Make A Wish


brian_icon.gif delia2_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif mala_icon.gif

Scene Title Make A Wish
Synopsis A Princess leads those close to her on a mission of wish fulfillment, thanks to a certain dreamwalker.
Date March 29, 2011

In Dreams

The rolling hills stretch as far as the eye can see, connecting with the blue sky of fluffy clouds on one side, and then disappearing into a dark, thick forest of dead trees wrapped in thorns. The sky in that direction is dark, thick with heavy clouds threatening storm or rain. A flash of lightning can be seen deep within the clouds, briefly illuminating the grayness before it darkens again. A stark contrast.

Up on one of the bright green hills sits a young woman, clad in armor, with a sword on her back, almost as big as her entire body. The white pony she's upon fits her relative small size, though looks unburdened by the armor and extra weight.

Tiny Mala Patel had always said she'd like to be the princess that does the saving— it seems that's the dream that she's created for herself.

Complete with a crown upon her head.

"The Tower is in the middle of the forest," the dark skinned girl says, looking stronger and healthier than ever. "We must get there and rescue the Beacon of Light."

It sounds like a story she'd see in puppet form, though she's taken on the role of the hero, and those pulled into the dream to be with her stand at her side. "Will you all fight with me? Who knows what obstacles stand in our way!"

On one side is Gillian, dressed in something that looks like a pirate's outfit, only in black and purple rather than the traditional white and red. Hair pulled back into a ponytail, her only weapons are a jeweled dagger sheathed at her belt and a bow and quiver across her back.

"Aye!" An enthusiastic call of agreement from a rather rotund figure perched upon the back of a reindeer with a nose of burning red; scarlet fabrics drape his form, edged in soft white fur, and a heavy beard dangles from his face to his belly. The saddle of Eric Doyle's unusual mount is draped with dangling marionettes - wooden-faced puppets in various garments, limbs suspended by strings and hooks that dangle from leather and straps as baroque decoration. "I'm right behind you, Princess!

"I'm with you, princess." The cool words sound almost like they slithered from the tongue of a snake. Distant and removed yet supportive at the same time. The man's elaborate trench coat drapes to past his feet. His stylish, sleek leather equipment fitting snugly against his toned form. The man steps out from behind darkness' curtain to stand just behind Mala. White mask glows eerily in the rain, water pelting off the sides of it's round form.

The man has no weapons that can be seen. But as he joins Mala's side, his hands erupt into flame. Fire licking the side of his gloves before dying back down into a heated ember like affect, giving his gloves a reddish tint. The masked man peers over to his companions then back to their fearless leader.

"Till I am gripped by death, I am with you." The man growls lowly, taking up his place near.. Santa. The voice doesn't sound much like Brian, but somehow there is a quality that is still… Brianish.

Where a parrot would normally reside on the pirate's shoulder, there sits the miniature winged figurine of a redheaded woman. Her bare feet dangle down, heels tapping gently against the top of the swashbuckler's vest as she swings her feet back and forth. The call to arms and the subsequent jolt as the cry of battle erupts causes the tiny woman to reach out and cling to a few stray tendrils of hair simply to keep from falling.

She doesn't say anything, perhaps she can't. What she does do is tinkle~ as the tiny wings on her back flitter and then beat rapidly to lift her up into the air. In her wake, a wave of sparkles glitter and then die out, falling as dust to the ground. The little pixie flits from hero to hero before settling on the shoulder of the armored princess.

The pirate isn't as much into the talking, but Gillian brings her bow across and makes sure it's ready, a glance spared at the pixie on her shoulder, which makes her smile. It's a soft smile, like a familiarity. The rest of the dream may just be taken in stride, but the fairy makes her feel safe somehow.

"We're all with you," she says, looking down at her feet before she starts hovering above the gentle grass, with her high heeled booted feet standing atop a floating carpet. A mix of themes, but one that somehow seems to fit. "Lead the way, Princess."

The Tiny Princess on her pristine white pony smiles dazzilingly, looking around at her small host. "I love all of you," Mala intones happily, feeling their joy in the air as she breathes. "Brian, be prepared to burn us a path, but make sure it doesn't burn too far. Santa, stay close to me. Gillian, follow us in."

A Princess must give orders, and she moves forward on her pony, half leading, half following the man with fire in his hands. And the pirate on the floating carpet takes up the rear, readying an arrow to fly at the first sign of trouble.

The thorn shrouded dead forest seemed far away at first— but it's not long at all before they're upon it and the towering dark shapes.

At the declaration of her adoration, a smile curves across Santa Doyle's lips, little age-lines crinkling at the corner of his eyes. He loves her too, of course, and she can surely feel it; joy and happiness at just being around her. The reindeer beneath him trots forward as the order is given, prancing with a jangling of bells and clattering of dangling marionettes. That festive mount moves in step along beside Mala's white-coated pony, keeping close to her even as he looks up at the shadowy forest, smiling broadly in open defiance of its gloom.

The dark holes that lay in the center of the white mask aren't very telling. But that faceless mask does rotate to take in the Pirate and the Fairy. Santa is regarded for a moment before the apparently Wizard of the group moves forward. "As you wish, My Princess." Moving rapidly in front of the Princess and her stallion, Brian raises his hands slowly.

A controlled blaze is unleashed from his palms instantly burning the brush in front of them. The fire doesn't last long, instantly dying out after eating away at the foliage that hinders their way. The path is quickly carved out in front of them, the flame making enough room for two of them to walk side by side (unless it's Doyle) down the charred path.

Flittering a little ahead of the princess, the fairy's body lights the way into the dark forest. The canopy of trees overhead blocks out the sun, the small amount of light that filters in highlights the curl of skeletal branches curling toward them and gigantic tree trunks that flank the quintet. Humongous ferns grow out in front of them, some shrinking back as if alive when Brian's hands spout streams of flame to clear their way.

Some of the plants even scream in protest.

The pixie hovers close to the princess, darting a quick glance to each of the young girl's companions. After a long look at Doyle, she flies into Princess Mala's hair and hides there. A small circular glow can be seen behind the brown curtain, giving away the location of the tiny fairy. As can the jingle every time the little girl's pony takes a step.

Drawing her sword from her back, Mala holds it up as they enter the thorny forest of doom. Perhaps even the storybook name for it— Forest of Doom. The silver blade shimmers with a holy light, as if gathering up all the joy and love shared between the champions.

And even the shimmering pixie.

"We don't know what we'll face until we reach the tower, so be ready for anything. That goes for you too, Pony." Apparently she's not very original in her naming of horses.

Upon her flying carpet, Gillian lets loose an arrow that flies through the flames and into one of the shrieking plants. The arrow explodes into a shining violet light that destroys a small area around the arrow— and the arrow itself.

In the real world all she can do is fuel others energy— in this one, she chooses another method.

"It doesn't matter what lies between us, or what lies at the tower itself," boasts Santa Doyle, "No evils can stand against you, Princess, not with us standing beside you! Ho ho! …ho." The rattling and jangling of the reindeer mount's bells and marionettes are loud as the reindeer trots along, and he peers past thick white brows into the terrible black foliage of the wood.

He continues to crave his path, letting his flames lead the way for the party. The white mask flicks over his shoulder momentarily to take in the pixie and the Princess. If a smile could overcome that featureless mask, there might be one there now. But it's something that won't be known for a very long time. The path continues to form itself as they move in pageantry and confidence.

Brian moves his hand slightly to ensure the area the Pirate's arrow flew is truly dead before continuing on the path. The black holes he calls eyes raising up to take in the Tower amidst the forest in the distance.

If the different sorts of fire and magic hadn't already alerted whomever it is they're going to visit, the hiss of fleeing plantlife and shrill squeal of burning insect definitely would. Branches reach out to snag the coat of the man with the firehands, almost as if on purpose. Vines crawl around his feet and the feet of the labored reindeer, tangling around them, ensaring and holding them fast. The pony, the princess, the pirate, and the pixie don't notice right away, not until the pony's hoof steps down on a crawling bit of fauna and a shriek that results sounds out around them.

These vines are impervious to fire, the forest has found fault with their method of travel and has come to collect payment for misdeed. A flower hovering above Mala's shoulder opens its petals and after a quick strike closes again. The light from inside her hair is gone and the flower's petals bulge out in odd places. The only one unaffected thus far is the pirate.

"Oh no!" comes a cute sound from the Warrior Princess, both a Paladin of Light and the cutest little thing ever to ride a white pony into battle, swinging her sword around in self defense, but unable to stop the little ball of light from getting snatched up. Instead she does the only thing she can, she swings at the flower to try and cut off the stalk.

This forest isn't as dead as we thought!" the archer pirate cries out, leaving off the often required arr that may have been more fitting for her costume. Instead, Gillian draws another arrow taunt and tries to aim ahead of them and on the ground, trying to find the root of the evil, or attempt to free those ensnared—

And her flying carpet floats ever higher.

The reindeer lets out a defiant whinnying (clearly, Mala doesn't know what reindeer sound like, but horses are close enough, right?) as its cloven-hooved legs are tangled about and grasped down. "Whoa! Back, foul forest-things," Santa Doyle bellows, "Back! On, Dasher! On, Dancer! On Prancer, and Vixen!" As the names are called out, no further reindeer appear. No, the marionettes leap into movement - swinging down the sides of the reindeer on their strings like rappelling climbers, tiny swords and axes swept from beneath finely-stitched garments to hack and saw at the vines as an army of tiny wooden puppets.

"My Princess, I am ensnared!" The Wizard snaps off dramatically as he is entangled by the plantlife. They are impervious to his flame. Which is disappointing really. Brian is dragged down, his coat thwaked by the branches. But the elaborate jacket doesn't come off. It's not designed to come off. It's practically stuck to the man who wears it, as if a part of him.

The vines however pull him down, feet coming out from under him. His back slapping thickly against the underbrush. Another cone of flame spews out from his palms ineffectually at the shrubs that try to pull him down. A loud growl of frustration let out from the featureless mask.

"Ensssnared?" A hissing voice whispers somewhere near the masked man's ear. There's a small titter near the dollykinetic as well. sss sss sss. The screams of the panicked mounts, pony and reindeer respectively, are silenced only when the vines slither away from their feet and retreat back from whence they came. "Ssssstop killing usss, we can help youuu…"

All the while, up up up the carpet floats, carrying the pirate with it. There's a small tilt to the fabric and then it begins to angle dangerously, threatening to tip the woman off. The culprit is nothing more than a crooked twig, caught up in the tassles at the end. A nuissance to be certain but like the vines, much too resistant to the sting of an arrow.

Down below a pathway in the opposite direction of the tower opens up. "You want to go thissss way Prinsssesss." Whispers fill Mala's ears and the inviting promise of sunshine that glows up ahead of them seems a little too distant in favor of the dim path that's opened.

"Stop! We need to stop burning them!" Mala cries out, suddenly realizing the folly, as she holds fast to her pony, looking around at the recoiling vines that open a pathway— and the voice that tells her that the way is through there. Even if her eyes should tell her differently.

The Beacon of Light may be somewhere else, after all! It could have been moved. The whispers tug on her mind and she urges her pony that direction.

Gillian, the Pirate, does not try to shoot an arrow at the branches, but tries her best to manuver around and away from them, drawing out her knife instead, for more close range combat. She doesn't swipe out at them, though, because the Princess gave an order, and she looks down, to the sight of the girl leading her pony in the wrong direction.

"Santa, stop her! That's the wrong way!" the pirate says, leveling off the carpet lower, but standing ready with her jeweled dagger in hand.

"Princess! No, not that way — the easy path is never the right one!" The vines pull away, and Doyle spurs the reindeer after the Princess's pony, reaching out to try and reach for her shoulder, "We need to persevere!"

Brian resists the vines, pulling tightly. "I certanly don't feel like not killing them." Comes the cold voice of the masked mystic. One palm comes up, and instead of flame spewing from his gauntlet, this time a chilly wind emits from his glove going to envelop the vines gripping at him in ice.

Swirling his attention Princess-wards, he goes to pull at the forest ground trying desperately to free himself from his entanglement. "Sister!" He calls out. He could use a little help.

A large branch claws its way around Gillian, catching her and keeping her firmly within its grasp. Without the pirate's feet to keep it afloat, the carpet falls to the earthen floor with a flump. Without the carpet to float on, the pirate's way down seems awfully far. Still. Deep into the bark the dagger sinks and throughout the forest the echo of a mournful groan calls out. Wherever their foe comes from, it's not local. The branches jerk back, taking with them the dagger. As a present, they leave the pirate who falls down… down… down… to the ground.

"But perssserveranssse is ssssso hard," a voice whispers in Mala's ear. "Why not jussst take the easssy way and go home?" The question ends in a squeak and a wheezing cough. As a consolation, even the young man with the firehands is released, the vines pushing him toward the desired direction rather than the other. The way, the right way is begining to lose its brightness and shine as the ferns and grasses grow up to blind their righteous pathway. In front, a dim red glow can be made out. A glow that is reminiscent of a morning sun, perhaps even sunrise itself.

Only sunrise doesn't really ever happen in the middle of a dark forest. In the off chance that it does, it never really comes on so quickly.

Or in the shape of a dragon.

While Gillian would love to come to her brother's aid, she falls down and down, until she lands on the ground covered in a sprinkling of ash and stinging thornes. The bow falls nearby, miraculously unbroken, and the quiver spills out arrows on the floor. The pirate is just beginning to push herself to her feet when the dragon-shaped sun rises among the woods. "Great. Had to be a dragon," Gillian mutters, as she reaches to gather up a few arrows, sticking the heads into the dirt for easy reloading of the bow, before she grabs moves to grab it. Her movement is slow as she just fell but she's readying to assist.

It's the Princess who has to fight something even more dangerous than a Dragon. Mala looks around, locks eyes with Santa, even as that voice whispers in her ear, whispering doubts and fears, easy paths.

Home would be so nice.

"I can't give up," she suddenly says loudly, getting down from her poor abused pony to set her own two armored feet on the ground. Santa is right. The easy path is never the right one.

"A hero must fight— We must all fight together!"

The power of love and friendship can overcome anything in her mind. Knowing that those at her side will asist her, she runs toward the dragon shape.

How often does the Princess slay the dragon.

"You don't need to go home," Santa Doyle refutes the wheezing hiss of the forest's voice rather sharply, "Home is where the heart is. And we're all right here. Begone, accursed fiend, or demon, or devil, or whatever you are! We— " And then the Princess decides that it's time to fight, and charges forward. So impetuous. But then, aren't all children?

The fat man shakes his head in rue, and prods his mount forward, charging through the forest after her. It's his own fault. He told her the princess could slay the dragon, after all.

Pressing himself to his knees, Brian then goes to right himself. The white mask going to his sister then to the Princess. She is the priority now. She must be the priority now. Brian trails behind Mala tightly. Gloved hands raised up as he goes to place himself on her pony's heels. Black holes gazing at the Dragon sun. His hands glow a faint blue, firehands becoming icehands. "We are with you princess" The man echoes.

His hands make a flourish and Mala's tiny sword glows with a powerful blue glow. A shine radiating from the steel. Probably the power of friendship emitting from the weapon. Brian charges after.

The great bellow of the giant lizard extends much beyond the normal range of Mala's friends, their voices easily drowned out by the raucous noise. Weaving its head snakelike, a set of great jaws filled with multiple rows of teeth ranging the size of pins to spikes bare themselves to the four heroes. The fifth is still caught in the flower.

A belch of flame that puts Brian's hands to shame blasts out over the opened path, setting alight fern, vine, and tree alike, not discriminating between its targets, save one. One small target with a heart of gold and the face of a little angel. The flame dies out around her raised shield and the perspiration that flows down her suddenly palid flesh is all too real. A second and larger ball of fire is aimed directly at her along with the spewing of gallons of sulphur stenched smoke.

"NO!! YOU CAN'T LET HER!!" The panicked scream comes from somewhere nearby. A pixie, fighting her way out of the grip of tightly locked petals is trying to garner the attention of one of the Princess' three companions. "She can't fight it!!" Doyle may have told her that princesses can slay the dragon but he forgot one vital fact in his storytelling… More often than not, the dragon slays whatever it pleases.

The heat saps Mala's strength, stopping the charge after a few steps and ending up with her falling down to her knees, kneeling. Choked coughs can be heard where she grasps her sword, now point down in the ground, despite the cool glowing trying to offer her some protection. They're right behind her— she knows that. But it hurts.

It's hard to breathe. Her body doesn't want to move anymore, much less lift the sword up to swing it around again.

Without some kind of divine protection she might be ash now— but even then, it's stopped her in her tracks.

An arrow sails well above her head, seeking out the dragon in assistance. Mala may have ran off to try and slay it, but she wouldn't be trying to slay it alone. Even if all Gillian can offer is arrows from afar.

The living dolls of Doyle's tiny army catch afire from the heat — clattering about in silent panick and patting one another out desperately, most of them swiftly ending up stripped of flammable garments, scorched limbs of jointed wood damaged but not destroyed. The reindeer ends up pulled up short by the wash of heat as well, rearing up and kicking as if to ward off the flames.

The red-and-white garbed puppeteer goes tumbling off onto the ground with a low 'oof' of breath, pushing himself up on shaky feet and stepping over towards the fallen princess, the edges of his coat smoldering even as he reaches to try and help her up. "We need to get back to the path," he says tightly, quickly, "To the tower, Princess. We can't fight it yet!" Clearly. Duh.

Crumpled up in his own heap, Brian lets out a quiet groan from his white mask. He can't bring himself up from the way the flames knocked him back. Pressing his gloved hands against the ground of the enchanted wood. He looks up to Mala. "Princess. Turn back." It's not much he can do. But there is one thing that could aid the Princess. It's Brian's aid coming in from far away. The white mask turns some to peer through the wood.

In the distance, marching is heard. An army. Or at least a squadron. A group of white masked men dressed in elaborate trench coats. All identical to the original Brian. Each carrying a different weapon. A pike, a sword, a shield, a bow, a pot. The team of Brian's army approaches rapidly in order to help Mala escape the dragon.

Too late does the dollymancer's warning come. They might not be ready to fight it but the fight is already here and the dragon doesn't seem to be such a good sport as to take a raincheck for another day. A fair fight and a good victory mean nothing to him, especially when the easy route is so readily available.

Speaking of which.

Another belch of a giant fireball is sent toward Mala. And another. And yet another. Each one swearing on her and causing her skin to retain that sickly color that she'd been so good at masking. The last fireball catches the suit of the fat man on fire and tears begin to creep down her cheeks. Mala chose the wrong way, now Santa is burning up. Just as Mala finds the strength to stand and point her tiny weapon upward at the enormous creature, its jaws come down to snap the child up in one gulp.

Gillian's arrows seem to do nothing but ricochet off its natural scaley armor. The barrage of flaming marionettes are laughable at best under the beast's giant feet. Blue hands that let off bursts of flame do next to nothing to a creature that eats it for lunch. Giving them all a wide and toothy smile, the dragon's head snakes to the side as it chooses its next victim. Perhaps the masked man… and it comes nearer to him first.

In a perfect world, that is what it would be doing. In this world, its eyes are rolling into the back of its head and like a giant redwood in the forest, its long neck comes collapsing down between the heroes.

From between two of the dragon's sharp teeth, a little armored foot can be seen, caught in between.

"Mala!" the archer pirate yells, breaking into a run even if that means going unarmed. Gillian knew she should have come with more weapons, but her brother has plenty of those all on his own. From her further position, she has a lot of room to cover to make it there— which means the men are there first.

Those tiny little armored feet move slightly between the teeth, and a soft sound can be heard inside. A cough, a soft yell.

"Aaa!" The rush of flames catch around Doyle's coat, and he's patting himself down desperately as he dances around for a moment trying to put it out— sweat pouring down his face, the coat finally shed entirely as he tears it off, stomping on it and looking up…

…just in time to see Mala vanish into the jaws of the beast. "Mala!" As the dragon's head comes crashing down, he charges across the field to its jaws — reaching down to grab hold of the teeth and try to pry them open, heedless of their sharpness and danger to bare flesh, desperation driving his own strength, "I'm— here— "

"Mala!" Brian echoes initially. Moments later the echo of twenty more voices calls out the name of the Princess. Brian is soon at Doyle's side. Grasping desperately at the teeth of the dragon, he too tries to press with all his strength in unison with Doyle. Nothing. "On three." He groans, going to push his shoulder into the upper lip of the beast. Pushing up hard, driving off his back feet. And then there are a dozen spears slammed into the jaw of the dragon.

Being pressed down as levers the arrival of the Brian army should be more than enough to pry open the jaws of the beast. "Mala!" Brian calls out in several bodies in a panic. "My princess!"

Finally able to wrestle free of the flower, the little pixie tumbles to the ground, unable to fly. She's covered in a sticky slime from head to foot, whatever nectar was inside the flower has turned her into a little yellow honey glob. Slowly, she picks her way through the dirt and climbs up the leg of the pirate. When she reaches Gillian's knee, she swallows hard and looks down at the beast.

The combined efforts of the remaining three heroes manages to pry the jaws apart to reveal the crumpled form of the little girl resting on its tongue. The hilt of her little sword is the only part visible sticking down from the roof of the dragon's palate. If there was any question about how the dragon died, it's been answered. With one last gust of strength, they manage to tip the head to the side and leave its mouth hanging open.

The armor didn't offer nearly as much protection as the girl may have wished, dented and broken in places, rusting in others. But once Mala becomes free off the mouth she grasps Santa's burnt coat with a tiny hand, leaving the sword where it is. "Told me— I could beat it," she says with a weak smile, tired, before breaking off to cough hoarsely.

The smile doesn't fade, though, as she closes her eyes and leans into the warmth of the round man, her own skin hot with fever, her breathing harsh and sick sounding.

"Didn't save the Beacon of Light… but I figured it out… you're the beacons," she says, voice broken by soft gasps and coughs, as she continues to smile.

"Are you proud of me?"

"Of course we are," Gillian says, reaching a hand out to touch the broken armor of the girl. There's very little in the way of blood. The best stories don't mention things like that— even when the hero is dying.

As that tiny hand reaches for the burnt edge of what remains of Doyle's 'Santa' raiment, he reaches out to gather her up against him; her armour broken and dented and burnt, his own skin no doubt scorched severely, tears streaking down his own rounded cheeks as he feels her skin hot to the touch, as he feels her breathing there on the edge of death.

"I've always been proud of you," he murmurs quietly, fiercely, "Always. I love you. We all do. C'mon… stay with us, Princess. After you slay the dragon, there's supposed to be a big feast and celebration, remember?"

Brian is falling to his knees, crawling forward some to remain on the outskirts of Doyle and Mala. Then he does something that he doesn't usually do. The mask is pulled from his face. Hair a mess, features locked into horror as the mask is brought down. But his features are strange, flicking from one person to the next. Remaining similar yet different. But sometimes asian. But no matterwho's face he wears, the features are twisted into unexplainable horror.

Reaching out to grip weakly at Mala's hand, his lips are torn down, eyes immediately beginning to well up. "I can fix this." He lets out quietly. "Let me fix this, Mala." Brian croaks out hoarsely.

Wiping a tear from her eye with the heel of one hand, the redheaded pixie hangs from the fabric of the pirate's trousers. Closing her eyes, a warm glow of light eminates from her and when it dissappates, she's free of the goo that's covered her. She lets go of Gillian's pants and her little wings buzz as she flutters near the woman's ear.

"She's slipping," she tells the trio, "I can't hold you here any more…" The little wings carry her over the girl's face and she plants a tiny kiss on the end of her nose. "It was really nice to meet you, Mala. I wish I could have known you better."

Her retreat finds her next to Brian and her little hand slips over his shoulder. Even as he grasps the little girl's hand, he begins to fade from view as do Gillian, the pony, the reindeer, the dragon, and everything around them. Until all that's left is Doyle and Mala under the light of a silvery moon.

The world may be slipping away, but Mala tries to smile, even as her friends and family disappear, taking with them that beacon of light she said she needed to find and rescue— that light that was there all along. "It's okay," she says quietly, though only Doyle can hear her now.

"I knew princesses could kill dragons."

Bannerman's Castle: Infirmary

With a small jolt, Doyle's eyes open, the infirmary around him. He doesn't even remember falling asleep, as he went to sit by young Mala's bedside. The coma had started the day before, one that those in the infirmary were afraid she'd never wake from. One tiny hand loosely clasps his, while the other is around the puppet princess that she kept close the entire time.

The girl's chest falls raggedly…

And never rises again.

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