Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
Dark Clouds
(2013-10-05 - 2013-10-05)
No description.
Maleficent The shell of Hollow Bastion is mostly full of death and emptiness. There are some rooms which are used by dwellers in the dark, monsters and villains. These rooms aren't even necessarily connected to the rest of the castle. Their stairways ruined, their hallways full of water or awash in bugs and darker things. Those who can use Corridors might as well make truly secure lairs.

A whole civilization of heroes, if they were strong and bold, could hide out downstairs and Maleficent might be none the wiser. After all, any books from the library she hasn't had time to read yet are next to her bed. Her rooms are clean, if stately and sad. The place is dark and gloomy, perfect for fell deeds.

The council table is scrupulously polished. The Dark Fairy, her horned headdress and pale, fair, green face highlighted in the wan soullights of magical torches - paces. She paces in circles around the table, her smooth palm resting on it, tracing lines of sickly purple light thoughtfully in the dust. She sent out the call, Diablo is pecking messengers right now.

Pain and Panic have probably been headbutted into submission. Smee might fear for his eyes and be fretting neurotically outside the Captain's door. Lock, Stock, and Barrel tried to cage the bird and feed it to Oogie, only to find it made of sterner stuff. Doubtless many people are here who will not chime in.

One way or another, they will know of this meeting. Those who do not come in person probably know enough to send representatives - who will stand silently in the shadows if they know what is good for them. Rabble don't get to speak, and the price for not being at the meeting is that we only read your letters later.

Maleficent reflects on all of this. They have been idle long enough. The world has rested, inasmuch as one can be lulled into a false sense of security about the looming darkness that lurks on the horizon to eat you all, people have been sufficiently lulled.

The princesses will be found, the Keyholes will open, the chapter of waiting will close, ruling will begin.

Maleficent stands at one side of the table, leaning her staff diagonally against it. She leans forward, stretching luxuriously in the moment when she is alone. Chairs might have been a good idea. She could magic up chairs, but would that be a sign of weakness?

That was the problem. You stand at the first meeting, it becomes a point of dominance to always stand as if your dogs weren't barking.

She spent part of today in ancient runes licking the veneer off ancient enchantments with careful puffs of green flame. Her dogs are barking. But by the time she assumes her whip straight haughty posture, no one would know.

And then they trickle in.
Hades The fires of the room BURST as Hades, Lord of the Dead makes his appearance.

Unlike what Maleficent /might think/ he has not been idle...but he has also had a set back. Yes, Hades is not happy with this turn of events...he has come to hear the words, but he was not summoned, he was invited.

"Maleficent, Darling, it has been too long! Me and the boys in the Underworld, you remember the Underworld right? The place with all the stiffs.." he looks around, "The dead kind," he says with a grin. He walks towards the table and takes a seat. His hand is held palm out, and a large pitcher of Ambrosia is produced, with glasses, "So to celibrate this invitation, I brought the refreshments." he says, already pouring herself one, and then himself.

Hades is relaxed about this...he has years upon years to address this...

"So what is the hubub about?"
Disarray Somewhere in those darkened depths of Hollow Bastion, a beast dwells. The monsterous creature had been recruited at some point after the fall of the worlds, and now calls one of the dungeons below her home. The great monster has become the resident blacksmith for the castle. Rarely seen in person, Disarray's work is more well known than her face.

Still, the beast answers the call.

Disarray stalks from the direction of the stairs, her warhammer slung over one shoulder and her huge, clawed digits flexing at her sides. The monster is little more than a mash-up of various creatures, making her form that much more frightening when illuminated only by the flickers of firelight.

Without a word, the beast pulls an arm to her chest and bows her head towards Maleficent, tail tucked in a show of some measure of respect. It's short-lived, though, as she quickly takes takes her place at the table. Her spot is particularly visible, deep claw-marks etched into wood.

Without a place to sit, her tail twitches behind her. Cat-like eyes flick to the others as they arrive, most being treated with a feline disdain, but only a rare few gaining a hint of her regard. They are the ones who have a place at this table. Those who lurk in the shadows aren't worth her time.
Rakassa The flare of dark magic accompanying a Dark Corridor bursts into the room, as the strange form of Shadow Lord Rakassa ambles its way out. She's shed her human form, some might say disguise. Her body is covered in dark blue robes, heavy and thick to hide the strange form beneath. Long, tall, and far-too-thin, her lower body is akin to a sphinx, or some other creature. Her upper portion is that of a dark elven maiden, with far too many teeth and fangs that never quite look the same each time she smiles. Taking a seat as her quadrupedal form allows, a long, snake-like tongue licks the edges of her toothy grin, face further shadowed by her runed cowel.

Ever the lover of vice and greed, the appearance of Hades has Rakassa's smile etched on her face. "Oh, what a /darling/! Do pour me a glass, Hades. Beats Vector's wine any day! Or the blood of it's pathetic citizens." A chuckle escapes her, before she finally turns to peer at their leader.

"Maleficent." She nods, before simply relaxing with an air of nonchalance. Presumably, there's either orders to be given, or a long meeting she can drink through and not care about. Either way, she's content.
Kuja A flamboyantly dressed individual luxuriates on a couch in his suite in Alexandrian Castle. Resting his hand on the side of his face in a bored manner. Reruns. That was the true evil of the TNT network. Reruns. That and reality TV.

It occurs to him that he may have forgotten something, to which he begins to speak aloud, "What was it again today? The Elephant Lady's troth has been filled. All executions have been seen to... The Pernicious Rose's self-righteous diatribe has been noted... The fool Mutt has been reassured that I'm not in fact trying to kill him, even though I would like nothing better." Then suddenly it hits him. "#@$#$@$!" Censored due to the fact that you know, its Disney, as suddenly the table in front of his couch has been turned over by his sudden rise. It was still soon enough for him to arrive.. fashionably late.

One corridor of darkness and a spell to commandeer an organ deep within the Hollow Bastion later for a theme song and Kuja was striding into the meeting room with carefully controlled steps. Luckily it seems like Hades was providing Maleficent with enough of a distraction that she /might/ not decide to take offense at his tardiness.

Seating himself down at the table, he leans back with that same casual demeanor. He doesn't greet anyone, doesn't deign to do much more than offer a bored look and a haughty glance towards the head of the table. In truth, he was searching for the presence of... one individual in particular, who didn't appear to be present, how odd. Perhaps he was playing a different role in this little drama.
Seith On of the first through the doors is a man dressed in appropiate dark cloth. A common visitor and peruser of the Library, this particular man rarely travels outside the Hollow Bastion lest it is to bring anguish to heroes, and test those able to be tested.

Horns adorn his head, laying forwards, the man carries himself with pride and might through the room. There's slight purple crackles around him, and small pebbles near him lift, showing his control over one of the universe's greatest powers; Gravity. A star-filled black cape flutters behind him as his heavy-armored steps carry him forth closely behind Disarray.

He isn't a man who speaks very often, unless spoken to. So it is hardly strange that he doesn't chime in with Hades or any others. He merely lets his presence speak for him. A twosome of black-and-silver panther-shaped Heartless follow him through the room, growling at any of the 'lesser' minions that might find themselves near this man.

Carrying in his right gauntletted hand, he carries one of the books from the libraries. When he arrives at the table, the heartless are dismissed into the shadows of the ground, and he closes the book with a loud 'clap', and then carefully lays it down to the table, looking up at Maleficent.

This man is curious, curious why this woman would call upon them now. It'd been such a long time. What had it been now? Almost a year? It was hard to follow time within the halls of this hollow place.
LEXUS The messenger to the Shadow Lords' representative in the Grid didn't have far to go. Maleficent might even have just sent him a Twitter.

And when your have an access point in Hollow Bastion itself, it would be ill-mannered indeed to ignore the invitation. And LEXUS is far from ill-mannered. The Dark Program steps out of the shadows, his eyes whirling in their gleaming inhuman manner as he looks upon those gathered. Always analyzing. Always measuring. Always planning. He makes a thin smile, the purple energy lines along his neck and tie flickering slightly as he folds his arms behind himself. "Greetings." LEXUS says, giving Maleficent a bow. He has always yielded to her de facto dominance with in the Shadow Lords... When she has deigned to emerge from her chambers. From the shadows, a pair of the chittering Darmon Heartless flank him, chittering in modulated tones, as if the insectoid Heartless are considering the entities before them for dinner.

Of course they wouldn't /do/ such a thing. Right?

LEXUS does not move or speak, but the pair break off, moving as one into the shadows. Possibly to go hunt and ear something. The nature of the Heartless suits them well. Always hungry, always seeking to fill that void, even for just an instant. Always seeking out those to add to the collective.

The Dark Program himself simply waits for the meeting to begin, silent. The last time such a meeting was called, a major world was destroyed. This time, it might be even greater.
Maleficent Maleficent smiles beatifically, every appearance of sincere pleasure in response to the proferred drink. "Why ... how thoughtful." She takes the glass, and, with reserved appearance, drinks only a sip of what to her tastes of honey and sugar and a hint of cinnamon. She does not gulp it down at length, instead exercising restraint to have a mere sip. Her throat had been parched and dry in the dust of this place, and the temptation to use dark magic to clear one's tubes is best resisted.

"Best if we wait until all members of our coterie have emerged from their business, I assure you it is important. I would not waste your time."

She takes periodic sips, when it can be excused as empty motion to fill the moments. Disarray's emergence is acknowledged with a gentle inclination of her head. Having waited this long, any impatience in Maleficent is long dead and buried somewhere out behind the castle where no one will find it. It may be resurrected some other day, but not today. The bestial inhabitant of the castle is welcome, no doubt she will be useful.

Close on her heels comes the dark-cowled warrior. She nods to acknowledge him, a nod between professionals as Seith closes his book. This man knows how to make an entrance, she likes that. Indeed, Maleficent used the scattering of minions sparked by the terrible panthers as cover to take another gulp of the drink. That was really good! But none must ever know. You saw nothing.

Then dark things. The Sorceress /feels/ the Corridor before it opens, a certain kind of almost-gooseflesh feeling that is not altogether unpleasant. She does not turn her head at first, recognizing Rakassa by voice, and acknowledging her with a melodious: "Welcome to the meeting." and a nod of her head after turning to meet the undisguised creature's eye with her same smile. People mill in the shadows, taking seats in rows to watch but not be heard. They will govern themselves accordingly - she did not choose stupid partners in this endeavor, she hoped. Lexus interfaces in, "And to you, greetings also. Well, since some associates have decided not to grace us with-"

A blast of music and Kuja's arrival by Corridor would have sparked an eyeroll in a lesser woman. The elegantly dressed man takes his seat.

She pivots on him as if she were on a turning platform, no part of her appearing to move. The glass is empty by now. "I hope you have brought enough drama for the /entire/ group."
Pause, recompose, begin to speak.

Her voice is magically magnified so that, outside the circle of associates in the plain light, it seems to be coming from right next to each lesser minion's ear, sibilant as a whisper and on the edge of hearing.

"Doubtless you will wonder why I roused you all from your business. When last we convened, a world fell under darkness as a show of force - we bided our time. We have all taken action. Our agenda going forward is simple. We have acted apart, disparate, without coordination - consolidating our power. I propose..." And her wording is very careful here.

She extends her staff, and images resolve out of the air - like forms made from smoke, hovering above the table. One, a keyhole, one - a huge crystalline deposit, which splits into four faintly glowing blue, yellow, red, and green - one, a princess in a dress - one, a keyblade.

"That we move in earnest. If we do not have all of the Hearts of the Princesses of Light, we will find substitutes. If we cannot find the keyholes, we will use the power of arcane artifacts to force them into our vision. I have seeded preparations, as you all have. In short, I propose we begin to strip away the skin until only the flesh of the fruit remains, and then take that for ourselves no matter how much wastage of the unripe must offur."

Maleficent's voice becomes quieter. "For later reading." As her palm makes contact with the table, a gout of purple flame brings a leather-bound (do not inspect leather too closely) packet of papers into being before each of the representatives important enough to be at the table.

"Everything we know about Princesses of Heart, and princesses who appear to not be among the Seven Pure Hearts yet still relevant to our plans. Unlocking and unlocking doors, new types of Heartless and their uses, plans for dragging more worlds into the dark where they can meddle us no more, oh, yes, plans. And this is just my contribution, I am sure you all have something to say. We have waited long enough."
Hades "A shame...Garland could not himself come." Hades frowns, instead he sent his familar.

Still, Hades has Kuja's glass poured, in this case he is a represenitive...and he does not treat those who speak for Garland with disrespect...while they speak for him. It's a rare showing of unity that he only reserves for a few, Malificent is another.

Malificent finds her glass refilled, and LEXUS also has a glass poured for him...he is not sure if the program can even consume food, but it's a matter of point...LEXUS was successful, powerful, and worthy of respect.

The beast was an unknown to him, however, she too gets a glass, as does the strange chimera.

" I know you? I don't think I know you, I never forget a face..." he thinks on this for a moment, "Eh, it can wait till later." Hades quips, and turns to listen.

Yes, Even Seith gets one...right now was not the time of pettyness...not right now. However, he does not get any words, just a cup.

He drinks of his cup, ah...this stuff truly was of the gods.

"Well, I think before we can go forward, Male-babe...we need to consider what happened last time. We DID succeed in throwing the world into darkness. It came back. The keyblade weilder, and the Princess of that world allowed it to be...and NOT without somehelp from a certain traitor.."

"And my sources tell me we have new Keyblade Weilders."
Kuja Kuja doesn't allow himself to look chagrined. He didn't allow himself to show weakness, even to those who were in fact more powerful than he. As Maleficent chides him, the words fluidly rolls off the tongue, "All of this world is our stage, your dark majesty, I don't see how we could have a paucity of it. Do any of my fellow thespians disagree?"

He raises a full ambrosia glass as Hades pours, "He finds himself indisposed at the moment. He sends his.." He decides to choose the word carefully, not regrets, not apologies, for Garland did neither, "...his best wishes to you, to her Dark Majesty, and to you as well, Lord of the Underworld." He then lifts it to his mouth, deigning to take a small sip.

But after that, he listens to the plan. And he finds himself, interested. After all, Garland could not even walk within the presence of these seven purest hearts. How could he not be interested in that which might kill his master? But he set aside thoughts of using them, it lacked the.. personal touch, that his current plan had. When he killed him, it would be by his strength, and his strength alone.
Rakassa Rakassa shrugs at Hades. "Mmm, no. Not yet. Later, agreed. A little coordination never hurt anyone."

Then, there's the plan. Rakassa remains uncharacteristically silent. After letting the others begin, and idly sipping the Ambrosia, she finally speaks.

"Do we know anything about the creation of these Keyblade Wielders? If it's something we can detect...well, better to snatch from the cradle I say! Certainly they don't just pop out of thin air.| Sip.
Disarray The blacksmith leans her hands on the table, clawed fingers tapping slightly as she waits for the arrival of the others. It's only when they have all fully assembled that she stands up straight again, crossing her arms over her chest. Her lupine ears flick towards Maleficent, although her eyes stay locked on the images that float above the table. The sight of some pretty princess drawing a curl of her lips and a flash of sabertoothed fangs.

It's an expression that lingers only for a moment before the sight of a glass being passed her way has the beast's expression settling back to normal. "Disarray Grimstone, master of the forges of Hollow Bastion." It's a self-proclaimed title, but there are few others who could argue with it. "Your reputation obviously proceeds you, Lord Hades. I must ask you about the forges of the gods, someday."

As much as Disarray might look like little more than a monster, she speaks like someone who must have been trained in pleasantries. The bound bit of pages is taken up within her clawed hands, and the beast begins to page through idlely, not bothering to read in any great detail. The Princesses of Heart, specifically the one from her world, are enough to draw a growl from her lips, snapping the pages shut.

"I'll need more slaves for the mines and the forges. The stronger the heartless, the easier time they'll have within the worlds. Besides... I'm working on a new set of Guard Armor that should give the keyblade wielders a run for their money." The beast chuckles to herself, clawed fingers flexing.
Seith Seith answers Maleficent's approval with only the slightest incline of his head, and a closing of his eyes. A calm show of clear respect for her. She might notice that his hair seems a slight bit whiter from the last time she'd seen him. Seith is old, but unlike her, he is no less mortal.

When, no doubt, wine reaches the man - he lays his fingers beneath the bowl and slowly lifts it from the table. He and Hades did not always get along - mostly because Seith had found bemusement in his failure to keep a certain Dusk Princess in the Underworld. He takes a slow sip, keeping his gaze on the sorcerous dark fairy as she speaks and begins her grand display of magic. He always revels in such displays, knowing that hers is a power he can't quite grasp. A sorcery darker than his.

The longer she speaks, the darker that small smile of his get. For an old elf, this man still has quite some life in him. Far more youth than you'd expect from someone with his appearance in fact. But then, one's visual age can be... betraying in some cases.

The man tilts his head up a little when flames illuminate his body through the appearance of the book, and his hand soon lands on the item, fingers spread out. Information! "When you speak of Substitutes, I assume you speak of the 'other' Princesses of Heart." The man speaks. His voice fits his dark armor. "I've been watching one that I believe most of us are familiar with. Though she's become 'tainted' recently. I am uncertain that Hades former 'pet dog' will continue to suit the requirement." Seith truly does like the sound of his voice, it would seem.

The man pauses, drinking a little more of the wine, before he continues. "I will continue to monitor the World of Dreams for signs of them." His fingers draw down along the leather-bound body of the conjured book. "Which I am certain this volume will be of assistance to."

Then Hades says something that has the man turning his gaze away from Maleficent. Further Keyblade Wielders? This is news to him. "Could you tell us more about these individuals?" It would appear that while the Lord of Death did not wish to speak to him, he certainly would address him. And in a respectable manner. Seith has no quarrel with the man. Just respect, and an appropiate sense of 'fear' of the God's power. Disarray's mention of Armor has the man glancing her way. It is after all, her armor he wears right this moment; in respect to how much of it had been repaired by her hammer.
LEXUS LEXUS bows to Hades as well. One must respect the power of the Dark God of the Underworld, even if LEXUS... isn't sure what happens to a Program when it is derezzed.

Perhaps he should work with Hades on that. IT might be... Fascinating. He picks up the glass of Ambrosia and salutes Hades with it before he takes a drink. The analysis of the drink is... Interesting, indeed. "No wonder why the Gods drink such a beverage. The flavor is exceptional for what one would think would be simple components. You do me honor, Hades."

Information is provided. LEXUS /loves/ information. He turns to the leather-bound papers before him and holds a hand over it. The binding opens and the pages flip over. If it were not for the obvious scanning lines running quickly down each page, one might mistake it for a common enough magic-user's spell for rapid information assimilation.

Something something sufficiently advanced technology something.

"I am fully in support of a call to marshal our forces. I have been stalemated in the Grid for a great deal of time. Operations outside of my domain can bring new resources to bear, move events towards a positive outcome." His expression goes flat for a moment, but he tilts his head. "Additionally, united operations work at a higher degree of success if properly organized." He smiles faintly. "The appearance of new Keyblade Wielders... another subject worthy of extensive research and analysis. If that power can be turned towards our purposes, we can advance our timetable dramatically."

He listens to Seith and nods. "There is some concern about Riku. His loyalties have compromised his potential use. If they cannot be broken in a manner suitable to our needs, he will become a liability."

LEXUS suddenly tilts his head, as if listenign for something in specific. Perhaps something... Ducky.
Negaduck Where has Negaduck been? No one has heard a peep from the Dastardly Mallard since the incident out months ago of within the desert. Negaduck has been veeerrry busy.

How busy?

Networking. Lots of networking.

It is slowly, but surely that a group of men are walking along at the entrance. These are not just normal thugs that are walking into the facility. No. Many of these are men in business suits of Asian descent. Others are Italian. Many of these individuals are even the thuggish looking individuals.

Soon, they make room for an individual who emerges from them.

It is Negaduck, who is sporting a cigar in his mouth.

"Ahh.. good to be home. Had to make some last minute..." His razor teeth shows as he gives a manical grin, "---negotiations." Granted, that involved burying someone in a pit of doom.
LEXUS LEXUS sighs the sigh of the longsuffering. "I suppose it /is/ a meeting of the Shadow Lords." LEXUS says to no one in particular.
Hades "...Who's the duck again?" Hades asks LEXUS. Because seriously who is this guy?
Maleficent Maleficent waves her staff in response to Hades' remarks. The "Keyblade" smoke sign becomes larger, the others shrink. "Ah yes, ought not that traitor to be ... dealt with? Letting him run around loose has not been best. We should have taken both he and the Princess into hand, and we shall make that a priority." Rakassa chimes in after this. "More than that, we do not know the origin of the wielders of those blades. Their power can however, be corrupted. I know this -we can taint them, make them unworthy to wield the blade to its fullest potential, make them less-than. And so I have done with that one. Even if he tries to find his way back to the vaunted path of light, he has been reduced. And we will keep on reducing if need be, until he is less than nothing just as he deserves. We shall do the same with other new Keyblade Wielders, turn them to our ends and keep tighter tabs on them. The darkness in their hearts can be evoked to control them." Her memory veers back to an image of a young man pulling the heart out of Aurora, once upon a time. "And that darkness is our foothold."

Kuja's remarks elicit a brief sigh, and his information about Garland is filed away.

As Disarray speaks, Maleficent gives her logistical notes careful consideration. "We will find you hearty tools to shape our minions, then, your attention to detail is of service." And she sweeps then to Seith's remarks, her smile turning up at the edges a little more sharply. It is also thinner.

"Yes. But more than that, if we possess one of these "other" princesses, tainted or not, might we not be able to refine a heart that would be of use. Not in the Final Work, the unlocking, but in some other capacity." Siiiiiiip.

"Yes, please enlighten us as to anything you know about the new wielders of the Keyblade, Lord Hades." She is genuinely interested, hungry, even though she had addressed the other points first. "In case anyone else wishes to contribute - the most important issues seem to be the traitor, where keyblade wielders come from, the new keyblade wielders..." she ticks off on her fingers. "The Crystals of the World of Ruin, which I can use to discover much and find princesses and keyholes - the keyholes themselves, artificial princess hearts and their refinement, and particular threats."

She withdraws a bit, falling silent and opening the floor. Just enough shadow falls over her that her consumption of a second glass cannot be clearly seen. Make sure we keep her away from soda pop.

LEXUS chimes in then and she digests his words. "You have convinced me." Her fingers are tented, her staff hovers on a point - it would not dare fall down. "I believe we should conclude right now that under no circumstances will any of us deal with the renegade with anything other than killing force or immediate imprisonment. Something as trifling as love made him defy this council, he is irrational and as I said, tainted, lesser. He rejects his darkness rather than master it. "Love" and "Friendship" blow their whistles, and he is merely their dog. Useless for our plans except to distract his friends when they try to identify and reassemble the ragged pieces of him we will leave in our wake."

Somewhere in the Hollow Bastion is a chart. This chart has penalties for being 30 seconds, five minutes, ten minutes, and twenty minutes late for meetings, respectively.

A gout of green fire shoots from her staff, hits the floor by Negaduck's feet, expands forming a circle, and rises. Bars resolve out of it. The words "CAGE OF SHAME" are written on it in green cursive script also made of flame.
Hades Hades looks over at the now imprisoned Duck. Ha ha...cage of shame.

He'll have to use that one!

"Hmmm...Avira corrupted huh?" Sounds like a Garland Project to him...he dismisses it, though. He'll not interfear with that one, the marking of Garland was on her...but the other one.

"Well the one I got not much info on. LEXUS and Garland and his minions know of him better, I think he was with them at one point." he shrugs. "The other? Mercade Alexander. Runs a detective agency. Good heart, nice guy, pepetually broke, and a streak of bad luck. Honestly, I can't see why it picked him other than the heart thing. Strong, sure, but ain't a quality /I/ can see that makes him exceptional? But then again, these things sort of have a way of being a detail that needs to be visited down the road..."

Genre savvy anyone?

"The traitor, however, is the one known as /Ember/. The one that was /under/ another's rule. If not for her interferance at the cruital moment..." Hades throws a hand up, "Thankfully /Pete/ spared him his well deserved Wrath."

"Really, he's a great minion, a real keeper Male-babe."
Seith "Hrrm." Seith raises a hand to his chin most thoughtfully as Maleficent speaks of 'refining' the other princesses, and lowers his head as he considers this. It's obvious enough that her words have given him pause, and something to think about. Or perhaps rather - they have spawned a memory from earlier days.

However, the dark fairy's words are not lost on him. Crystals. In fact, that is a word he repeats; "Crystals..." He moves his hand off of Maleficent's book, and touches his own. His brow furrows for a moment, before he lets go of it again and uses the power of telekinesis to make the conjured book rise before him, opening its pages and slowly flip between them. Unlike LEXUS, he can not absorb information that fast. So he merely gives it a cursory glance for now.

"An example will be made of him. I am certain." Seith remarks in regards to Riku. He's cast aside the idle thoughts about Crystals. The man doesn't even turn his head when Negaduck comes in. The elf would recognize that ruffian's voice anywhere. Power without control. He considers that Negaduck is the Shadow Lord most likely to fall to darkness.

The man leans forwards, laying his elbows to the table and looks towards Hades, who is mentioning 'Ember'. "Yes, a troublesome instance that one. But she was under nobody's rule but her own, I am afraid." He knows that Hades still believes that he somehow had something to do with Ember's betrayal.

Mercade hrrm? The man doesn't comment on this particular Keyblade Wielder. "Remind me. Was there not an attempt at theft of one of the World of Ruin's crystals, but a year ago? I am afraid I was not involved too deeply in this. Can someone remind an old man? So that past mistakes won't be made once more?" He's fairly certain that none of those present today had anything to do with what happened during that particular event.
Rakassa Rakassa, for her part, seems content to listen. She's even produced a small notepad to jot down notes as she takes it all in amidst boozing.

Negaduck, and more accurately, the Cage of Shame gets her attention. There's popcorn now. "Crystals, Princesses, and Keyblades. Well. I can...perhaps nudge things. One of the joys of being 'beneath' an Emperor is the ability to justify all sorts of annexations and skirmishes. If a Princess or boy goes missing, well, who cares?"

Then she's back to lurking and enjoying Negaduck's pain. "Anyone up for roast duck?"
Kuja Keyblade wielders.

Keyblade wielders bored Kuja. Garland may be afraid of them, but the last Keyblade wielder he'd faced, that irritating little mouse, he'd soundly defeated, sending the appalling little rodent scampering away in flight. Even so, he filed away the information. Others might be more powerful than the rodent royalty. Then they spoke of traitors. Whatever. Kuja had no actual loyalty, he'd put up a token show of trying to slay them if he ever had the oppurtunity.

And then they bring up that irritating mutt again, Kuja is forced to breathe out a long-suffering sigh, he hated that dog, but he might as well give him some credit, "Pete has performed adequately ever since you placed him under my command."

Another sip of Ambrosia from the glass, he hated to admit it but the golden liquor was some of the best he'd ever had, "And I'm certain that the traitor will be dealt with in due time..."

But Negaduck being placed in a cage, caused him to titter, "Oh now that is /priceless/... I daresay that mallard should be the main cour..."

But then he silences as Garland's voice sounds over his linkpearl.
Negaduck SHAME'D!

Negaduck has the green flames erupt around him in a circle, and then it rises into prison.

Grumble. "...I hate my life, sometimes."


Negaduck is glaring. Glaring.

All of the thugs, yakuza, and other members sweatrop. And they all back away.
Disarray Though the blacksmith had no real interactions with 'the duck', she has heard of him by reputation, as with many of the other Shadowlords. It comes as no surprise to see him end up caged for his disrespect. She only spares him the briefest moment of her attention before turning back to her ambrosia. The beast manages to drink with some measure of grace, though the color of it leaves her muzzle distinctly red-tinted.

"Whatever machines or weapons are needed, my forges can provide." Even as she speaks, her ear quirks as if she were listening to something else.

The beast seems to have little to say on the subject of keyblade wielders and traitors, although she does flip open to the paperwork, looking over the information briefly. Usually, she stayed in the dungeon when she wasn't raiding workers from the old kingdom. So much has happened in the world.
LEXUS "Negaduck. He is enthusiastic, at least." LEXUS sips again. Maleficent makes her response to the opinions of the assembles, and LEXUS considers the situation. He considers every situation. "If it pleases you, perhaps I will assemble an appropriate punishment for use when he next appears." He smiles thinly. "To attack him would simply bring his... friends to assist him. But where direct force fails, turning his own friends upon him would perhaps be a more... ironic fate, would it not?"

LEXUS thinks about the corruption option. "I had attempted to corrupt Avira already, as well as one of her... friends, using the technology of Dr. Sevarius. She will be prepared for if I try again... And I believe I have heard tell of Hades attempting another action involving her. Perhaps another would have a more pointed method of handling it."

He shrugs about Ember. "Ember's issue is the same as Riku's. Their commitment is lacking and have been seduced by soft words and a smile. I would sooner place the blame on Ember's poor judgement than any lack of the attempts of her master to show her the paths of truth. It will be simple enough to demnnstrate to them how dangerous such things can be."

He looks to Rakassa. "You have resources at play, then. I look forward to seeing your work. You appear to be compatible for the current events abroad."

Disarray gets a nod as well. "I will be sure to consult you. If you require... exotic materials, I may be able to assist with acquisition. Consider it a payment for potential future needs."

And then Negaduck gets the CAGE OF SHAME. LEXUS doesn't laugh at him. He simply smiles and takes another drink of Ambroasia. What else does he even need to do at this point?
Maleficent Maleficent smiles a dangerous smile. "We all have assistants who are simultaneously indispensible and infuriating, I think, Lord Hades. As much as it may PAIN us to think of it." Not Panic though. Panic is alright.

Or was that Pain? Anyway, Maleficent considers Pete's conduct- Pete is useful on Diablo levels, and he gets things done professionally with occasional stumbles. Most people can't claim to live up to Diablo. Who's a good bird? Yes. You are.

Her thoughts returning to the world of the mundane for a moment, Maleficent regarding Kuja - "May he continue to serve your interests, and your Master's, well." She pauses too, assimilating the information from Garland himself. "Hmm." is her only response.

Rakassa's remark is seized on then: "Yes, seamless use of turmoil can bring what we desire. But we must never hesitate to simply take it. The time to do by stealth what we could all do with our superior powers, is over."

Negaduck is freed with a languid gesture of her hand. Maybe she can hear his glare, but he is freed for the moment.

She looks at him disparagingly, but snaps her fingers. A grudging "floop" of flame slides oil-like from some interstitial dimension. It is a lot more limp and lame than the one that produced reports for the others. Negaduck's leather-bound report emerges as a charred lump, fused closed by unknowable darknesses. Only half the pages are present. To clarify, it is not a case of there being 50 pages instead of 100. There are 100 half-pages, split down the middle, if he manages to pry into the melted mess of a folder.

"I will take it upon myself to procure the Crystals of Ruin, and any other powerful sources of magical scrying. We might consult... the fates?" Maleficent turns her eyes to Hades here, the underworld king's particular "charms" would be invaluable if they sought the favor of the Ladies - especially since they would be more candid with a god.

LEXUS' offer is considered, answered with: "I require materials for the containment and control of magic. We can leave nothing to chance with what will come next. I will also need access to the research of the aforementioned Dr. Savarius. While it is a mere thing of technology, it may be useful in developing enhanced hearts culled from inferior princesses."
Disarray The beast's attention lingers on LEXUS momentarily, her nose twitching as if she were trying to scent the program. He is not like any others she's encountered, but that makes him all the more interesting. "Of course. If you encounter any strange ores or metals, I'm likely enough to be able to find some use for them to further our plans."

Her ears take in the conversation regarding some traitor, but the beast shakes her head. "The best way, I've found, of punishing a traitor, is through their friends. It's amusing to watch them blame themselves when you bring pain to those they care about." A clawed finger taps the wooden surface of the table, feline eyes narrowed.

"Besides that... I would suggest we start choosing some targets. Draw their attention away from areas we want to put in a real investment. If nothing else, we've got the Heartless to spare, and it will keep them guessing and off-guard if they don't know where we'll strike." Her tail thumps once on the floor. "We've been too quiet. It's made them think that they're winning this war. We need to prove otherwise."
Negaduck Freedom! Negaduck is free! Now, it is time to conquer Maleficent and take over her throne!! Yes, the other Shadow Lords will bow before the greatness of Negaduck. They will wave the banners of Lord Negaduck. Lord Negaduck, the champion of all that is evil, rotten, and horroribleness!

...And that delusion fades once Negaduck is freed. He finds himself able to move again. He still glares at Maleficent, but he retracts it. The leatherbound report comes as charred lump.


Negaduck grumbles, "Figures that it is the sticky one that I am stuck with. What am I, the third grade class reject?!" The fiendish duck grunts.

"Nevertheless, I have recently gathered a network of syndicates and other thugs together to act as the eyes and ears. ...And muscle whe need to be." Negaduck spent the last few months doing some hostile takeovers of crimelords, after all.

He will amass his syndicate.
Hades Hades looks to Maleficent, and he ponders this...

"I suppose I can ask for a meeting...they are busy gods themselves...or was it demi-gods? I can never remember, but they do see the Past, The Present, and The Future...and are annoying about it. They also have one eye." He shrugs. "But hey, they see better with one eye than most see with two."

Hades rolls his eyes of attacking people's friends, "Look, I like drama as much as the next guy, but you can't just go after someone's friend's without a ends up backfiring. /Spectacurly/. You have to be subtle...find a weak link in their friendship...and /exploit/ it."

"But I digress." he says, "I don't know who was covering that crystal thing, maybe we should get someone expendable to find out for us if we don't have intel on that." Hades says, steeping his fingers as he sets down the glass.

"These are all good ideas. Make the Hero's too tired with all this stuff going on..." he pauses, "Infact, hey fluffy," He motions towards Kuja, "Isn't it about time that you caused some incidents for our little heros to go save the day of? Rats aren't any good except for finding places to hide and escape from."

He also considers his own idea... "You know, now hear me out, Male-Babe...but. We got another tool at our disposal.."

Hades flicks a hand...and out comes A TV. Specifically, TNT is running some new series. In it, A man who looks /similarly to Mercade/ is talking to a guy who /really looks like a Dennou playing a guy who is actually NotIsaac, who is running away from a Giant bolder. It's vaguely Scooby Doo like.

Somewhere Will throws something at the TV, "MAN THEY GOT THAT ALL WRONG! /I'm/ Scooby Doo!"

"I think, Ladies and gentlemen...we shouldn't count out this little tool for rooting out princesses."
Maleficent "Agreed." is all Maleficent says to Disarray. She waves her hand and a complex map of the interrelated worlds appears. Highlights show up in multiple places: Agrabah, Manhattan, all over the World of Ruin, right there in Hollow Bastion, Traverse Town, Atlantica - they are all different colors. Manhattan is green for example, Agrabah is red.

"We will lead them to believe we care about Manhattan. It was only ever a relic, a sign of our potency. Make them think we care that it was restored. That we will undo their hard work. Strike Traverse Town, which will incite fear among the homeless and the vagabonds, while we care for little that lurks within it. Meanwhile, we will gather magical relics and the Crystals - and anything else that comes to our attention. We will bring it here to our fortress and turn it to our ends. We will send the Heartless to cause havoc while we do what needs delicate attention."

Maleficent pauses, she raises one finger, she lowers it. Her expression becomes, confused, then she carries on:

"Are you suggesting, Lord Hades, a song and dance idol contest, testing the talents traditionally associated with purity and light, from among many worlds, while we serve as judges and offer prizes, in order to gauge and magically glean information about each hopeful girl who comes forward?"
Seith Seith remains quiet for a while, until Hades brings out the Television. With lot a shred of sarcasm in his voice, the elf asks the God of Death; "What do you suggest? We make a reality show asking for people to be princess-y?"

The man grows quiet when Maleficent seems to ask the very same question. "On the other hand. The humans have shown themselves to be nothing short of vain. After all, that 'dog' would not have done what she had if she wasn't. It may not be a bad plan at all."

He has /way/ too serious of a look on his face right now.
Hades Hades looks at Maleficent...

"...Spooky." he says, waggling his fingers at her, "Like we have /one mind/." he says with the shark like Grin. He rolls his eyes at Seith, "Of course. People are /vain/. If you haven't figured that out. It will attract host of potentials...maybe even Princesses of hearts. We can /search for them in the contestants...and then when we get any, we use the rest to attract the ones we didn't get. We do some over the top villian stunt...again, someone expendable with a really loud and obvious voice..."

Eyes slowly turn towards Negaduck. "When they come out to the rescue with their keyblade weilder friends..."
Kuja Kuja rolls his eyes when he believes Hades isn't looking, "The stage has been set, the bit actors have been reticent to act. I'll offer the rats greater incentive in the future." Such as, a new invasion perhaps.
Maleficent Maleficent follows Hades' gaze. "Yes." She seems almost mesmerized by her own imagination of "over the top villain stunt". Her voice, dreamily, adds: "With a chainsaw, yes, perfect."
Negaduck Over The Top Villain?!


Why, that's Negaduck's alley right there! The loud mouthed duck gives a maniacal grin. "Oho, if there is destruction to be had, I will be more than happy to accomodate the violence." Negaduck grits his teeth, "I owe many of these... dogooders a lesson for standing in the way of my plans."

His eyes narrow, "ESPECIALLY IF THAT BLASTED DETECTIVE--" Negaduck slams his fist against the book, "---INTERFERES! AND HIS LITTLE HOBO, TOO!"

He grinds his teeth. It is a wonder that Negaduck has yet to see Power Pig in a long time.
Hades Hades points out a window, "Is that power pig?!" he waits for the approprate response. Sip.
Negaduck twitches, "MITSUBISHI!!!"

The Yakuza sighs, "It's Mitsuyama."


And the Yakuza thug wanders over to procure a table for Negaduck.

Negaduck flips a table. Angrily.
LEXUS LEXUS makes some notes mentally, the designs in his eyes roatating and ticking forward and back in jerky, strange motions. Always working, always spinning. "Doctor Sevarius is, of course, at your service, Lady Maleficent." LEXUS replies. "I have so far kept him secure against heroic vengeance. If I locate anything of note, I will ensure it reaches the requestor."
Maleficent Maleficent says, "Then before we adjourn, my final note to you is one Lord Hades has highlighted for us previously. Hostages are invaluable. They value a single individual above all else- either by curse, or by poison, or by having their body. Envision a world where the "heroes" had all four crystals, and we had one girl. Most of them would trade the lives of everyone dependent on those magical constructs, for that one person. Do not be afraid to ransom what we can recapture.""
Negaduck Rubbing his bill, Negaduck considers Maleficent's words. "...Is that so...? Yeess..." The young man thinks over the idea. "Oho. I know how I can get us a hostage." Negaduck has a manical grin,


The mafia and the yakuza look at Negaduck awkwardly.


"LAUGH!" Negaduck whips out a chainsaw.

...And the men give an evil laugh, a bit awkwardly. Hoo boy. This is their new boss.

This scene contained 40 poses. The players who were present were: Negaduck, LEXUS, Maleficent, Seith, Hades, Kuja, Disarray, Rakassa