kingdom, so it's not that big of a jump to say Eshe created Marjory the same way. Marjory wasn't so much created in the Trash Kingdom (after all, Philo and Gunge found her in the Gorg's garden and she came to life) as I, at least in my fics, make Eshe's power able to reach lots of areas. In If The Diamond Ring Turns Brass, Eshe senses the stuff going on with Foster and Moulin because she can sense stuff quote-unquote "thrown away" from anywhere in the world or in the Underground. It's also how she has a pep talk with Hoggle in Comeback King later on in a flashback. She's just drawn to anything thrown away, whether it's objects or feelings or powers or whatever. Eshe might not even needed to be present to affect Marjory's beginnings (though Marjory states in song that she interacted with her mother) in order to affect the change.
  10. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 9

    Mizumi coughed as she awoke. Sitting up, she found her eyes bleary and unfocused. Everything around her seemed to be nothing but white. Her head was pounding, her heart trembling. Her arms cringed as she held them to her chest.

    Eshe had been in her arms.

    Where was she?

    She heard a groan beside her.

    “Hello, can anyone … ack … hear … *cough* me?” she asked, her voice nearly gargling as her sinuses drained.

    A female voice groaned. “This is … weird,” she noted.

    As Mizumi’s vision cleared, she finally saw the owner of the other voice. It was General Red Fraggle, the leader of Seashore City. Both of them were pale and looked hung over.

    General Red coughed and held her head in her hands, groaning. “Where the crank are we?”

    Mizumi coughed and tried to laugh, wiping away the mucous running from her nose on her sleeve. “We appear to be trapped.”

    General Red looked around. “It’s a big … white … room.”

    Mizumi nodded. “Appears that way.”

    General Red rubbed her muzzle and glanced at Mizumi. “I wasn’t in a big white room an arn ago. I was sparring with my command.”

    Water started to drip from the ceiling, pelting them with cold drops. Mizumi finally stood, letting the water fall across her tired face with a smile. While enjoying the sensation, Mizumi asked, “How did we get here?”

    “Hmph. Like I know.”

    Mizumi turned to face her, smirking. “You’re a Peacekeeper flunkie. This is an interrogation attempt, isn’t it?”

    General Red rolled her eyes and sighed, standing up, groaning. “Look, uhn … Peacekeepers tend to interrogate at the end of a pulse rifle. I hear the higher ups have some sort of weird chair they strap you into and drain the memories right from your brain. Nobody ever said anything about a big white room.”

    Mizumi chuckled.

    “Now what?” General Red grumbled, feeling around the walls for any type of opening and growling when she couldn’t find any.

    Mizumi’s chuckle evolved into a laugh. She nearly doubled over. Tears flowed from her eyes.

    “I’m so happy you’re so easily amused.”

    Mizumi stopped laughing and wiped her eyes. “You don’t understand. I am magic. I interrogate others by lifting their thoughts right from … their brains, as it were.” She laughed some more. “I am not so easily manipulated.”

    “And yet, we’re here.”

    Mizumi hesitated a bit before answering thoughtfully. “Are we?”

    General Red approached her and looked up, confused. “You’re suggesting this is just some sort of dream?”

    Suddenly, a door opened from behind. Zhaan walked in, her hands clasped gently across her chest, gold bracelets dangling from her wrists, a silvery blue dress flowing down her body like a waterfall. She had a serene smile across her face.

    General Red observed her and frowned, placing her hands on her hips. “How come everyone’s so frelling happy but me?”

    “Alloway Masata,” Zhaan said in generous greeting, bowing her head. She was still blue, but a faint golden glow pulsated from enlarged chloroplasts on her head. Her eyes seemed to sparkle. She glanced at General Red. “You will find happiness when you achieve Unity with our benevolent Goddess.”

    Mizumi harrumphed and stared at the white walls. “So that’s it,” she whispered.

    A tall lavender Fraggle popped up from a large white tile in the floor next to Zhaan. She had algae-like hair, with mostly green strands punctuated with tinges of blue. It fell loosely to her shoulders. She wore a gray robe that seemed to contrast with the large round crystal that hung from a golden chain around her neck. She clung to Zhaan’s dress timidly.

    General Red stared at the Fraggle. “Who are you?”

    “We are all One and No One and All and Nothing,” Zhaan intoned solemnly.

    The Fraggle gasped as General Red approached her with a threatening glare in her eyes. The Fraggle tightened her grip on Zhaan’s dress. “Mokey,” she whispered. She backed up a step, trying to stay behind the Delvian.

    Red relaxed slightly, nodding toward Zhaan. “And you found her?”

    Mokey nodded. “I was in a cave, looking at drawings made thousands of cycles ago,” she told her.

    “Past and present and future on a single rock wall,” Zhaan noted calmly. “All of time exists as now. Great is the wisdom of the ages.”

    Red glanced at Zhaan and approached Mokey, whispering, “And you stomach all of this nonsense?”

    Mokey blushed and looked toward the other side of the room. “I have no choice. Our hearts seem to beat the same.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    Mizumi scoffed and whipped around, growling, “The Hand of Destiny is playing a bizarre joke! I demand to talk to the one who is really behind this little trap!” She reared back her head, outstretching her arms, and screamed, “Jareth, King of the Universe, appear before your wife and Queen!

    Zhaan smiled warmly and turned and a door broke free of the wall of the room. She exited silently while Mokey followed.

    Mokey paused and turned to Red just before the door closed. She said, “This wasn’t the right cave.”

    And then they were gone.

    Red just stood there, gaping at the wall where the door had been. Her brain could not process what was happening to her. The room in which they found themselves lacked any real features. Maybe that Prime Empress had a point. Maybe it was some sort of bizarre psychological torture device.

    Mizumi placed a hand on Red’ head. “Time and space do not apply here, General. Those two were never here at all.”

    Red pulled away. “They sure looked like they were here to me.”

    Mizumi sighed as she looked around. “They were here, but they also were never here.”

    “I’m not big on paradoxes,” Red explained, irritated.

    Mizumi chuckled. “And yet it is the reason for this device’s existence. This is similar to what Jareth could do in his prime, but I am beginning to consider the theory that he isn’t part of this at all.” She paused with a smile. “Or he’s intimately entwined in it.” She sighed happily. “Oh, Jareth, I know you’re here.”

    Suddenly two doors opened on opposite sides of each other. In front of Red and Mizumi approached a large brown-furred monster with shaggy fur and bright yellow eyes. He had two fangs jutting out of his thickened lower lip. Behind them approached, meanwhile, a blue-furred monster with short matted fur and a large pink oval nose and bright red lips. While the first monster could see over Mizumi’s head, the latter was about twice the height of Red.

    Red gawked. “M-monsters?”

    The taller monster nodded clumsily. His voice was a low growl, but they couldn’t tell if it was angry or just raspily voiced. “Ah take it you jus’ figgered out ya didn’t catch us all,” he complained.

    The smaller monster plucked a red hair out of Red’s scalp and stared at it curiously. “How can you be a killer of monsters if you get trapped so easily?” he asked in a high-pitched, gravelly voice.

    Mizumi glared at the taller monster with a grin. “Oh, we are not trapped at all.”

    “Pardon?” asked the smaller monster, dropping the hair.

    Mizumi turned to the smaller monster. Her voice betrayed a profound confidence. “We are not trapped. We have no need of this place at all.”

    The smaller monster huffed angrily. “But there are squares here! You have no idea what it is like … needing a place where there are squares you can depend on!”

    The taller monster rolled his eyes. “Aw, c’mon … last week it was some sorta deal ‘bout triangles.”

    The smaller monster sniffled. “How I love these squares.”

    The taller monster shook his head and shrugged toward Mizumi. “Look, lady … facts are facts. Yer inside a big ol’ cube an’ yer not gettin’ out anytime soon.”

    “You will never get out,” sulked the smaller monster.

    Mizumi inhaled deeply and with her finger traced a design in the air with mist. “Have you ever drawn a cube? If you keep all the sides transparent, a curious aspect of the design reveals itself: an ever-changing perspective. You fail to determine whether you are looking at the interior or the exterior. Thus as you cannot confirm we are inside,” she continued as they all appeared outside the cube, which suddenly seemed shoulder-height to Mizumi, “ we might as well be outside.”

    “Huh,” the taller monster offered as he stood staring at the sudden appearance of the lush foliage sweeping across sky-scraping mountains. “Guess ya got a point.”

    Red gasped slowly as she took in a beautiful landscape she had never seen before. It was pristine, untouched by Peacekeeper hand. A gentle wave of multicolored flowers swept across the landscape. Birds sang cheerfully in the air. On a mountainside in the background, there was a large three-story hut hewn from whole trees. She glanced at Mizumi. “This Jareth is capable of this?”

    Mizumi frowned. “Of that cube, hardly,” she told the frazzled Fraggle. “We escaped it far too easily. I doubt Jareth’s skills have devolved that much.”

    The taller monster scoffed angrily, jabbing a clawed finger at her. “Yeh? Well, you ain’t got a clue, ice cube! We’ll have you know yer in the presence of --.”

    The smaller monster leapt in front of the taller monster and boasted with exaggerated movements, “A wise and powerful and ever-compassionate sorceress!”

    The taller monster crossed his arms and grinned. “An’ she’s called, in case ya didn’t know --.”

    A shrouded figure appeared in a puff of smoke, though it was followed by a long fit of coughing and hacking. As the figure waved away the smoke with a staff topped with a crystal ball, an elderly female voice cackled. She removed the hood of her cloak, revealing an obese purple-skinned hag with a single fang in her lower jaw and tightly curled short brown hair. “Name’s Taminella – pleased ta meet ya!”
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Okay... First of all, I'm sorry that I've only just read this now, was previously engaged and immersed in rereading KG in its entirety.
    Secondly, :excited: for the characters you pulled into this chapter.

    Reference to the mindmelter chair from Farscape Season 2, that gets you points.
    Are the doors meant to be parallels to the entrances inside the T. Matt Fraggle Room?
    Mizumi's trick with the air cube was neat... It reminded me of Kermit's magic finger bit from back in the day... And I know what she's talking about with drawing a transparent cubelike outline. And of course, as soon as she says it...
    They're now outside of the trap itself.

    Taminella's cough makes me chuckle a bit, that's the old reaction to the smoke effect as part of a mystical entrance.

    Thank you for this, it brightened up my day.
    Happy Easter weekend.
  12. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I wanted to imply Matt's Room was a part of it, but it's not all of it, LOL. Have you ever heard of Jim Henson's The Cube? There's a guy stuck in a cube and lots of weird characters can enter and exit, but he's just kinda stuck. It's a psychologically fascinating story that has been made into stage plays as well, sometimes without even the Cube itself, making the main character's predicament even more bizarre. Anyway, the random doors are a feature of the Cube.

    And while The Cube isn't transparent (though, like I said, certain play versions would be), from certain angles in the version Jim did, you could almost imagine an issue with perspective ... and perspective is something Mizumi can grasp, since her attack on the Labyrinth involves cheating.
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    I've heard of Jim's Cube and read about it at the Wiki... But I've never seen/watched it. And whenever "The Cube" is brought up as a fictional presentation referenced in anything I always (and sorry for this) mentally seize upon the SciFi movie where six people of different backgrounds were trapped inside a room that kept shifting throughout the other rooms and traps of a giant 26x26x26 cubic construct.
    And yes, Mizumi definitely cheats... She's stuck waiting thirteen years for Jareth to win their wager... Like Heck she'll wait any longer to take what she thinks is and ought to be hers. Besides, water is always changing, so that gives her elemental magic the edge to always evolve. It reminds me of a line from Half-Blood Prince where Snape as DADA professor refers lovingly to the dark arts as a multi-headed hydra, always changing and finding new ways to attack, more cunning and cleverer than the last.

    Happy Easter Kells, hope to read more soon.
  14. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 10

    Zhaan coughed as the dust finally began to settle. She was weary from the lack of light. How long had it been since she had seen the sun?

    She didn’t know.

    The little lavender Fraggle, Mokey, sniffled as she sat up on the opposite side of the small, dark cave. She rubbed her eyes and looked around. “I don’t think it worked,” she noted sadly.

    Zhaan rested against the wall of the cave. It was cold, though only Mokey’s breath formed little clouds of fog in the air. Zhaan sighed. “It must succeed, dear one, or we shall not grasp the true meaning of Unity.”

    “But I’ve never met you!” Mokey protested with a sudden burst of passion. “We look nothing alike and we come from different worlds and there isn’t any way at all that our hearts can be one!”

    Zhaan stood, frowning. Her voice was noticeably frustrated. “How the frell am I supposed to understand this place?” she growled. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever --.”

    It was a bad trade, Zhaan: you for me.

    Zhaan perked up as the soft voice carried through the air. It was Captain Sun’s voice, but what did it mean? It was so distant, so strange. She felt a perplexing mix of joy and sorrow with that one sentence.

    Mokey’s gasp broke her out of her thoughts.

    A thin, gaunt male stood before them in the cave. He had matted honey-blond hair that stretched beyond his shoulders. His facial features were highly angular, as though his skull would protrude at any moment with just the slightest of touches. He wore a tattered brown robe. Sighing, he sat down and stared at the cave floor.

    Zhaan and Mokey glanced at each other. Zhaan was the first to speak. “What is your name?”

    He didn’t respond.

    “You’re him, aren’t you?” Mokey asked timidly as she approached him. “You’re the Prime Emperor.”

    He looked away, burying his chin in his arms as they rested on his bent knees. “Am I?” he asked sullenly.

    “The Prime Empress is desperate to find you,” Zhaan blurted out.

    “People say it so often,” he noted with a tinge of bitterness. “One wonders why she should bother at all.”

    “She loves you,” Mokey offered, gently placing her hand on his knees.

    Jareth scoffed. Shaking his head, he replied, “She had dreams of me. There is naught now but an unending nightmare.” He nodded toward the cave exit. “Leave this place. It’s almost completely dead now.” He paused for several moments. “Life without a heartbeat. It is assured the world shall fall down.”

    Zhaan kneeled before him, refusing to accept his defeatist attitude. “We must find Mizumi. She seems to know what to do.”

    Jareth shook his head. “She’s close,” he replied, “but the fact remains that no matter how close she is, she will never succeed. It is like chasing a rainbow: even if you catch it, you cannot hold it.”

    Zhaan stood up, looking at the exit with renewed determination. “We shall contact the Goddess. The Goddess shall provide.”

    Jareth chuckled sarcastically. “She’s done so much already….”

    Zhaan and Mokey left Jareth sulking in the small cave where the pictures on the walls had suggested they might be able to travel through time. There had been many paintings: most of them had been stick figures of various types of creatures, but then curious objects started to appear, like advanced machines tearing down whole forests. One was a large colored sketch of a green reptile wearing a red jacket, holding a small pink chubby creature with sparkling purple eyes.

    But what made Zhaan and Mokey gawk, however, was the one that showed the Prime Empress in a furious pose, her arms raised while a huge downpour threatened to drown both the human-like stick figures and the strange reptiles alike.

    However, when they reappeared before the paintings, the one of Mizumi had disappeared.

    Zhaan caressed the bare rock face as she tried to imagine what the image had shown. There was something … different … about this place, just as Mokey had said. It was arbitrary and dangerous and puzzling … but it was also peaceful and solemn. Jareth said it was dying, but she felt a strange calmness in they emptiness.

    Help!” Mokey shrieked as she grasped desperately at weeds, gravity forcing her down a hole in the cave floor.

    Zhaan grabbed her, but they both fell as the ground gave way completely.

    This place … these caves … they speak to me.”

    Zhaan gasped, recognizing her own voice in the whisper floating through the air.

    Jareth suddenly helped the two up. All around them were tunnels, each black with only a flickering of different-colored lights. They seemed completely innumerable to imagine.

    Zhaan grabbed Jareth’s robe, her face set in an expression of taut fury. “What is the meaning of this? Where is this place? What kind of cave taunts us with the voices of far away?”

    Jareth firmly grabbed her arm and shoved her away. His voice was just as strong as hers: “Can you hear them, Priestess? Can you hear the dying screams of the world’s heart?” He drew back his hand and slapped her face so hard she stumbled backward, making Mokey cower behind a rock pillar. He watched as Zhaan grabbed a small blue-tinged spherical crystal from the ground underneath her. He snorted and turned from her. “You must carry the light with you,” he noted sadly before disappearing in the harsh blanket of black darkness.

    Mokey dashed to Zhaan after Jareth disappeared. To her, he was a villainous monster, worse than any Peacekeeper. He reminded her of the ones who destroyed her family’s burrow in the southern swamps, the resulting pollution poisoning amphibians, birds, and reptiles. She had watched as her parents were helping a similarly-sized green frog move a small log out of the path of an alligator, when giant flying machines dropped large objects that created dark gray clouds when they hit the water. Somehow, she had survived, while the others … well, they didn’t make it. She swam desperately out of the swamp, travelling far to the north, where eventually the Peacekeepers found her and enslaved her. The crystal around her neck had been a reward for faithful service to some old Peacekeeper who died several days later. He had been transporting a shipment of enslaved Hynerians to the planet Thra, as they were currently experiencing a shortage of game for hunting. A particularly wily one offered it as a bribe to avoid enslavement, but the frail Empress of Thra enjoyed him so much that she kept him on as a slave anyway, protecting him from the inevitable hunt.

    At any rate, she rubbed some moss on Zhaan’s head, which was starting to blister from tears as the jagged rocks had grazed her skin.

    Zhaan, nearly to tears, jerked up and dashed toward the closest tunnel. She ended up in a large white room as a shocked Mizumi and General Red looked on.

    Mizumi approached her angrily. “What did you do?”

    Zhaan kneeled before her. “Jareth --.”

    Mizumi grabbed Zhaan, who actually began to pale.

    “How come everyone’s so frelling happy but me?” demanded General Red.

    Zhaan glanced at the little Fraggle warrior quizzically before staring straight into Mizumi’s eyes.

    Mizumi smirked. “It’s useless. You’re projected.”

    “I am not,” Zhaan angrily protested, before the image disappeared and she stood once again in the dark caves, her voice now subdued, “projected.”

    Mokey approached the Priestess. Zhaan smiled, trying to calm the nervous little Fraggle, holding the blue spherical crystal in her hand. “This will make a nice addition to my brooch,” she said.

    Mokey nodded. “What did you find?” she asked.

    Zhaan sighed sadly, bending down to caress Mokey’s hair. “A projection.” She stood and looked around and called out, “When single shines the triple sun, what was sundered and undone, shall be whole … the two made one.”

    A long, slow clapping met her strange announcement. Jareth revealed himself from the shadows. He had a smirk on his face, which almost seemed to crack his gaunt visage from lack of use. There also seemed to be a glint in his otherwise dull eyes.

    “That was so pretty,” Mokey offered to Zhaan. “Can you teach me to do that?”

    Zhaan stared at Jareth, her gaze trying to crash through his “projection”. “So, that’s it, is it?” she asked him. “The reason the cave gave no answers --.”

    Jareth nodded and concluded her sentence, “—is that you were part of it, but not all of it. The question easily becomes, ‘How do you complete the picture?’ Perhaps no one knows. I’ve been looking, from one end of the galaxy to the other, and I have yet to find the one thing that can shatter this nightmare.”

    Zhaan closed her eyes and thought of that dark-skinned female human with the sea-green hair. “The Goddess shall provide.”

    Jareth laughed. “You think a mere self-absorbed woman a goddess?”

    Zhaan mirrored his laugh as the cave started to crumble around them. “You will find happiness when you achieve Unity with the Goddess.”

    Jareth shook his head and disappeared back into the shadows. “Never in a million years,” his voice replied.

    Zhaan opened her eyes again. Mizumi had fainted next to Eshe, who was whimpering. Zhaan kneeled at her side and caressed her hair, though she gasped when a concerned Mokey appeared by her side. How could this Fraggle be here? She didn’t join their party. Had something happened here? Had Mokey been drawn to this place, as they were? Clearly she hadn’t met the Fraggle in that strange cave or that cube-shaped room. Perhaps she might never truly know.

    Eshe grabbed Zhaan’s hand. “Re … store … the … true … purpose of … the … Seek,” she coughed. “Re … turn … what … has been … thrown a … way.” She touched the small blue crystal in Zhaan’s brooch. “What has been … thrown … away,” she repeated, her eyes rolling back. “What has … Jareth … thrown … away? Who has … thrown … him … a --.” Eshe’s breathing stopped. Her head rolled to the side, her body completely relaxed.

    Mizumi sat up, cringing, holding her head as she suffered a migraine. She kept her eyes clenched shut.

    “We must find the remaining third,” Zhaan explained to Mizumi. “Only then can --.”

    “Never,” Mizumi grumbled as she stood, wobbling. She glared at Zhaan, her fists clenching tightly. “I know where Jareth is, and you will never get him!”

    “Mizumi, my Prime Empress!” protested Zhaan.

    “I shall never let you take him!” Mizumi screamed in fury, her face reddening, her long white hair billowing behind her as clouds of mist rose from the ground. “I will watch the world die before she touches his hand!

    The mist swirled around the Prime Empress.

    And she was gone, determined to hunt down the only one who could stir her heart.
  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh... A good chapter... Especially when you're versed enough to understand the enigmatic mystic-talk that answers itself only with more questions to the ones you had before.
    Interesting to note how it doubles back on itself to add/rewrite what happened before like the end scene with Mokey at Zhaan's elbow as Esh died.
    Even though she's flown off in a rage, I kind have a bit of pity for Mizumi cause she's always going off in a tangent without any calm/normal happiness. But that's part of being a water elemental master mage as she is I guess.

    Thanks and luck be with ye.
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, the original idea (more or less, as I admit I kinda winged it) was that there seemed to be, despite the loss of the access to the Underground, a spot here or there in the world where you might still access magics fed by "the lovers, and dreamers, and you". However, Mizumi in ch 9 and again in ch 10 figures out that it's an illusion brought on by the Unity with Eshe (note how much more powerful Mizumi's magic is and how what seemed to be Fraggle Rock once again could connect to different worlds and how spiritual Zhaan's gotten all of a sudden and finally how Jareth's mood seems to have improved). What happened to Mizumi after she met Taminella will be dealt with later, though clearly she's come to the same conclusion Zhaan did, which was they are looking for someone Mizumi CLEARLY doesn't want to look for, LOL.

    Thanks! I like doing lots of research for this particular fanfic universe (okay, really it's an alternate universe of my usual fic universe, does that make sense?).
  17. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 11

    Captain Sun observed the Peacekeeper mining corps preparing large plasma drills next to a small hill near the beach, her hands tightly clasped behind her back, which was rigid with anticipation … and worry. The order to drill had come much sooner than she had expected. She also hadn’t expected the World’s Oldest Fraggle to suggest the initial entry point. She had expected a protest of some sort, as though her heart told her she was desecrating a sacred space, but the World’s Oldest dismissed what he called “silly fiddle-faddle”, stating instead that it would be good to feel the rock next to his fur again.

    The image of Scorpius appeared from behind, turning over a large floppy brown hat in his hands. He placed it on his head to shield his eyes from the bright sun. Nodding with approval, he elbowed her. “I personally feel you picked a lovely spot.”

    Sun sneered. “Glad you approve.”

    “Scorpius” nodded. “Of course you are, Captain Sun. You have very little choice in the matter.”

    Sun turned toward him. “When will Scorpius be here?”

    The illusion shrugged, a strange and creepy smile cracking his chafing pale cheeks. “Time flies when you’re having fun. Don’t you agree?”

    Sun started down some scaffolding to observe the work more closely, but the image of Scorpius appeared from behind a large metallic crate, a look of deep concern on his black leather-clad face.

    “Shaaaaame on you, Captain Sun,” he told her, combing his hand through her hair. “Now … we’re all in this together. We don’t want the bad guys to win.” He chuckled and turned from her, shrugging. “We have to do this … for the species, for the galaxy, for the … future.”

    Sun stopped walking, firmly taking his hand away from her head. She glared at him. “The Scarrans have been chasing the Peacekeepers through the galaxy. What makes you think a few little gems are going to stop them?”

    “Scorpius” chuckled, shaking his head. “I shall re-order time. I shall turn the world upside down … and I shall do it to watch the Scarrans burn.” He grabbed her face and forced her to turn her head to the right, where a Sebacean woman was being attacked by a large Scarran, which was like a reptilian humanoid that wore heavy black armor. The corps didn’t seem to notice as the Sebacean woman screamed under scaly hands. “Do you see that? An unpleasant origin story, don’t you think?” He forced her head to the left, where a young disfigured boy sharing some of Scorpius’ facial features cowered under red heat lamps, trembling and vomiting until his body was too exhausted to do either. “A lifetime of being reminded, again and again, the feeling of being prey.” He brought her face to within a hair’s breadth of his. His gaze could have vaporized her at any moment had he the power. He whispered angrily, almost hissing and spitting, “Bigger may eat smaller in this cruel, unpredictable universe, but I promise … promise you, Captain Sun … I shall chew my way out of their stomachs and watch them bleed.”


    Deep within Seashore City, meanwhile, the human female, in her early thirties, grunted as she carried several large packages on her back. She stumbled just as she reached the museum’s threshold, spilling the contents. There were assorted pieces of jewelry, now-broken pottery, and paint brushes. The female started to cry uncontrollably as she tried to put all the objects back in the packages. Her parents had sold her to the Peacekeepers. In return for their cooperation, they were able to move to a larger city across the ocean, where drudgery was less visible. Fortunately, in her teens, she was bought by a kind old lady who wore a tattered purple dress and a necklace on which hung a strange tarnished curved object with a spherical design in the center, as though it was a bird flapping its wings down. She never admitted where she got the object, but the kind old lady, a Traskan, tended to collect objects of a romantic nature, so possibly it was a … present … from an old boyfriend … a boyfriend she must have parted ways with in bitterness, as you could tell there was a centerpiece that had been broken off just underneath the spherical design in the center.

    A tender aged hand touched her shoulder. The voice was female and well-worn from many hundreds of cycles of use. “Child,” she cooed softly, “let me help.” She stood the human female up, who was a head taller than the elder woman, who had soft gray curls and a glowing purple third eye in the middle of her forehead. The elder woman brushed away the younger’s tears with her left hand and placed a small gemstone in the woman’s hands with her right.

    The woman looked down, sniffling, and saw a glistening translucent yellow-green jewel.

    The elder woman giggled. “It’s called, I believe, a trilling stone.”

    “Chrysoberyl,” the woman noted softly in a whisper.

    The elder woman shrugged. “In any case, dear Sarah, an intriguing feature of this stone is that it often twins itself. Some even resemble small flowers. Another peculiar feature, especially in this one, is that it also changes color, all depending on the type of light that illuminates it.” She patted the younger female on the cheek. “Keep it with you, young Sarah, to remind you that the truth can seem to be so many different things, in the right light.”

    After several hours, as the museum was about to open for the small amount of time workers had to spend in leisure, Sarah watched as a giant mechanism twisted and turned in a large room. It was a mechanical model of the solar system, with the sun and planets rotating and revolving in a beautiful ballet.

    A creepy male voice, frightening yet also enchanting, broke her out of her thoughts. “I’m looking for the crystal exhibit,” it said.

    Sarah turned around and gasped. The male had a tortured, almost skeletal face, hidden in a black leather mask. He wore a thick suit covered in a black leather overcoat. His eyes were metallic silver-blue. She backed away, stuttering. “Th … there … there … i-is … no … there is no crystal exhibit … s-sir.”

    The male smirked, placing his hands gently behind his back and looking at the ground. “You have a crystal in your hand,” he noted.

    Sarah looked down. “It’s … it’s just a small gemstone,” she told him, unable to bear looking at him. “It’s nothing. We don’t have a crystal exhibit. Why would we?”

    The male nodded, continuing to avoid her gaze in an attempt to ease her mind. “Indeed. Why would you? I had heard mention of a certain crystal, called a Ditzy. This museum, I’m told, tries to represent the history of the entire solar system. Most Peacekeepers have little use for the study of history.” He finally looked at her with as warm an expression as he could muster. He stopped just within arm’s length of her. “I, on the other hand, quite enjoy learning about all the universe has to offer.”

    Sarah blushed and backed away to her left. Maybe it was the smell of the leather, or the corpse-like visage of the male, but he made her uncomfortable, no matter how nice he seemed to be. “The … the Fraggles,” she spat out, her heart racing, “have a legend.”

    “Do they?” he asked with genuine interest, combined with a hint of bemusement.

    Sarah nodded. Her white silky blouse contrasted with the thick black slacks common to Peacekeeper uniforms. She brushed her shoulder-length hair away from her face. “They have no real timeline, as they were subterranean early in their history and could not determine anything but general seasons. However, long ago, they say, before Fraggles came into existence, a giant crystal crumbled deep in the heart of their world, covering a cave in tons of debris. Crystal dust clouds spread throughout the caverns. However, at some point they seem to be unclear about, these crystals, these ‘Ditzies’, as they called them, started to recede back into the original cavern. The crystals had given all subterranean lifeforms light and warmth, but as they receded, the caves grew dark and cold. Because of this, they had no choice but to burrow to the surface, where they have lived with other non-humans ever since.”

    The male nodded and walked calmly behind the mechanical solar system model as it twisted and turned. “I see. I think I should like to see such crystals.”

    “They could be metras under the ground!” she protested.

    The male laughed. “Then I suppose I should get started,” he replied as he turned to leave. However, he suddenly stopped, his boots squeaking slightly on the floor. “Follow me,” he ordered curtly.

    Sarah’s heart raced. She held the gem close to her heart.

    The truth might be so many different things, depending on the light.


    Back on the hill, Captain Sun’s eyes widened as the drills finally broke through, revealing a large tunnel that seemed to stretch far beyond the actual girth of the hill itself.

    An optical illusion, no doubt, she thought.

    She gasped as a hand grabbed her shoulder. Whipping around, she scoffed and rolled her eyes when she saw the image of Scorpius. “I told you I would inform Scorpius the moment we find something of interest,” she growled.

    There was screaming as water burst from the tunnel, quickly icing over in sharp spikes, impaling several workers. The tunnel had somehow been blocked off.

    He smiled, his toothy grin turning Sun pale as the ice forming all around as she realized the reality of the one in front of her. “My dear,” he noted softly, clasping one hand on the terrified female brunette behind him, “consider myself interested.”
  18. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Bump for the newness of forum reformatting... More please?
  19. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I take it all my thread subscriptions were lost, 'cause I never received a notification my stories were getting replied to, LOL. Between getting the new job and painting the laundry room, kinda got sidetracked, but there will be more, I promise.
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Good, we can wait patiently.

    Yeah... Slackbot said that all you had to do was click a link called "Watch Thread" and you'd be plugged in to that thread and subsequent notifications... Though frankly, I have my doubts about that because there are fic threads that are already marked within my "Watched Threads", with an "Unwatch Thread" link showing up, and still I had to post to be notified; and then there are others that I'm getting notifications for like your other tale, The Worst Time of the Year. Dunno, this new forum's gonna take some getting used to.

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