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No title.
(2012-12-27 - 2012-12-29)
No description.
Merlin A bevy of rodents 0bring those who are interested in saving Manhattan to the lake below District 3. It's a cavernous place, where noise is both echoey off the hard rock walls, and muted by the immense brown-black waters.

How Traverse Town hasn't fallen in is an open question.

In the middle of the lake appears to be some sort of an island; slippery stepping stones -- MOVING slippery stepping stones -- bridge the gap, for the brave, the foolish, or the foolishly brave.

There might be magic at work here. Otherwise, something's alive down there. Either way, the mice urge people onwards with excited squeaks, then disappear, down to the last whisker, into tunnels of their own.
Mercade Alexander Mercade is totally going to be here. Saving Manhattan... He holds out hope that it's possible, but perhapd he wondered if it was even truly possible.

Some direction on it proves to be... invigorating. Mercade follows the directions with eager anticipation, and looks over the lake. To those who would come with him, he says. "Huh. I wonder if we're meeting with Merlin tonight. This is his place."
Will Sherman Will follows a mouse, it tells him a tail of a wizard who wants to gather those involved with Manhattan together. This gives him paws, as he holds a cat by the tail who is trying to eat the magical talking rat, before shooing the cat away, getting the mousy looking man onto his arm to lead him to the cheese.

I mean wizard. Cheese Wizard? Will could use cheese right now.

Will blinks as the stepping stones appear, and disappear, and love to be slippery. The island in the center seems to be the place, as his magical friend runs off, which causes him to think. Shrugging...he leaps onto one, onto the next, and finally lands on the island. The stones just appearing as he leaps from one to the next, and not repeating this series of jumping puzzles for hours. Yes, Will abuses his luck to solve disappearing block puzzles.

"Maybe? You mean like, Merlin and King Arty, Merlin? He must be old like me."
Aerith It all led up to this moment.

Everything she'd worked for, all the people that helped her, had brought her to this place, the site where everything would begin.

The place was immense, without a trace of support for the ceiling. Yet she didn't ask what exactly kept the town from collapsing, because she already had a guess. Besides, she doubted there was time to look for a proper answer. Instead she moved forward, thanking the critters that brought her here before she glanced at the stones.

No turning back now, right?

"This is the place indeed." She glanced toward the man with the trench coat and hat, looking like something straight out of one of those old detective movies. She hadn't seen him before... but it didn't matter, did it? If he was here, he was a friend. Then someone else spoke and began to cross. She took it as her cue to follow. "Not too many have the same name as that."
Luso Clemens Following along after the rodents along with the others making up the group of people wishing to save Manhattan, Luso could only stare curiously, wondering just how this sort of thing was going to play out. He had never been below Traverse Town before actually, so it was an interesting sight to see for sure.

"Huh, you guys see that ilsand over there? Wow...we have to cross that huh?" The boy spoke to the others, not expecting an answer to his obvious question. "Looks kinda shakey if you ask me..." He spoke with an air of caution.

...And then he grinned. "Well! Only one way to find out! Let's go!" And so the idiot, I mean- hero, strode forward, diving headfirst into the stepping stone puzzle. He has a few near misses, but before too much longer, he finds himself on the shore of the island, nodding in satisfaction.

"Heh! Nothing to it!"
Mercade Alexander "Yeah." Mercade replies to Will. "But he looks /nothing/ like he does in Excalibur. It's pretty crazy." He looks around. "Things are going to get cramped, I think, if we're all going to have to go inside..."
Celina Duvalis Celina is fascinated by the smart little mice. She does, indeed, follow them, eventually getting together with the rest of the group as she eyeballs the moving slippery stepping stones.

"Why is it always jumping."

She demands this of no one in particular, but she stops next to Mercade. "I hope so." She says, eagerly, even as she quietly watches everyone hop across.

She barely makes it, faceplanting onto the ground on the other side. She's not a good jumper. "I hate jumping puzzles." Oh, Celly.
Faruja Senra Faruja's clanking armor and greaved toe-claws make quite a bit of racket as he walks into the appointed meetingplace. His ears fold back in irritation at so much sound, briefly reflecting on his dire lack of stealth, if it were ever actually needed. Coming upon the island, and a certain Detective, the Burmecian crosses his chest and smiles.

"I should certainly hope so! Or at least someone with an overall plan. 'Tis high time we strike back upon the Heretical witches who felled your city."

Blink. Then there's a flower girl. He bows to her as well. Gesturing to the island, he nods. "Anyone care for a ferrying, should the stones prove too much?"

As for his fellow mice? They're slipped some lettuce to eat. A glance to Luso. "...Mmm. How brave."
Maira Maira was quite delighted to find that a mouse had brought her a message, and cautiously hopeful that Merlin might have a way for them to save Manhattan. No way would she miss this.

She arrives on her own, dressed in her new (fireproof) clothes and smiling shyly, looking around with wide eyes filled with wonder. "Wow...never knew this was here..." she says to Uist, then strides forward as she sees some familiar faces.

Mercade!? Maira rushes forward. "Mercade! You're okay! I haven't seen you" well, he knows since when.

She turns then and calls to Aerith, waving emphatically. Looks like the mice brought a lot of messages!

Then, she notices Faruja as well. "Ah! Faruja!" she calls and scurries over toward him, hugging him fiercely.
Portobello Portobello had just returned to Traverse Town from the Chocobo Ranch and was planning out his next destionedwhen he had received this rather unusual message. It might have seem cryptic to some, but Portobello knew all too well this was exactly what he had been looking for. Had all that aimless traveling to gather information on something he knew so little about prove to be nothing more than a distraction? Or had his efforts somehow gone noticed and now was the time at had he could finally make a difference?

It didn't matter because the call had definitely gone out and he was not going to stand idle while somebody needed his help. He thought he had covered every corner of Traverse Town, though he had never come across this place before. The way it seemed so out of place with the rest of the town made the anticipation growing inside him all the more tense.
Jack Skellington It was not meant for him.

Perhaps it was meant for yet another hero, perhaps. Curiosity killed the cat, after all. Perhaps a bit too literately in this sense. For the cat found itself among the undead after a mis-turn, and dead he 'became'. The oddity of it all, to Jack, however, how the cat became alive once again as he took it out, no, left the world of Halloween Town.

"My... what a wonderous thing! I will call you Schrodinger!" The skeleton exclaimed, "Yet I wonder why, of all the names, that one leaps to my lips! ... Oh well." He exclaimed, letting it down.

Then he followed it. Followed it for so very long. It lept across the stones, but Jack did not follow it initially. Only as the others begin to arrive does something begin to stir.

Celina Duvalis barely lands onto the opposite side.

That is when a bony hand grasps at her, clenching around the ankle and beginning to slowly, surely, reel her into the water. Slow enough that she would be able to fight back - to fear. That is the point. But not slow enough that it is comical at best.
Will Sherman Will looks towards Faruja.

"I am not waring those clothes you sent to me. No way no how. They are itchy, smell weird, and of course look so...churchy." he says, disgruntled.
Tifa Lockhart A cheerful 'kweh~' is heard, approaching to gathering of people. Appointed time, letter in hand, delivery mouse perched on her head, the barmaid appears atop of the chocobo. Red in color too, as if it wasn't already flashy enough as it is, moving atop a chocobo in Traverse Town. She had to be quick, she got the 'mouse' not that long ago, so she came here post-haste.

She hops off the steed, offering a clump of greens along with a petting of its mane. The mouse on top of her head is mostly forgotten. Looks like it was happy to be 'higher than most' for once.

She walks over to Aerith, poking her shoulder, and pointing to the mouse "I haz a mousie." She says kiddingly. "I heard we found a way, then?"
Legion The Network is too neutral in alignment to get their own mouse. Umi, being hospitalized, instead gets a mouse that tends to her bandages while singing about it. She remains unconcious.

But they can follow the rest of the TDA. They do not, for the moment, try to steal Isaac's Pennybook. Two are missing from this escapade: Omi and Umi. The other three, who presently have not accepted names have come along, though, and when Isaac starts showing off like a big ol' show off, The three Legions follow behind him, seeming intrigued by this strange path.

"Does this lake have fishes?, The Network inquires." The one closest to Isaac asks.
The one at the rear, however, withdraws a magnifying glass and examines the square panels. Hmmmm. HMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm.

The one who asked about the fishes looks back towards Faruja and she clasps her hands to her mouth in alarm.

"Redwall." She whispers.
TRON Alan can't explain why he's here. The call seemed to... resonate, for lack of a better word.

But here he is, still wearing the same clothes he had worn when he was evacuated from Manhattan. People come and go, he spots a familiar face or two, and he decides he certainly doesn't want to be left behind as the crowd begins crossing the lake. He carefully jumps across the moving steps to join the others, seemingly unchallenged by the obstacle.
Aerith Aerith glanced toward Tifa and Maira with a grin. "Glad you guys could make it! And yes, you has a cute mousie." She leapt toward yet another stepping stone. "Apparently there is a way to do this, but we all had to be here at once for it to happen." She made her way across to the next one, the island looming ever closer. "Whatever's gonna happen though, I'm ready for it."
Mercade Alexander "Maira!" Mercade calls. He waves, smiling. "I'm glad to see you again! I'm sorry, things had been really... weird." He admits, a litle crestfallen. "But we're all here, and that's what matters."

He chuckles to Isaac, and shrugs. "Well, if anyone seems deserving of the name, this guy is it. He's pretty archetypal. You'll love it, Isaac."

He waves to Faruja. "Hello, Sir Knight! Good to see you again! And you too, Aerith!" Man, /everyone/ is showing up here! Even a bunch of people he's never met!

He smiles. There are heroes left in Man yet.
Celina Duvalis Celina gives a sharp, sudden squeal, as she's grabbed via the ankle on her way back up to safe ground. Cue comic flailing as the woman attempts to grab on to the next nearest heavy, stable object, or nearest person.

"Augh! Nononononono!" Celly does not like being grabbed by things!
Isaac Hanlon The panels look like glass, grip like a paved street, and gradually lose their light and fade away after a period of standing on them. Tricky things.

"I suspect that if it has fish," Isaac replies over his shoulder, "they'll leave us alone til we get to the other side. You could come back with a rod and some bait if you want, though."
Deidra Deidra is hot on Merade's heels as she arrives not flying but walking this time. "Maira!." Issac she doesn't know yet she give shia grin and tries to not look like a threat at the man. "hello there!" Mercade seemns to know him it mens he should be all right, right?! Alan gets a notice from the gargyole but not. "It seems we're not the only ones here."
Luso Clemens Standing on the shore of the island, Luso watched as the other congregated, socializing with each other. "Man, looks like the calvary's come out this time!" He mused aloud, rubbing the back of his head idly.

He smiled as he watched everyone's convercations momentarily before turning his back to them to check out the rest of the island from where he stood. "Wonder whats gonna go down here though..."

An arm rested upon his grimoire lazily as he spoke to himself. "...Saving'd be great if we could free it from the darkness."
Portobello Portobello heard a rather familiar 'kweh' noise as he turned towards the direction of it, only to see an even more familiar red shape as he went over to greet the rider, tilting his head upwards to face her, "Miss Tifa, you came here too? I should not be surprised considering the message that was given. It seems like those who are watching us have set a path for us to follow now, Kupo." He says in a somewhat excited voice. Nomrally he's not so alert in tone and demeanor but this was certainly an occurance that demanded his full perception.
Faruja Senra Suddenly, a Maira! Faruja's smile blossoms as he hears the woman's voice, and then finds himself going red in the ears as he's hugged! In public! Briefly looking torn, he finally settles on hugging back, the emotionally charged week finally breaking down his propriety.

"Lady Maira! My, my! You look absolutely /glorious/ M'Lady! Mayhap not something I would have picked for you, but 'tis suiting!" A pause.

"...'Tis resistant to flame, yes? I have only so many robes to lend."

Eventually, he'll let go of Maira, bowing to those who arrive. Will gets a brief glare. "Mayhap, then, Ser Sherman, I shall have you dressed as a nun for our little gathering if you find them unsuiting of you, hmm?" Peeer! Peer!

One ear perks to Legion, and the rat-man tilts his head. There's no sword on this mouse, and he certainly doesn't know anyone by the name of Martin! Still, he gives a pleasant smile and a crossing of his chest. "M'Lady, good 'eve."

To Tifa, he winces briefly, at seeing the color of her chocobo. He clears his throat. "Ahh, Lady Lockhart, 'tis a pleasure as always. be careful. Such a breed of chocobo is rather...ahh...prone to collatoral damage." Hopefully there won't be any chocometeors here.

"Lady Deidra! Excellent, excellent. I see I am in good compan..." There's a scream.

"Never a dull moment. Come, M'Lady!" Maira is scooped up by the ratling, and he Jumps towards the lake!

"Unhand the Lady, knave!" With Maira in his arms, he can't exactly draw a spear. But hopefully Maira can help with her pyrotecnics.
TRON Celina happens to grab Alan's sleeve in the midst of her flailing. He glances down at her in surprise, then just as quickly moves to help pull her away from the water's edge. How successful this proves to be remains to be seen, but at least it'll keep her from falling in!

"Are you alright?" His question is drowned out by Faruja's call to arms, a voice he recognizes at least in this group of unfamiliarity.
Maira As Maira turns to cross the lake, she watches a new figure, Isaac, making the crossing a little easier. Grinning, she calls out to him, "THANK YOOOUU!" because she is pretty sure drowning in Merlin's lake isn't going to make the best impression.

Maira waves to everyone else she knows, and those she doesn't friendly and feeling optimistic. She looks back to Mercade then, giving him a resolute nod. "I know. We're going to save Manhattan though. We're going to do it."

Then, she turns back to Faruja, blushing as she looks down at her dress. "Heh...thank you. It is really amazing isn't it? I can't believe Ivo did this. YES, it is fire proof!" she comments.

Then, Faruja scoops her up! Maira squees briefly then holds on, laughing all the while.
Merlin The island is occupied by a curious structure. 'Ramshackle' describes it well, in a single word. 'Exploding' is also adequate, right at the moment, as the roof literally comes right off in a cloud of pink smoke.

"0OUT!" shouts a furious, quavery old man voice. "0My automatic potato smasher! My bottle rocket! /My light bulb/! You... you... you... you are disrupting vital experiments!"

An old woman voice that is as maliciously amused as it is furious reOut? You want me out? You're the one who's been needing to come out for centuries, you old, old, old trout!"

"0A /trout/ am I? I'll show you a trout!"

And then things get very, very, very quiet, for a dreadfully long moment, before the female voice starts laughing maniacally. Its source is revealed in the grotesque visage of a crone with a moYou're /soooooooo/ predictable, Merlin dear! You thought you could get the better of Mad Madam Mim! AHAHAHAHAHA!"

Then she notices the small army of heroes arrayed around the edges of the island.


"0Ahem. I'll just be going~"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods and smiles to Portobello "I told you we were looking for a way to restore Manhattan. This is the time."

She walks over to Mercade, hold the chcoobo's reins with one hand "Mercade, looks like we'll have to move our plans of the bar if we an manage this." She looks over to the rest of the gathering "... And looking at everyone here, full of confidence, how can we fail?" She doesn't mean to find ways to, but it would demolish everyone if it didn't happen.

She turns over to Merlin as he appears, lifting an eyebrow. The mouse on her head squeaks and hops down, running over back to Merlin's side.
Aerith Aerith's eyes widened as the cackle echoed across the cavern, then narrowed her eyes as she lifted her right hand. "You're not going anywhere..."

Something new happened. Something that didn't come from her materia.

A bright green burst of energy fired from the palm of her hand, heading straight for... Mad Madam Mim. The name would have made her laugh if she weren't such an obstacle. "Put the fish bowl down, now!"
Will Sherman Will pauses...

Looking at Celina as Jack plays his trick. He looks towards the water, seeing...

Not evil. He thinks about this for a moment, not meeting the man before, but something...just doesn't peg as...bad. Also, the fact that he wasn't dragging her dangerously, so...

Then the scream of TROUT!

Will turns, watching as Mim walks out with the bowl under her hand. He looks at the bowl with the bearded fish, and then Mim...

Fish don't have strings like this, and Mim's own strings were...

"Hi. I'll that fish off your hands ma'am! I insist in helping the elderly!" he says, running by, trying to grab the bowl away from her while his hands move to try and touch the strings of fate he has...

Which will no doubt act strangely to the sorceress. She could see them, and the no small amount of magic this boy has.
Mercade Alexander Mercade reels as the explosion blows the top of the building.


With several backsteps, he flips his hand, producing a pearl-handled revolver. Sort of like the ones you see stage magicians use, really. Except this one isn't loaded with blanks. He leveld the gun at Madam Mim, and yells, "Unhand that wizardly trout, witch!" He doesn't fire yet, but he does get ready for potential retaliation, sticking to a ranged position at the edge of the lake.
Luso Clemens Luso could hear the faint sounds of two people arguing from inside of the shack and stepped forward for better listening. "Huh? You guys hear that?" And then came the silence. "......I guess I was just hearing--WHOA" Seeing the woman come out, a very strange looking trout under her arm.

"....Well, this just looks all sorts of-" But there was no time left to comment as whoosh! Here came a flurry of attacks from the heroes behind him! "Whoa hey! You guys could have warned me!" Luso cried, leaping back out of the line of fire as he drew the Ogun Blade and the Kwigon Blade.

"Alright! I'm gonna guess we need that trout! So if you don't mind Lady, we'll be taking it back!" Grinning confidently, the boy then began to glow with an orange aura, powering himself up for the next move.
Portobello Portobello was about to ask Tifa about her friend beside her when the cackling noise had drawn his attention towards the house in the center of the island. He heard the arguements of what he thought were some old couple fighting but it turned out to be something a bit more serious than that.

"Kupo, I guess we're on the right path if the way ahead of us is filled with dangerous obsticles, yes?" He reaches for his pouches on his belt, taking out their contents which are two small consoles with more dials, buttons and control sticks on them than one might realize. He flicks a switch on the side of the left one as a humming noise is heard from his backpack.
Deidra Deidra watches as things get fishy as heck. Mim shows up, pranks are played, and all sorts of other antics going on. She narrows her eyes for a little bit she doesn't like where this is going but it seems to be time to get started. She's got her spell book out nd she looking at Mim. "All right, put the fish down lady. This is your only warning!"
Legion The Legion that asked about the fishes skips on over to Faruja, hesitatingly, and then Faruja does knightly things (swordlessness notwithstanding) which makes her stall a bit. There's a fight. what? what? What's going on? She lowers her hand, however, a bit dissapointed, she looks after Faruja, her eyes--filled with a certain kind of longing.


"Are they flirting?, The Network inquires?" Magnifying Glass Legion asks.
"I think it is practical jokery." The one behind her says.
But the one who had been fawning over FAruja is distracted. By Fish!!! No...


We'll call her Animal Loving Legion. Animal Loving Legion's cheeks puff out as she observes the Sorceress, her hands shake faintly before she says, "I don't know what's going on here, The Network admits, but abusing that poor old fish while I'm around."
"...The Network notes that the fish is probably Merlin." Magnifying Glass Legion says.
"He's still a fish, and even a sorceror fish needs help sometimes." She skips on after Mim but doesn't strike at her. She's worried about hitting poor Merlin! Instead, electtricity rippls around her. She fans out both her arms and sends a protective electric shield around Mercade and Will---

--and FARUJA because he's a noble churchrat.

"Please let go of him, ma'am." She says. "I will give you ten munny."
CADUCEUS The sound a light cycle humming before a green one comes to the sound of the commotion, though the lack of real way to ride across caused the rider to stop. He then turns around and rides off, speeding off. As he vanishes the sound of that humming is getting fainter before it becomes louder and louder and louder and next thing one would know, the cycle comes out, leaping across the water.

The cycle manages to make it though it lands on the front wheel and flips, sliding forward. As it slides the cycle disolves in green holographic light, revealing CADUCEUS sliding forward now as he tries to get up, green glowing rod being put along his leg.

"Did I miss anything?"
Isaac Hanlon Isaac steps off onto the island. He observes the shenanigans perpetrated by the other heroes et al, and grins a little at Mercade as he goes. "Yeah? We'll see --" He stops, eyes catching the roof exploding off the house in the... pink? of smoke. He looks a little perplexed.

Then, the hag comes out. Isaac stares at her for just a second, but then catches himself. He composes himself, holding his tablet in one hand and his field of vision, watching her with the fishbowl as the realization that she just ran smack-dab into the collected and assorted Forces of Goodness and Light appears on her face.

"It's just times like these that make it all worth it, y'know?" Isaac asides to Mercade as he backs off. He utters a quick few syllables, making a broad sweeping motion with his free hand, and a barrier of what appears to be poorly-rendered fire springs up around him. He steps back, and up, and he's in the air again. The barrier turns itself into a sphere as soon as he leaves the ground.

"Excuse me, Miss Mad Madam Mim?" he calls. "My name is Isaac Hanlon, and these are my friends and their friends and so on. We'd like to have a word with Merlin. Would you mind..." He stops, looking around for a moment as a bunch of people ask what he was about to.

Isaac gestures with his free hand, shrugging a shoulder. "Y'know. What they said."
Faruja Senra And, Maira is let down, the sudden appearance of a laughing madwoman briefly distracting him from Celina's troubles. "...I think not. Do put the...gentlebeing down, if you please." Then, there's Aerith's materia and associated green burst of light. Well.

Standing in front of Maira protectively, he levels his spear, already glowing white. A few incantations later, and several of those across will find themselves under the effects of a Protect spell.

All of this, of course, means that he mostly misses Animal Loving Legion's look. But he does note the electric shield. "Look about you, M'Lady. There are far too many of us, and but one of you. You shall be over run if you do not put down..." An ear perks to Legion. "As the Lady says, Ser Merlin. We've business with the gentlefish. Pray do not interrupt it."

Twitch. The rat briefly glares in the direction of a Priestess of the Other Church balefully. Something about heathens is muttered under his breath even as he keeps his attention on the old crone.
Maira Suddenly, all the world has come to a stop.

Maira looks backward as Faruja leaps, her whole lurching into dramatic slow-motion.

"Oooh...." she utters, her voice expressing the longing and surprise of someone who has fallen in love at first sight.

Her gaze is fixed upon CADUCEUS, or, more accurately, his light cycle.

Also, there's some kind of explosion or something?

LIGHT CYCLE! She is actually making grabby hands.

Right. Stuff is happening, Uist reminds her sternly with a quick pinch. There is some old women with a bearded fish in a bowl trying to get away and people don't seem too pleased with it.

B-b-but...she gazes back toward the light cycle while she casts a protection spell.
TRON The roof exploding off of the ramshackle hut in a cloud of pink smoke caught Alan's attention immediately, initial surprise being quickly replaced by a sharply focused look. Explosions rarely equal something /good/ happening, no matter what world one comes from. He makes sure Celina Duvalis is safely on solid ground before moving to intercept Mad Madam Mim with the others.

CADUCEUS' appearance is a welcome familiar face as everyone prepares for a fight. "CADUCEUS! Glad you could make it!" Alan takes his glasses off and tucks them into a back pocket before untucking his shirt from his beltline. He pulls free what appears to be a silver Frisbee with glowing white-blue rings on the surface, shifting to a battle-ready stance and pooling his strength for combat.
Mad Madam Mim "0Witch?!" squeals Mim angrily, as asYou will address me as /Madam/!" Then somebody does, and she grins, very toothily, at Isaac. "0I couldn't agree more, young man," is her somewhat ominous remark re: moments like these being what makes everything worthwhile.

Then Will runs in and tries to grab the fishbowl. He yanks it straight out of her hands, and she stomps her foot painfully hard from in midair, where she stands. The trout inside, meanwhile, seems to be muttering strings of nonsense words -- either he isn't all there, or he's trying to do something. He's not going to be a lot of help right now either way.

"0Hee hee hee hee! When I caught that mouse in my trap, I never thought it would lead me to so /many/ more." She wriggles her fingers, and rays of light pour out of them to cover each and every person on the battlefield. When the light clears... there are, indeed, many more mice, still clad in appropriate anthropogenic clothing and armed with tiny weapons. No one is spared, though it disorients some more than others, no doubt.

StooWhatcha gonna do now?"
Jack Skellington Slips under the water at the scream, then appears atop the building, watching on.

"How wonderful a scream!" He exclaims, grinning wide... "And a scene... my, such a .. You aren't a witch?" The skeleton asks. "How odd..."
CADUCEUS CADUCEUS pulls his disc off and as the light comes he uses his disk as a shield to deflect the light back and he glances around to find himself...small. " not logical." He says, seeming somewhat confused before he turned his attention to Tron. "Hey! Came to investigate the noise." He says as he would turn the disk over so he could poke at the glowing green lines, and holds the flat side up to TRON. "Let me give you a hand!" He says and when TRON looks, he should notice a green holographic visor forming along his eyes giving him a heads up display to increase accuracy, his disk should gain a green holographic edge and his body gains green holographic armor, with an increase to his systems.
Aerith And now Aerith is... a little bitty mouse! And she's not necessarily having a good time of it, as she finds the world spinning before her. She is certainly a cutie though, her jeans, jacket, and other clothing articles. She still has that staff, too. peach colored fur, the same light brown hair, the same clear green eyes... which now blink in confusion as the world suddenly gets much bigger. She glanced toward Tifa, her eyes narrowed. "Okay fine, we'll do this the hard way. Tifa, let's go!"

Aerith sprinted forward, alongside Tifa, giving some proper artillery support with bolts of spirit energy. If nothing else, she's got some spunk for a mousie!
Luso Clemens "Eh?"

What was all Luso managed to get out before FLASH. Suddenly the world got a WHOLE LOT BIGGER. Opening his eyes then, he blinked a couple times before glancing about. "...Ergh...Why do I suddenly feel so...out of it?" The boy mumbled, rubbing the side of his head with a paw.

Wait, a paw?

"Eh? EHHHH!? What the heck happened!?" Luso cried, lamenting his own appearance. The others could see a brown mouse, donning a red hat with multiple tiny weapons strapped behind it. It was...a hilarious sight really.

"I'm so gonna get you for this one!" He yelled, gripping his tiny weapons indignantly before running forward to unleash the most powerful combo of slashes that his mousy little body could muster! "Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Mercade Alexander "Yeah, I think it does, Isaac." Mercade replies, grinning.

And then the, well, witch turns him into a mouse! Mercade is stunned from the magical assauly, and he looks down at himself, woozily patting his now furry self. "Wow. Is this what it's like to be Faruja?" He says, offhandedly. He grimaces, experimentally opening and closing his mouth a bit. "Wow, that's crazy." He squeaks.

The Mouse Detective (he's not Great yet!) holds up his tiny gun. "What am I going to do, you ask?" Mercade says. "I'm going to do THIS!" He fires bullets from the tiny gun, possibly sending Mim flying all over the place!
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart didn't even realize that was a bad person, honestly. She just heard an explosion... but she's at Merlin's house. He's a wizard. Wizard do stuff that go boom.

She doesn't know much about wizards.

But she definitely know something's bad when the magical attacks come her way. Why is it always magical lately!?! ;_; It hurts. And apparently also turns her into a mouse? She has a 'squeak' sound whens he wants to talk, hands coming over her mouth "What's going on?!!?" She's still dressed in her leather suit, that is still tight fitting (but less curvy inside of it), and she scratches the hurt tip of her ear "Why are you a mouse Aerith?" She looks at herself "Why am I a mouse Aerith?"

It was that attack wasn't it... that lady needs to learn some manners, jsut attacking like that. well she did come out of Merlin's house, so probably the reason for the explosions. Time to distribute some mousie fists of justice then!
Portobello Portobello didn't have much time to prepare himself for the spell that was about to be cast. Though he noticed whomever got hit by the magic suddenly dissapeared before his wait, did they turn into mice? His question is soon answered as him and his equipment is quickly reduced in size as well, now standing around the same height as mouse Tifa and mouse Aerith and anyone else who was nearby, "Kupo...being small is suppose to discourage me? You'll have to do much better than that!" He calls out, even if his voice is quite tiny. He presses a button on the small consoles and the bottom of his backpack extends a pair of thrusters which propel him into the air.
Maira ...Lot of good that protection spell did her. Suddenly, everything is growing HUGE around her, the world becoming a terrifyingly large and alien place. Ah, but it is not growing, is it? She is /shrinking/!

Blinking two little mouse eyes, Maira stands up on two cute little mouse feet and looks down at herself. "SQUEAK!" She's a mouse! A MOUSE! Oh no oh no oh no! Maira turns to Faruja, who is, well, the only one here who was already sort of a mouse. Now he's just smaller? Maira is very confused! So, this woman is a mage is she!? Well! So is Maira! She's going to fight back!

Wait! Wait! Is the light cycle okay!?


Her little tail catches flame as she summons her magic (well, at least that still works!) and produces a fireball about ten times her size like it is no big deal. She lets out a mousy battle-cry that only manages to be completely adorable and not the least bit frightening.

But fire burns all the same, right?
Deidra Deidra says "Madam wait you want to be assoiate with running a brothel?" The Gargyole just stares at the witch for a moment longer oh well if she wnat sto be refered to as that she might as well be. She's now caught in the attack it's a whole lot of mice, mice knights are asasuklting her but she surived well enough. Shortly she's got the book open and is just chanting a spell turning the winds on witch she'll attempt to air juggle her and she contiunes chanting in latin! As more bursts of wind. She's not even noticed she's a mouse yet. She's too busy focusing on her spells and the tornato keeps coming.
TRON Alan braces himself for an attack, his disc rising to block it--

--Only to be blinded by a burst of light and his entire sense of perspective goes askew.

He shakes his head and looks around, his nose twitching... wait. Nose? Small hands search over his form, Big round ears, fur, whiskers, even a tail--and it looks like he's holding a tiny glowing saucer for a disc. This does not compute, and he almost visibly bluescreens for a few moments.

CADUCEUS' familiar voice snaps him out of it as the other Program gets closer, his vision turning green as the enhancements take effect. "SQUEAK! My thanks, Program." He twirls his itty-bitty disc between his paws, focusing back on Mad Madam Mim as he retakes his stance. It's actually kinda funny, in a way.

With a grunted squeak, he spins and lets his disc fly, aiming specifically to make her drop the fish bowl. Hopefully it's not fragile.
Isaac Hanlon Oddly, fire does not block light. Go figure.

Isaac's position in the air amongst the light show is pretty obvious -- he's a ball of upwards- (and downwards-) flowing fire under attack by a bunch of jealous lasers. Inside it, he's got a clear line of sight on the witch laying down the fire, but his perspective seems... skewed. He looks down at himself, and sees everything is pretty normal, except he's... fuzzy?

Isaac's expression is best described as 'colon vertical line'.

There's another throat-clearing sound. His squeaking voice abruptly takes on normal pitch and tone again -- a simple task for someone who uses sound so much in what he does. "Okay. That's kind of obnoxious. Here, have one of mine."

The ball of fire he's hovering around in abruptly shrinks to appropriate rodent proportions. The surface of the fire trembles for a moment, and the surface of the lake does with it. Two spouts of water shoot straight up and then curve back downwards, dropping towards the witch and exploding into droplets, a fine mist of pretty much just annoying rain.

Well... it'd be merely annoying if it wasn't falling at several times normal gravity, making each droplet feel like a stone. The fact that when they land they explode into a noise not unlike the sound of snow on a TV amplified several times over probably sucks, too.
Will Sherman Will...

Is a lot smaller looking up at the ugly mug of the mad witch. He looks...preturbed by this, being a mouse. He isn't a mouse, even though his hat is still on his head, and he looks like a strange new york mouse with dirty fur. His right hand starts to spark, realizing his still has the power, and then he looks towards Mad Mim, as he simply reaches up...

This time, he starts tearing at her strings, these things become visible, brilliantly so, as he dives at her face, even if he can't hurt her much? The fact that her strings are still laid bare to him CAN. Each scratch, each bite, each annoying tail flick against her nose...

"Squeek." he says annoyed.
CADUCEUS CADUCEUS then looks about and gives a good look of himself over. He seems to be...fatter. There was a tail coming out of his rump but this tail looked more like a wire. He then notice that...his face clicks. He has become an animated computer mouse! With little itty bitty green disk in hand, He throws it at the Madam, and as it flies, it will bounce off any nearby surroundings and ricochets off a nearby surface to fly at the madam in another direction before it ricochets yet again to fly against her before it flies back to CADUCEUS, Computer mouse medic.


Suddenly Animal Loving Legion is a mouse. She blinks twice. Her whiskers twitch. She lowers the gun (now adorable) she was about to shoot Mim with. Her tail twitches from side to side. She looks back at it and squeaks.
She blinks a few more times.
And then she takes in a slow breath and looks to her fellow Miced Legions. She smiles at them and says, "Isn't...isn't this wonderful? What a nice kidnapper..."
The two Miced Legions look back at her in a decidedly nonplussed manner. The Legion with the magnifying glass now kind of looks like a female mouse version of Basil from The Great Mouse Detective except a lot less pompous so, basically, not like Basil at all.

Animal Loving Legion looks back towards Faruja, who has provided her with protective magic. "Thank you." She says. "And now..." She lowers her head faintly. "...We can always be together."

She looks up hopefully towards Faruja.

"That was a joke." She says. "But this is the best day of my life, all the same. This node confirms that she can die happy now."

Magnifying Glass Mouse facepaws.

She draws back out her pistol and fires a few shots off with it for Madam Mim, a big smile on her face before a blast of thunder comes down, threatening to collide against Mim's body yet, mysteriously, controlled enough that it doesn't get in that fishbowl. She is totally blissful. Everybody is a mouse.

The world is wonderful.
Mad Madam Mim Mad Madam Mim is alternatively blasted, beaten, shot, stabbed and generally maltreated.

Ergo, she decides to depart.

"0I won't forget this / your chances are slim! / when next you encounter me / mad madam / mad madam / mad mad mad mad madam Mim!"

And off she goes, disappearing into thin air with a series of cackles and all-purpose amusement.

Merlin, meanwhile, rises out of the pot with a muttered 'hickety bickety'. He looks straight out of the storybooks, white-bearded as before, blue-robed as one might expect, and eye-twinkled, though right at the moment he seems more annoyed than anything else, to have been shown up by his rival.
A second brief incantation restores everyone back to normal.

"Well! That was an adventure," he grouses, before restoring the roof, as well, with a flick of his hands, and heading back inside. "Do come in! We have much to discuss."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart only gets to punch her once! Hey, come back here! Oh well. These mousie fists don't reach far enough anyway.

And then its human fists again. Given that the space they need is much smaller as a mouse than a human, there's likely to have quite the bit of body-bumping as they get back to normal.

Tifa gets knocked down backward into a random person with a 'ack!'
Aerith Suddenly the world returns to normal, and Aerith's initial suspicions were confirmed. Fish = Merlin.

She made an attempt to be the first inside, to see what the fuss was all about. Aerith looked back at Tifa and gestured toward her for a moment. "Come on, let's get moving. She was just a side show anyway." It didn't feel pleasant to face her again, though... She'd have to be careful.
CADUCEUS CADUCEUS looks to himself as he is turned back. "That...did not compute..." He says as he sighs and looks to the various people. "Those injured please come to me and I will see about treating those injuries." He calls as he begins to treat TRON and Maira, TRON cause he was awesome and Maira cause she has good taste.
Faruja Senra Suddenly, magic. Blink. Blink. Faruja is...smaller. Mouse-sized. But otherwise unchanged. Glancing to his companions, the now even shorter Burmecian glares at the suddenly giant Witch, trembling in undisguised anger, as the implications hit him. "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, I AM A NEZUMI, NOT A FARAM-BLASTED MOUSE YOU FOOLISH HUMAN!" The rat's darn loud, even pint-sized.

The resulting beam of Light he tries to slam down upon the offending Madam's head is thus rather inaccurate. At least Maira's helping out with the spells. Still, time to switch up, the ratling healing his new fellow mice of their wounds while performing his usual role of 'be the meatshield for Fire Lady'.

On the upside? He turns to Maira. Blink. He stares a moment before hurriedly looking away. "...My, my." Blush! She looks even better with a proper tail! Cough. "Have no fear, M'Lady! Though our stature may be reduced, 'tis our SOULS that stand taller than this miniscule Witch! Fight bravely!"

Of course, even as he applies healing to accentuate his point, Animal Legion speaks. It throws off his heroic speech nicely. Slowly he turns, staring at the Animal Loving Legion. His muzzle drops, then closes. Staaare. A moment passes. Slowly, a blush claims the white of his fur.

"B...we have h...hardly m...I...." Cue one flustered Templar. Thud thud thud.

'A joke.' The rat visibly deflates. "...Quite, M'Lady! Temple Knight Faruja Senra, of the Church of Saint Ajora, well met, and the like! But introductions later, and please do not joke of such! I..." His head droops.

"...the good Lord did not bless me with luck amongst Dames." Siiigh.

But there's fighting to do. Shots, and punches, and other things of pain are applied to Mim, and she's driven off. Faruja shakes his spear. "Flee, coward! For when next we meet, you shan't be so lucky Witch!"

The Holy Dragoon then begins to tend to the wounds of everyone alongside Caduceus, though notably he doesn't deign to make eye contact with the Guado, even if she allows him to cast upon her. At least the Burmecian's back to normal size, but no less or more mousey.
Deidra Deidra isn't sure what to think of Mim, her choice of title prehaps it's some cultural differnce between wordls who knows but she's gone as quickly as she came. Who the heck was she? She's going to have to look up that Mim did seem to be notably powrfuil as she realise she's a mouse. Just as she does it's not a issues any more the Gargyole shakes her head a little bit and she looks to Faruja for a moment "So.... you all right? Is everyone else?"
TRON Alan's disc comes flying back to him as Mad Madam Mim decides to teleport away instead of causing further chaos. He barely has enough time to let out an annoyed huff before perspective changes yet again and he loses his sense of balance. He takes a knee to recover, shaking his head woozily, and CADUCEUS' healing takes effect moments later.

"That was... interesting..." Alan sounds less-than-certain as he tucks his disc back underneath his turtleneck and slowly rises back to his feet. He nods a silent thanks to CADUCEUS and motions for the Program to follow when he can, moving to follow Merlin himself.
Will Sherman Will is a hobo again.

"You know I am really not okay with being a rat. It smells weird...I have a strong desire for cheese, and everything is tiny. GOd and the smel-" he looks at Faruja. Then back at himself. "God the smell." he says, shuddering, and walks inside after Merlin.
Portobello Portobello apparently had not crossed enough distance to close the gap between himself and the evil witch in time and the barrage of attacks from the others had quickly taken the fight out of her. Well, at least that issue was out of the way, and the man who was a fish had been restored soon after and had taken care of their small problem.

If that gentleman in the blue outfit didn't have the magic he did then traveling about as a mouse would have been a harrowing experience. It's enough of a bother that he gets knocked about on occation when moving through crowds, having to worry about ending up underfoot would have been nerve wracking. Once he's invited inside he quickly files in along with the others and heads towards a spot where he can see and heard Merlin properly so all of what's going on can be revealed.
Maira Maira looks toward Faruja only to find him staring at her and blushing. She blinks several times in confusion. Why is he staring!?

Then, in what seems like a flash, Maira is growing again. This is incredibly disorienting. She is quite glad that Madam Mim has decided she doesn't want to drag out a fight, but really, everything is happening so quickly.

Thankful to be herself again, all the same she sits down for a moment, reeling from the rapid changes in her form. "Unnnng...." she says, flopping back only to be tended by CAD.

She turns to look toward him, her eyes widening as she grabs for his sleeve. " it alright? The shiny?"

....As mentioned, magic is a hell of a drug.
Luso Clemens Poof!

And then suddenly he was no longer a mouse!

"Phew! That was the weirdest thing I've ever had to go through since that time I had to go on that wild goose chase to cure Frimelda!" Grinning despite the experience, Luso, sheathed his swords and chuckled, looking about at everyone else.

Looks like they were fine as well. Good, good! The boy's attention was then drawn to Merlin, raising an eyebrow at his appearance. Huh, he looked....exactly like he expected a Merlin to look. Funny that.

Oh well! No more need to dwell on the past! Time to follow and see what was what! Manhattan was hanging in the balance now after all!

The sooner they could talk things out, the sooner they'd figure out what to do about the fallen world.
Isaac Hanlon Mouse!Isaac turns off the storm before anyone gets bruised and deafened by rain. He's polite like that.

Then, suddenly, back to normal. He drops a plethora of spells, both from his memory and his tablet's. The firewall disappears, and he floats back to the ground, landing lightly. He glances around, quirking a brow at the Legionaires as if nonverbally acting concerned, and then turns ahead again. Isaac slips his tablet back into his coat pocket, letting his hand rest lightly on it inside.

Right. House. Isaac starts for the door, observing magic in action. He takes mental notes, deciding to commit them to electronic form later.

Ami wasn't really joking (except perhaps in terms of level). She's just super shy and afraid of rejection?!


Ami raises her hand in the air, noticing Faruja's say, "a..ah...ah...s..s..." She stammers before lowering her hand and looking totally miserable.

She kicks her foot across the ground lightly and not even returning to human form and Merlin being saved can really cheer her up.

The Legions walk in, Animal Loving Legion continuing her staaaaaaaaaaaring at Faruja.
Mercade Alexander And Mim engages in a tactical retreat. Mousecade looks over at the purple-pink smoke. "That won't be the last time we'll have to deal with that maniac." He says.

Merlin restores himself, and then everyone else. Mercade checks himself for any leftover fur (or tail, that would be embarassing). Satisfied that he's restored, Mercade waves to Merlin in the distance. "Hey Merlin! Good to see you again!" He begins hopping his way across the platforms. He's done this before a few times, so he's getting used to it. "Hippoty hoppity..."

Once he finally gets across, he joins the growing throng. "You called us here, Merlin? I'm glad we were here in time to give you a hand."
CADUCEUS CADUCEUS chuckles. "It is alright." He says with a happy tone before looking up to TRON and nodding as he makes sure the self repair code was implimented and was working properly on Maira before going to follow the program pretending to be a user.
Will Sherman Will looks at Faruja.

"Geeze, dude. Way to make the girl upset!" he glares at him, crossing his arms and looking at the Rat with a bit of a scowl. "Seriously. Jerk." Will says, completely put off by the rat's treatement of Ami, who is friends by proxy with.
Celina Duvalis For the record, Celina mouse promptly scampered into the nearest hidey hole.

At the end of the mouse-time, she eventually wanders back into the area, right behind Mercade, her eye twitching slightly. Guh.
Merlin In the next few minutes, more people arrive; in the end, the shack is packed with good-hearted folks, and perhaps a few who were pretending to be. "Mustn't be long," mutters Merlin as he bumbles about, straightening books and papers by the expedient of animating everything, no matter how large or how small. Paper soldiers jostle for space with major dustpan and sergeant broom. A few are swept away by mistake. "So much to do, so much to do."

He makes tracks for a crystal ball, and with a tap of his hand, it fizzes into life. "Gather round, everyone."

An image gradually forms in its depths; at first the static-like mist is impenetrable, but eventually... it looks, for all the world, like the most beautiful gemstone in the world. In any world. Whatever one's favorite color is, that is what one sees, as imbued within infinite facets and mesmerizing sparkles.

Clearing his throat pedantically -- ahemhemhem! -- he announces, "I'll keep this brief."

An owl launches off of a wardrobe, chuckling hoots to himself. He seems to think that's an unlikely prospect. "Silence, Archimedes!" Merlin chides, wrinkling his nose at him. "Ingrate of an owl. As I was saying: you're all quite lucky. Manhattan remains a protected world, and that means it can be saved -- brains over brawn, as always, will win the day, if we can do the job right under the noses of those who would see it, and its occupants, gone forever."
Faruja Senra "WE ARE QUITE CLEAN, SER SHERMAN, THANK YOU SER!" Comes Faruja's response about smell and mice-like things. The nerve of hobos! So much still-short nezumi anger.

Blink. The little ratling frowns as he looks to Maira, tilting his head. "...Are you quite alright, my friend?" he asks with mild concern.

One ear folds. Then, there's Animal Loving Legion. Between Will and her, he finally gets it! "What ever are you...?" Wait for it. Wait for it! "...Oh Lord in heaven, nay! Ahh, oh Faram, pray forgive me M'Lady...damnit, 'tis not what I meant." A hand goes to the back of his head. He's bad at this sort of thing. Walking towards her, he kneels briefly, offering a hand. Should she take it, he'll kiss hers on the palm.

"If you truly meant what you said, then I am truly flattered, M'Lady. But we have only just met, and I should caution you to get to know me, before you set your heart in motion, dear, sweet Lady. Come, give me your name, and accept my apologies for, as Ser Sherman so aptly describes, my 'jerk' behaviour. May I offer you dinner in apologies for my absolutely brutish manners in the heat of battle?" The rat turns to Will, briefly, and nods. If nothing else, he knows how to make an apology.

Once that's done? He'll follow in with the rest.
Aerith Aerith blinked for a moment. "I figure it wasn't all gone, but... It'll be a bit more difficult getting in than getting out..." She didn't say it was impossible. Just that it was difficult. "...And even once we do, we have to make our way past thousands of Heartless and multiple Shadow Lords that have no doubt been left behind to guard their new territory."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart picks herself up off after being bumped like that, and shakes her head. They were mice, and wizard was a fish. Nothing wrong here, you think?

She sighs and pats her chocobo's mane a bit "You go wait over there, Premium." She smiles, and the red chocobo trots off to the side, finding a bit of green to relax around of.

She follows Aerith inside. There is something that makes her wonder for a moment "... Are those mice helping you humans transformed too, or was that only a coincidence?"

Its a legitime question, given the circunstances.

She listens though, nodding."I was sure we could do something, but we had to find how exactly. I suppose that you have the key to it?"
TRON Alan tries his best to ignore the magical actions around the room, finding little logic in trying to understand any of it. In fact, it isn't until the crystal ball activates and reveals an impossibly pure gem--aquamarine to his eyes--that his attention is fully gained.

He is silent for the time being, black-gloved hands folding behind his back as he listens closely. So there is still a chance...
Maira In the commotion, Maira does follow along, though she continues to seem rather disoriented by her very sudden polymorphing combined with Faruja making googly eyes at her while she was a mouse.

Of course, he settles /that/ when he turns his attentions on Legion.

What is this? Why is she surrounded by boys who talk like knights but can't keep their eye on one woman!? Avira is so lucky...

Anyway, Maira wanders into the cottage and listens, her eyes widening as Merlin tells them Manhattan can be saved. She remains silent, taking it all in.
Deidra Deidra looks back at Maira nas everyone else. The one known as Merlin has the young gargyole mage's full attention now as she shares information with them this gets an eyebrow raised but there's a chance. IF they can get it back good, maybe someday the whole of earth can be restored as well. One step at a time however, one step at a time.
CADUCEUS "If it means rezzing those who were derezzed when manhattan falls, then it is something we must do." CADUCEUS says as he looks about the various people, disk glowing green. He then aims the disk at Faruja and Aerith now. Seems it is their turn to be healed. Their injuries then begin to close, closing in the shape of green circuit marks before vanishing to reveal healed skin. If they watched, green circuit marks continue to form and close their injuries, even when the disk is not aiming at them no more. He looks to the pretty emerald in the crystal ball then.
Luso Clemens "Ah, so Manhattan CAN be saved! Awesome!" Luso spoke cheerfully, pounding his fist into his palm and grinning confidently. "Which means that the battle hasn't been lost just yet!" A nod was given and the boy then crossed his arms

"So then what've we got to do to get Manhattan back?" He asked, giving the elderly magician a curious look. "I mean, last I saw, there were armies of heartless popping up EVERYWHERE. It was crazy! I totally looked lost then!"

His brows furrowed in confusion then as he recalled the sight. "I mean, I'm pretty sure I haven't been seeing things..."
Legion The other two Legions actually pay attention to Merlin. They're not horribly incompetent?!

"Yes sir." The magnifying glass Legion says. "That is good news. The Network clarifies that specifically it is good news for the people of Manhattan and its former inhabitants in particular." She holds the magnifying glass up to Merlin. HMMMMMMMMM. Magnifying glass. HMMMMMMMMMMM.

Animal Loving Faruja blinks up at Faruja who QUITE LIKELY read that secret section only for players (the scallywag!). Maybe.

"I don't have a name." Animal Loving Legion says before looking over to Will curiously, uncomprehending, and then back to Faruja who manages to clear the thing up. "N-no, I was rude." She says. She looks over to the other two Legions trying to get their attention. They turn their bodies somewhat and go 'hmm hmm' simultaneously as they examine Merlin.
"I don't have a name." She admits. "What's yours? You said you're...Nezumi?"
Portobello Portobello removes his backpack for a moment once he's settled. He quickly begins flapping his wings so he can see past the everyone else since being at shin level with your average person makes things a bit too difficult. He watches the crystal ball flare to life with the brillient color of an emerald while carefully listening to Merlin's words. Well if smarts are what is going to save the day then he'll make sure his mind and his wits are extra sharp. There's probably more to be said hopefully that'll help them out further.
Will Sherman Will nods to Legion who is talking to Faruja for now...that'll work itself out.


Will might get a new power at this rate, some sort of new summons? Nah. Summons were lame. Especially ones with more than one pair of arms.

Will, however, can't be silly forever, he looks back at Merlin who explains that Manhattan is still protected. Odd, then why did he...and Riku fall into..

What DID happen to them? Was it simply that place they were found in? He shakes his head and looks at Luso who seems all gung ho. "Yeah, it would be nice to get my home back, and save the people inside it." he says, and turns to Merlin, "Does this have to do with those shard things that allowed us to bring back a world once?"
Isaac Hanlon As soon as Merlin makes a crystal ball, Isaac's spellpad is back in-hand. He's got the camera pointed at Merlin and his cool toy primarily, but first he takes a slow pan of everything and everyone. It seems to work despite -- or maybe because of -- the magic that occasionally fouls that sort of thing up. Magic and technology are not historically things that cooperate, in Isaac's experience, unless you bribe them just right.

"You missed the witch and everyone getting turned into mice," the wizard asides. "What's that?" Isaac asks, nodding at the image of the stone. He doesn't think anyone else asked, so he thought he may as well.
Merlin Merlin steadfastly ignores questions of all kinds, like the curmudgeonly old man that he is. Optimism, gloom, requests for clarity, people who already know some of what he has to say; he's not interested, and simply glowers, bushy eyebrows somehow doubling in size, every time he's interrupted.

"/If/ I may continue, when strong worlds fall -- /protected/ worlds, that is -- they leave pieces behind. If you gather enough of the important ones, and bring them all together, then only two tasks remain: first, unlocking the shards will restore the world to its location, bringing it out of Darkness."

He pauses. For questions. /Maybe/. From the peanut gallery, Archimedes calls, "Cut to the chase, you bag of wind. Tell them about the keyblade!"
Faruja Senra "Temple Knight Faruja Senra, M'Lady, at your service. No name? How...curious. In that case, if it pleases you, I shall call you 'Lady Saria'. After the Ajoran minor Saint, patron of those who are lost and wander. Regardless, well met!" Smile. He'll hover protectively in the general direction of Maira as the meeting starts outright, however, one ear constantly tilted.

To Merlin, as the others speak up, the rat pipes up as well. "I shall assume, Ser Merlin, you've a plan to accomplish this task?" As much as he tries to sound businesslike, there's a hint of eager hope in his voice. It goes ignored, of course. The ratling falls silent, though his gaze on Merlin is one of patiently awaiting a set of orders.
Tom Magnusson There were mice who were once people and are now people again. Tom Magnusson was not one of these mice, largely because he was busy elsewhere, trekking his way into... Wherever this is. There is a particularly blue mouse on his shoulder when he arrives, hands stuffed into the pockets of his thick duster. Underneath, a harness laden with various munitions hangs heavily from his shoulders.

Tom steps into the group of gathered heroes (and villains!), politely removing his hat from atop his head. "So," he says, coming up behind Mercade. "I think I might have been a bit late. I wanted to get the mouse a bit of cheese, and it went and led me on a bit of a treasure hunt."


Tom races down a dusty old hallway, his footfalls heavy along the ancient brick. He grimaces as he slides underneath a row of hissing, probably poisonous darts. Behind him, a massive boulder barrels forward, crushing everything that might be unfortunate enough to get in its way. On his shoulder, a tiny blue mouse hangs on for dear life, its long, tuffed tail twitches in the wind.

"Goddamnit, Hanpan, this is what I get for followin' a mouse's nose!" Tom roars as he turns into an unfortunately placed dead end. The boulder thunders as it collides with the wall, and then begins rolling his way. He grits his teeth, winds up a punch, and then--


"It was a bit of a detour," Tom grunts, rubbing one temple. "Anything important I miss?"
Mercade Alexander People seem to be calming down in the aftermath of Mim's assault. That's good. The Detective looks over those assembled, trying to mark who is here. Many of them are unfamiliar faces to him. He sighs, inwardly, slumping a bit. Many of them were probably at Manhattan...

He shakes his head. Mercade himself still looks a bit woozy from the baleful polymorph, so he sort of folds his arms, nodding to Merlin as he speaks, and he watches what Merlin has to offer. "Never a dull moment, Isaac." He mentions offhandedly.

The interaction between Faruja, Will, and Animal-Loving Legion causes him to blink for a moment, however. "Yeah. Definately never a dull moment."

Tom arrives, and he looks over his shoulder. "Sure, no proble... Wait, what mouse?" He asks, looking over towards Faruja, then back to Tom. "Faruja's been here the whole time..." He scratches his head. "Oh well. Isaac basically covered most of it. Merlin is giving us a headsup on an apparent way to restore Manhattan."

He listens to Merlin, thinking. "Okay, so we need to find the pieces of Manhattan that survived? How do we find them?"

And then the Keyblade is mentioned. Mercade's eyes narrow. "Hmm..." He listens carefully. This should be interesting. "We'll need a Keyblade Wielder to unlock the Shards to restore them, I assume." He says... He was present when Sora did that, after all.
Isaac Hanlon Isaac supposes one does not get their name splashed all over legend and the less-mainstream history books if one is not kind of a d-bag.

He keeps quiet this time. A question hangs on the tip of his tongue, something dire and desperate, but he doesn't voice it. A grim look briefly passes over his face, but he banishes it, looking focused instead. So, he just glances at Mercade and shrugs a shoulder, occasionally reorienting the camera to pick out speakers. Definitely not dull.
Aerith Aerith blinked for a moment, giving Oriane a brief glance. The smile is gone, her expression placid... but for a moment, she felt something... wrong from her.

Moments later, a certain term catches her attention. That word... Keyblade... it was important, wasn't it. She flashed back to her first encounter with a certain mouse, and it all made sense. Mercade said it for her, but of course she added something. "There's only one I know with a Keyblade who can use it with skill... but are you saying there are others?" Of course, she wasn't good with any swords, so she wouldn't count herself as someone who could use it. But if there were others besides him...
Celina Duvalis Celina calmly places her hand over Tom's mouth, giving all of the TDA that Mom-look to be /quiet/ for five minutes as she takes notes with her other hand.
Tom Magnusson "This mouse," Tom thumbs at the small, bluish critter on his shoulder as it munches on a chunk of extremely well aged cheese. "He brought me the message about this here gathering and mmf---"

Tom has a Celina Hand over his mouth.

And then he squints, and quite maturely pokes her palm with his tongue, because what the hell woman
CADUCEUS "Keyblade? Such a weapon does not make sense...Is it a sword which has markings to unlock something? And if so, how does a weapon unlock a world?" CADUCEUS says as he is confused before he glances around once more, and uses more of the glowing green healing light from his disk to try and make their injuries vanish.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart hms "I heard about keyblades before in the bar, but I never got any solid information on how or who had one myself." She adds to the pile of information, even if its not much.
TRON Alan lets CADUCEUS continue healing others for the time being, his focus being entirely on Merlin and what he has to say. This could be important in the future, even beyond Manhattan itself. What if other worlds fall, could the same method be useful in restoring those too? Storing such information to memory is the best he can do for now. The questions and additional information are simliarly noted.
Portobello Portobello has been keeping quiet with open ears the whole time, making sure he does not miss a thing that Merlin might explain. He's sure others have had a stronger lead on things than him and probably have questions they want clarified, but not him. Up until the point where he had received that strange message his searches for information on the worlds consumed by darkness were mostly fruitless, save for that one conversation he had with Tifa. He couldn't afford to not absorb anything Merlin had to reveal.

These bright illuminated jewels must be the shards! This would be the start of how he would be able to restore those worlds lost to the darkness! But was Bhujerba a strong and was it protected? Was it simply a smaller piece of Ivalice? His ponderings would have to wait as the talking owl begins speaking of a Keyblade.
Luso Clemens "Huh....So if you gather enough of world back together..." Luso mused to himself, rubbing his chin thoughtfully with a hand as he mulled over the matter. "Well it sounds simple enough! But..." The boy rest his hands on his hips as he tilted his head slightly in curiosity.

"Where exactly do we find these shards? And what's a keyblade?"


. Realization.

"Oh wait! Is that the weird sword thing that little guy was using back in Manhattan during the battle? THAT'S a keyblade?" Well, he knew what the name of the thing was now. Just that he had no clear idea of the functions. Time to listen on!
Will Sherman Merlin seems grouchy today, maybe it was being turned into an animal that made him less...fresh.

He does smell fish still.

He knows about the keyblade because he saw Sora use it on the world shards they collected from DeSpella...but...

How do they find these things? Will's eyes can spot the shards, but... Will's not clarvoyant. So...

"Alright alright...just tell me when I can ask questions."
Legion "His eyebrows..." Magnifying Glass Legion says. "They're...amazing. Like grey forests."rShe lowers it, however, after. She doesn't know about a lot of this stuff, having never really been too interested in it before, before looking up at Archimedes, a talking owl. She blinks at him too, and then nods to the Legion next to her. Her head turns back to Merlin and she says, "What makes a protected world?"

She doesn't expect to get an answer to this question, but you don't get anywhere by not TRYING to ask questions, after all. She does add, though, "What's a keyblade?" In case there are any new players in the party who still need to learn what a Keyblade is. Apparently Legion is one of them!


Faruja attempts to name Animal Loving Legion.


"Oh no, ah, mm, what I mean, well." Lady Saria Patron Of Those Who Are Lost And Wander says. "That...that might be a bit mu0

But apparently that's enough to encourage her to name herself. "Lately...we've been taking them though, names. You can call me Ami if you want...? I'm not a saint." She may have misunderstood that a bit.
Merlin "Irrepressible birdbrain," Merlin mutters. Archimedes rolls his eyes towards the ceiling and pretends not to hear. "Yes, yes," he says, collectively, to most of the speculation about keyblades. "Yes, there's more than one in existence. Keyblades look like what they sound like. They are tools as much as they are weapons... moreso, in my opinion. Brains over brawn, brains over brawn. Bashing Heartless about with them is worthless, compared to their ability to unlock anything, anything at all. Or, more importantly, to /lock/ anything."

He flips his beard out of the way of the passing broom, as it nudges some dust under a corner. "Everything has a Heart... everything, from largest dragon to tiniest amoeba. Even worlds have Hearts. When the Heartless reach a World Heart, well, you've seen what happens: the world falls to Darkness. Completely and irrevocably, unless the World Heart is protected, as Manhattan's was, and still is; in its case, and in many others, it isn't /completely/ lost as long as that protection remains. And a keyblade can lock the Keyhole behind which every World Heart is exposed, sealing it away from Darkness forever, once the world itself has been restored."

Smiling for the first time, he kicks back into his armchair. A pipe flies over, propelled by no obvious force, and he puffs it contentedly. "So! Those are your tasks: find the world shards, bring them all together, retrieve the lost world from Darkness by unlocking the shards with a keyblade, then travel there -- it will still be full of Heartless, until you fight your way through them to lock the World Heart. That should solve your problem handily, at least for a while."
Tom Magnusson Tom raises a hand, because Merlin seems like that kind of professor, where you kind of need to raise your hand before speaking.
Merlin Merlin raises an eyebrow at Tom's raised hand. "Yes?" he asks testily, seeming also like the kind of professor who feels that everything has been very clearly explained and only an idiot would require further clarification.

Isaac's theory about great men from history is gaining traction by the second.
Celina Duvalis Celina removes her hand from over Tom's mouth. Just saying. She also flips to a new page. Note scribble.
Will Sherman "How do we /FIND/ them? I can SEE them sure, if I am CLOSE to them...but last time I checked..." he waves his hand, "Massive world. They also seem to like to bind themselves to important a sea salt ice cream recipe." He pauses...

"Which...Is important, but I think there are more important things out there." he says, with a slow nod. Ice cream was pretty <goosehonk>ing though, he thinks to himself.
Tom Magnusson "Yeah," Tom sniffs his nose, "Few things. First, we've got thousands of worlds to search. Maybe more. And our detector doesn't really cover 'worlds and worlds and worlds.' Do you have anything that'd... Y'know, work like a World Shard-dar, or somethin'?"

"Second!" Tom numbers, and then continues, "If the Keyblades could've locked the world hearts or whatever, why didn't someone go around and lock the world hearts ages ago?"

"Third," he finishes. "This mouse," he gestures at the mouse on his shoulder. "I'm keeping it, if that's alright. It owes me."
Luso Clemens Listening to Merlin's explanation, Luso's posture wilted more and more and more until he was almost completely hunched over comically. "S-So....we've got no idea where to find these shards, but we've got to find them, bring them all together, unlock them with a keyblade..."

A comical sweatdrop rolls down Luso's face at this point.

"...and then fight our way through an endless army of darkness, and finally LOCK the world heart?"

Blink. Blinkblink.

"Hah! That sounds easy! Bring is on! We'll get it done no problem!" And then suddenly, he straightened up, looking all the more confident all over again. A grin returned to his face as he rubbed the underside of his nose with an index finger.

"One question though! ...Is it possible to get a keyblade of our own? That'd be a good way to cut out the middleman, y'know?"
Faruja Senra Merlin's words are taken, the Burmecian glancing to Tom as he raises a hand. He uses the time to ponder the man's words, and aside to Animal-Legion Ami briefly. "...A pity, I was always partial to the name. Lord bless you, Lady Ami, and may He in Heaven guide your steps always." The rat, at least, takes rejection well.

The others more or less ask all of the relevent questions. So, instead, he'll simply support Maira with an arm, since she seems rather lost after that magical polymorph. Really, he doesn't blame her. Will and Tom, however, do get a brief look. Curious.

Sigh. "Ser Clemens, your enthusiasm is welcome, but please do not give in to overconfidence." A pause. "Ser Clemens. You...know of a person whom possesses such a weapon?" the rat finally asks directly of the Clan Gully leader.
Portobello Portobello still hovers above the others while taking in all this information. It seems the gist of it has been explained but the problem of where to begin searching remains. Certainly even with all the people assembled here today if they were to split up and start searching everywhere within the various worlds they'd still be at such a task for quite a while.

No doubt somebody's questioning will reveal where their compasses should point so they can begin their search, if not it'll be back to the aimless searching for shards unless somebody knew something about the nature of these shards and if there were places or things they'd gravitate to.
TRON Alan lowers his gaze, brow furrowing in thought as the task ahead is laid out plainly. But some things still bother him. "Sir, what about paths connecting Manhattan to other worlds? Will restoring it also restore the paths that have been lost, or are those paths forever gone?" He can't help but glance over at CADUCEUS. The medic Program will understand the meaning of the question.
Luso Clemens Luso nods in response to Faruja's question. "Yeah! I've seen a keyblade before! A little guy! He was a mouse I'm pretty sure..." He rubs his chin thoughtfully for a moment before continuing on. "I don't actually know his name, but I know he has this keyblade thing. ...And that's really all I know! Ahahaha!"

Not very helpful in the grand scheme of things. But regardless, some info was better than none. And besides, surely someone knew more among them here.
Deidra As others ask qomes question and Merlin seems to be wanting to get the information out before he'll answer any more question. So they have to go back to the heart fo the world? All right hen she has some ideas. She's also getting Merlin's views on brains over brawn and does get it well This is a lot to think over. Some things are making a lot more sense and hummms noding once to the aged but very wise wizard. "Thank you sir." She looks over to Luso and Faruja "Confience is good but keyblade...I think I know of someone." She starts to try to think and remeber. She's got some things to look into.
CADUCEUS CADUCEUS nods as he then looks to Merlin. "Manhattan possessed an entrance to my world. Restoring it will restore that entrance?" He asks curiously, repeating Alan's question but making it sound like it meant him specifically so Alan could remain hidden as a user.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart scratches her head "So basically we need to unlock worlds so we can lock them after? Aren't we supposed to leave them unlocked? Or is it something like the last person to turn the key is the one that decides what happens to it, would it be life or eternal darkness?
Legion Legion gets half her questions answered which is pretty good because she's a horrible student who, unlike Tom Magnusson, didn't even raise her hand is pretty good. Magical door opener that also doubles as a bludgeoning device? Sounds pretty handy! She doesn't have one. Perhaps if she works real hard and saves up she can buy one.

Ami meanwhile apologizes again and looks towards Maira. She looks at her. And then she sort of stuffs her hands in her pockets. "Why's that?" She asks.

Magnifying Glass Legion doesn't want to get yelled at by Merlin and, so, looks towards Mercade wondering if HE knows. She then turns back towards Archimedes and attempts to reach towards him.
Isaac Hanlon Isaac has pretty sound theories, all told.

He also knows when to wait until some questions have been answered before posing his own. He keeps recording, the spell-bound tablet taking in faces and reactions along with good and bad questions. He'll have to review this later, some part of him notes distantly, and take a tally of who is who in this picture.

So, y'know, Isaac's hand goes up. Not terribly high, but he's standing near the front, so it just has to be over his head.
Will Sherman "Mickey." he looks towards Luso...Will had the pleasure of meeting one once. Well okay, more than once...Will was really impressed with his bravery, and the fact that he didn't...go nuts on him after the fight at the key hole. Which, honestly, would have been his reaction if the places had been reversed. Yeah...

Will goes quiet for a while...

Faruja Senra 'Mouse'. Faruja stifles a glare before it appears. Instead, he simply nods to Luso. "...Curious. Thank you, Ser Clemens." The Temple Knight thoughtfully pets his own tail with his free hand. The gargess, however, has him perking his ear. "Whom, M'Lady Deidra?"

But it seems Will has some information. "/That/ one, hmm?" Faruja smirks, looking briefly amused.
Merlin "No task worth doing is easy," Merlin points out to Tom with an unimpressed sniff. "But I do have a bit more intelligence for you," Archimedes snorts, it's the wizard's turn to ignore him, "First that I believe, in this case, you will only need to find five -- and, if the first shard is any indication," he chins at the crystal ball's contents, "This world's shards are attuned to a selection of elements: probably Earth, Fire, Air, Water, and Spirit, though I suppose you should keep a look out for Wood or Metal, there's some cultural inconsistencies in my books. Second, that I've heard a rumor that the World of Ruin contains a material that reacts to the presence of things connected to World Hearts, such as shards; you may wish to follow up on that. And finally, I've managed to pin down the location of the Shard of Earth."

Turning to Luso, he smiles for only the second time; the first was after he was saved from Mim. He does have a rather kindly smile, when he stops being obnoxious. "The keyblade chooses its wielder, I'm afraid. There are relatively few of them, and many, many worlds. But, more importantly, Tom Magnusson..."

Back to the first: and he knows your name. He must have read the class roster. "...World Hearts are hidden behind Keyholes, and Keyholes are extremely hard to find, both for the Heartless -- who surely had help, in Manhattan's case -- and for everyone else. Their hidden nature is good and bad; mostly good, lately bad. But even if every man, woman and child had a keyblade, it would take endless lifetimes to find and protect /every/ World Heart."

"It isn't the destination, it's the journey," remarks Archimedes sagely.

"Just because you can't complete the task doesn't mean you're exempt from starting it," counters Merlin.

They seem about to go into trying to out-adage each other, until Merlin's distracted by 'Alan's' question. He studies the man with a penetrating gaze, and TRON may get the feeling that he isn't fooling the wizard for a second, in terms of his true nature. "Restoring the world will bring it back to its regular place; natural paths will remain. Unnatural paths, through Darkness, will be destroyed when a keyblade wielder locks the World Heart, though someone of sufficient power and trickery could probably re-establish dark portals eventually, and will."

"CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" barks Archimedes, narrowly avoiding Legion.

"And no," Merlin finishes, when Tifa asks her question, "When I say you're 'unlocking' the shards, what you're really doing is /restoring/ the World Heart, and its world, from its shards; /Locking/ the restored Heart, or more accurately the Keyhole that protects it, will ensure that although evil might invade Manhattan again, it will never reach the /Heart/ again. There will always be a world to fight for."

He acknowledges Isaac's hand with a silent nod, and takes a few puffs on his pipe.
Isaac Hanlon Good questions, good answers, good intel. Isaac smiles a little when he's acknowledged after it all. Only polite, after all.

"Thank you, Merlin. So, how could you tell if a world that's fallen to darkness had a protected World Heart or not when it did? Or, for that matter," he adds, "how do they get protected in the first place? It sounds like Manhattan had an extra layer on it that most don't when the darkness rolls around."

He sounds calm when he's asking that question; academic, almost. Truthfully, he's anything but. His guts are roiling in rebellion, and the dread he's experiencing at what he expects of the answer makes him want to retch. It takes a lot of effort to not be as tense as a coiled spring.

Cool and composed, though, that's him. Isaac has a lot of experience keeping that kind of game face on.
Tom Magnusson "Well, that makes sense," Tom bobs his head. "All of that, I mean. Not just any one bit." He's not /especially/ perturbed that an ancient wizard knows his name. Ancient wizards know things, he thinks- it's mostly part of the job that this old dude happens to mysteriously know his name. After all, he sent a mouse out to find him!

"So where's this first shard located?" Tom rubs his chin, "And I guess this means I get to keep the rat. Good! He can help find something we can use."
Aerith Something in the World of Ruin that reacts to World Hearts. Well then, she immediately has that goal set out in mind, and she knows just who to take with her. But she waits until later for that. Of course once Issac is finished, she holds her suggestion off until later.
Luso Clemens "Huh...Mickey's his name then?" Luso nodded to Will, continuing to rub his chin thoughtfully. Afterward, the boy turned to continue listening to Merlin, nodding along to his words. So not everyone can just be handed a keyblade...? That sounds about right.

It's not like everyone was walking around with Excaliburs and legendary grimoires now either... "Yeah, I guess it's not that easy. But that doesn't mean that we're gonna stop just because it's not gonna be a walk in the park!"

Jerking a thumb towards himself, Luso nodded confidently again. "Let's get this show on the road then! We'll show those shadow losers what's what!"
Portobello Portobello continues to listen carefully to Merlin's words, well thankfully there is only five that need to be found and it seems the affinity is the traditional elements...though spirit is not completely traditional. Though when Merlin speaks of a material that reacts to shards he's give another lead to go on, not to mention the location of the shard of earth. From the sound of it this material must be spiritual in nature, given the name 'world hearts' being mentioned. Perhaps Tifa might have an idea of what that material might be.

Other bits and details are given about the nature of the shards and what was meant by locking and unlocking. There was also the matter of finding one who had a Keyblade. Apparently a description was given of a mouse. Not the tall looking fellow in the room with them but a shorter one, who went by the name of Mickey? Perhaps he had some innate talent in discovering the locations of these shards? That'll be another task that he'll have to get to work on.
Legion Ami scratches her forehead with the gun before pocketing it again. Merlin is lecturing and the others are simpling it down for her, but eventually her shoulders just sag.

"Couldn't they just unlock it again with their own keyblade?" Magnifying Glass Legion asks before looking towards Isaac, noticing his arm is raised in the air, and then raises her own in the air and asks it again, "Couldn't they just unlock it again with their own keyblade?"

She pauses to give Archimedes a forlorn look, before--a respectful nod. Constance Vigilance, the nod says.
TRON Alan meets Merlin's gaze calmly, giving no indication that the wizard's scrutinizing gaze bothers him. And to be honest, it doesn't. Merlin should easily discern who he is and why he's here quite easily, and he has nothing to hide from the wizard in that sense. He /is/ here to help restore Manhattan, and whether or not he reveals his true identity to the others present is not pertinent to the conversation at hand.

That said, hearing the reply actually gives TRON a great sense of relief, his shoulders relaxing noticeably. That means there is still a chance...

He also only now realizes his glasses are still in his back pocket and quickly slips them back onto his face where they belong.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods to Merlin, crossing her arms "That makes much more sense indeed. Alright, then if we can find that keyblade wielder, we can bring back manhattan and potentially make sure no other world gets lost to darkness either. I think that sounds like a plan to me." At least its something to start off from, instead of just going through things blind.
CADUCEUS CADUCEUS nods and remains silent for now and goes back to the healing of those present. He moves from person to person, making sure injuries are tended to and that pain is removed. For Will, he even gives the kid like being a lollipop. Sour apple. Luso even gets one too once he has treated the injuries, a red one, cherry flavored.
Mercade Alexander Mercade listens to the explanation of their task. He nods to Merlin, considering the situation before them. The others ask a number of pertinent questions, but he squints. Ami looks to Mercade, as she also possibly noted this. "I'm not sure." He replies to Ami.

He looks to Merlin, letting the other pertinent question get fielded.

"What is the material in the World of Ruin that reacts to World Shards?" Mercade asks. Tom had the other question. He looks to Aerith and Tifa, nodding. The natives of those worlds will be able to take the lead on that front.

Ami gives another pertinent question. "Well, if the Shadow Lords have a Keyblade, we'll just have to beat up whoever has it before they can get to it. Hard to use a keyblade if you're knocked out."
Deidra Deidra listnes to Merlin and is just bobing her head a little bit some parts of the fight to save the city now making far more sense in her mind. She tilts her head a little bit. There's a lot of useful infio "It makes sense it wouldn't chose someone not suitable. If you force smomething like that it tends to end badly for you. There's myth after myth about that..." They can set the stage for someone who can and that's enough, she may very well go hunting for Mickey later.
Merlin Merlin opens his mouth to answer Isaac -- abruptly turning very grave, as opposed to crotchety/occasionally benevolent -- and Tom speaks up with another question (as opposed to Luso, whose Generic Protagonist Pep Talk is something he tunes out on reflex). DEATH GLARE TIME.

"My messengers were volunteers, every one of them," he says, as of the rat. "If one chooses to stay with you, that is his perogative, but never fool yourself into thinking that he's /yours/. You, my interrupting boy, are /his/. As for the shard, all I have is that visual. You and yours are detectives? /Detect/."

Archimedes, meanwhile, flies out of the hut, circles around it, thoroughly, then returns. "It's clear," he announces. Merlin nods, and looks back at Isaac, recomposing himself.

"When worlds are protected by their Princess of Heart, they cannot fall /completely/ to Darkness." And that's all he says on the topic, immediately latching onto the next question, so quickly -- and without complaint, vocal or silent -- that it's obvious he has no desire to elaborate further.

"I'm not sure what it is," the wizard says to Mercade, "You'll have to ask around. And keyblades are not wielded by those who would endanger World Hearts; it's never happened before, to my knowledge. I don't believe it is possible, however -- locking the Keyhole is a permanent seal according to all the lore I've ever seen."
Will Sherman Will nods at Luso, and then looks back at Aerith and Tifa...

"Huh." he says, he's okay with that, he guesses? I mean, they could just somehow all get fate sight, that way he can stop being the only member of the club. They could have smores, and avoid looking at Garland together.

Okay, maybe that wouldn't be good, and also turning him into a divining rod was bad.


"What's a princess of heart, and wh..." he pauses, "I guess the question is...where is ours?" he looks over to Mercade?
Aerith Aerith nodded toward Mercade in response. Something in the World of Ruin that reacts to World Hearts.... well then, she immediately has that goal set out in mind, and she knows just who to take with her. And there went the term again... Princess of Heart. A very, very interesting term... One she'd heard twice before, and the third time as of now.

Once she has a clear opening in the conversation, she raises her hand. "I elect to find out just what this thing is that can locate the shards and bring it back here." She looked behind her. "Tifa, Maira, and Faruja..." She turned back toward Merlin. "...Are my team. If they wish."
Will Sherman Will also puts a lollipop into his mouth. Sour Apple! Yum! You can't turn down or be upset about free food.
Faruja Senra Faruja tilts his head. How bold! Still, it earns Aerith a smile. "Well, I can hardly allow fine Dames such as yourselves to embark upon such a dangerous quest alone. Duty permitting, I shall accompany you all." He /is/ a Shard Seeker, after all.
Portobello Portobello hrms, it seems like Aerith took the initiative on seeking out the material that may locate the shards and already had a team in mind for the task. Perhaps he'll instead look for more information on this supposed Princess of Heart. Well they're probably a princess and maybe somebody of...great heart? Again instead of answers there are more questions. Perhaps he's better off simply waiting til Merlin reveals the location of the Earth aligned shard and heading towards that location in order to secure it would be the best course of action.
Tom Magnusson Tom frowns, his arms folding over his chest. Yeah, this guy was one of /those/ kinds of professors. He glances over to the mouse on his shoulder- it nibbles at the chunk of positively ancient cheese in his claws. Well, this probably means that they'll be roped up together for a little while longer.
Will Sherman "Uh. Hey now there little lady, you can't just go up and make know, as it's sort of our world we would like to help." he says at Aerith, with a frown. Also, he'd feel so bad if she or anyone got hurt and he wasn't there to help them. Like seriously.

He looks back at Mercade, "I dunno, I think you'd look pretty good in a dress. We'd have to get Celina to help you though."
Mercade Alexander Mercade blinks. Huh. "A Princess of Heart, you say." That explains a lot. The Detective nods."All right..."

He looks at Will with a squint. "I'm not a princess, Will." He says. "But as to if Manhattan has one... I have no idea who or where they would be right now."

"If you guys need any help from us at all, just ask." Mercade says to Aerith. "You guys know the land way better than we do, but if there's any way I can make your work easier, I'll be happy to provide."
Celina Duvalis Celina immediately sweatdrops at the mention of a 'princess of heart' for Manhatten. Not her. For the love of the Moon, it's not her. She sighs and leans against Tom, still taking notes.
Isaac Hanlon Isaac has one of those leaps in logic that human beings are so renowned for, where you go from one bit of data to a conclusion that just feels totally correct in one quick jump. He stares at Merlin for a moment, and then he nods, very slightly, lips pressed into a thin frown. He does all of this while his heart practically falls out of his chest.

It was the answer he was expecting, but it was not how he expected to find it.

"I imagine we'd better figure out who it is sooner rather than later," Isaac murmurs.
Tom Magnusson Tom drapes an arm around Celina's shoulders. It's okay, Celina. You might not be a Princess of Heart, but you're the queen in Tom's heart, for sure.

And possibly also a moon princess. Maybe.
Merlin "Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm afraid I'm late for my next meeting," Merlin announces in reasonable, polite tones, as the questions and commentary start piling on further.

He may or may not have subtly winked at Isaac; the moment is over before it has begun.

One gets the feeling this is the five second warning before he loses his temper (again). Archimedes is already hidden inside his cookoo clock.
Mercade Alexander "I already wore the Santa outfit, I'm not wearing a dress." Unless Mercade needs to go deep, deep undercover for a case.

Really, really deep. "And let Aerith take the lead on it. We can't be everywhere, Will."
Legion "I agree, Isaac." Magnifying Glass Legion says. "But it seems class is dismissed...and the game..." Her eyes sparkle. "Is afoot." She looks towards Mercade for several moments.

"That is a saying from Holmes, The Network informs."

The Legion that was being quiet heads out first, followed by Ami, who is now looking at Archimedes (the other one has to pull her). Legion steps out after.
TRON Alan allows a faint smile to touch the corners of his mouth. Yes, he gets the hint. "Very well. Until next we meet, sir." The 'human' offers a respectful bow at the waist to the wizard and turns towards the door. He motions for CADUCEUS to follow him out as a stern expression settles on his face. There is much work to be done.
Mercade Alexander Mercade Alexander pauses, and looks over to Isaac. "You haven't figured out how to make us be everywhere, have you?"

He then laughs at Legion's Holmes quote. "Well played. Well played."
Aerith Aerith nodded toward Mercade. "I know, and thank you. But if we're seen looking for something in large enough numbers, we'll be too conspicuous to those that would get all sorts of ideas." She turned back toward Merlin. "I hope this is acceptable." She then stood and made her way out, hopefully with Tifa in tow...
Luso Clemens "Hmn...I know some people who'd really have a field day with this info! They'd be a big help!" Luso spoke plainly, nodding and crossing his arms again. "I'll relay the info to them and then I think they'll finally be able to push their namesake along! I can tell it'll work out!"

With that, Luso turned to go, but not before taking the lollipop offered by the program. "Oh sweet! Thanks!" Smiling in appreciation, Luso nodded to CADECEUS.

And with that, Luso stepped out, pondering over all this new information. "...I wonder how I can help though...? ...A keyblade, huh?" He mumbled as he hopped the stone platforms off on his way back up to town.
Will Sherman Looks at Luso.

He looks over to Mercade, "Ten bucks says he goes to Reize and the Shard Seekers." he assides to Mercade, not even being remotely silent or you know, subtle.
Tom Magnusson "I'll top that bet," Tom grunts at Will. "Fifteen bucks he asks the Shard Seekers."
Legion Pretty unlikely that Legion suspects somehow that Mercade doesn't know Holmes quotes, but maybe she wanted to show off a little.

"Every Holmes needs their Baker Street Irregulars." She adds, more seriously. "Send The Network where you'd like, we can search multiple locations simultaneously. It is not 'everywhere' but we do have a distinct advantage even so in that arena."
Mercade Alexander "Sucker bet." Mercade replies. "He's definately the type. But it's all right, the Shard Seekers can always use more talent."

Legion says something important. "You do have soem very useful distributed information gathering capacities, don't you? Well, if you want, maybe you can work as a contact between the disparate groups who are searching for things we need, allowing us to work together even if we're apart."
Isaac Hanlon "Our Psychic Friends Network, if you will," Isaac chimes in, saving and pocketing his tablet in the background.
Portobello Portobello hovers back down to the ground and picks up his backpack and puts it on. There was not time to question Tifa as she was already being pulled off in one direction by that friend of hers. He heads back the way he came, activating the booster jets on his back as he jumps quickly across the body of water and lands on the other side. He has a lot to jot down now, time to make to somewhere with a secluded table before he forgets all the facts he's aquired today. He might just need a new journal for all these highly relevent data as opposed to the random rumors he gathered in teh past.
Legion "It would be our pleasure." Legion says.

The Network!?...DOING NETWORKING?! Up is down, left is right, dogs and cats living together! But it might just work.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart goes to stand over to Aerith's side, a hand on her shoulder lightly "Of course I'll join you. Maybe we can get Rinoa to help as well. I don't think there's a limit on how many are in a group, hm?" She smiles at that. More numbers is usually safer.
Aerith Aerith nodded. "We do need to get Rinoa on the phone about this, she'll be a big help down the line." She looked toward the chocobo Tifa came in on. "When did you get this handsome fella by the way?" She scratched underneath his chin, just at the sweet spot, as if she knew all along where it was. "Got a name, big guy?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart giggles "That's Premium Heart, I managed to get her into a red color now." She smiles. The chocobo leans down, blinking a big eye toward Aerith, and gives out a happy 'kweh~' at being scritched.
Aerith Aerith smiled. "Her, huh? Should've known." She lowered her right hand and turned toward Tifa. "How's the renovations coming? Can I actually have a place to sleep besides that back room now?" She ribbed Tifa.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles "They are all done you know, you just need to come back more often. Now there's a second floor and more rooms. Even I have a real room now.
Isaac Hanlon He almost didn't catch it, but there it is. A curious thing. As if sensing danger, though, Isaac looks around for a second more. Then, he bows in an almost courtly manner to Merlin. "Thank you for hosting us, and thank you for the information. We'll do whatever we can, sir."

Isaac heads for the way out of here. He leaves a wider glassy bridge across the jumpy stones in his wake this time, largely because he imagines nobody hurt wants to do that obstacle course again. He's got some work to do.
Aerith Aerith smiled. "I'll have to take you up on that." She stretched her arms above her head. "Besides, I have something to show you. Nothing big really, just the results of my training trip." She grinned. "I'm sure you saw some of it... but not all of it."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smirks "Well, wanna ride Premium Heart back home then? I'm sure she can carry two, as long as we're not racing of course."
Aerith Aerith nodded and let Tifa climb up before she took a seat behind her. "Homeward to Goug then! I wanna see how you've fixed the place up!" And of course, she wanted to see if she could get a ride of her own, but that was for later.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart grins as she moves up before Aerith, helping her up. Premium Heart 'kweh's, and preens a bit, before starting to trot off toward the portal back to the World of Ruin. "Premium Heart is pretty tame, but very fast too."

This scene contained 165 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Deidra, Jack Skellington, Will Sherman, Mercade Alexander, Tifa Lockhart, Mad Madam Mim, Maira, Aerith, Merlin, Tom Magnusson, Celina Duvalis, Luso Clemens, TRON, Portobello, CADUCEUS, Legion, Isaac Hanlon