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Magic Dance

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Magic Dance

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Suggested Theme:

Main Theme- Magic Dance by David Bowie

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            Crystal Cave is very beautiful with glittering red crystals and lavender waters. Reggie can see some of the stars’ reflection in the water. He briefly muses if Ridley Scott had a hand in the Location’s creation; it looks like a prime spot for unicorns and an innocent princess to gather. He cannot help but smile at the thought of this place being “magical”. It’s appropriate for him to be thinking about magic since it is Halloween. It’s also appropriate for him to be wandering about in such a strange land since he is dressed like Lawrence of Arabia.

Well, a physically crippled Lawrence of Arabia, Reggie inwardly remarks. After his accident and when his Chaotic-self returned to him, he had hopes that he would be able to walk in Chaotic, even if he couldn’t on Earth anymore. When he ported in the next hour to have his match with Tom and Kaz, his wheelchair was ported with him. For the briefest of minutes, he tried to move his legs, but, like on Earth, they didn’t move. His hopes to be able to walk were dashed, but at least he still gets to go to Perim. However, he couldn’t explore Perim as well or as much as he did before; Perim isn’t wheelchair accessible and his wheelchair isn’t exactly built to outrun territorial Creatures. He hasn’t been on a proper Scan Quest since his accident………well, until now.

He acquired this scan of Crystal Cave from Elliot. Now, Elliot prefers being a trader, or a nerdy salesman in the words of some players, than an actual player. He has a seller’s reputation of having quality scans. He’s also a prat. He tactlessly informed Reggie that he could go to him for scans of Locations since Reggie’s accident left him crippled. Reggie did not immediately accept Elliot’s offer, not out of pride or being offended by his rudeness, but because he wanted to drive down the price that Elliot was asking for the Crystal Cave scan. It took almost seven months for the scan to reach a reasonable price; Elliot did not give him a special discount just because he’s physically disabled. He’s admirably free of pity, but still a prat. He did kindly, perhaps in the spirit of Halloween, told him that there is a secret cavern somewhere in the cave.

Reggie is hoping, not praying since he knows from experience (from all those wasted hours his relatives prayed for him to walk again) that does not work, he’ll meet with Iflar again. Now, from his previous meetings with Iflar, he can conclude that Iflar is very, very hard to predicate his location. Reggie has gone back to the pervious Locations they met to see if Iflar might be there; he wasn’t. He has also tried to get players to be on the lookout for Iflar and to call him immediately if they spot him; they haven’t. He has yet to attempt break into the Mipedim Oasis solely because he does not know where Iflar’s chambers are and no other player, except maybe the CodeMasters, knows either.

He does not want a scan of Iflar. He just wants to talk to Iflar again, particularly about his accident and his mother. He could’ve talked to Tom, but he’s not exactly experienced in tragedy. He could’ve talked to Kaz, but he’s not exactly socially competent. He could’ve talked to Peyton, but he’s a bit too…….Peyton. He could’ve talked to Sarah, but she’s a bit too forward in her opinions for his taste. He could’ve talked to Lulu, but she’s more of a listener than a conversationalist. Iflar, on his very short list of friends, is exactly who he wants to talk to. The Mipedian Crown Prince knows what loss is, is charismatic, his peculiarities do not bother Reggie, he’s tactful, and he knows how to converse. Even if most of their conversations get derailed by whatever twist that Iflar decides to throw at him.

It’s been seven months since he last saw Iflar, and, granted, most of their meetings are separated by months-long stretches, but this has been the longest since they have gone on without even seeing each other. He wants to tell him of the fairly disastrous adventure he had with the so-called map to the Cothica. And part of him hopes that Iflar would teach Mudeenu a lesson, but they are cousins and revenge is rather petty at this point.

He would also like to talk to Iflar about his accident and maybe…..just maybe “express” his true feelings that he has been bottling up since then. He has friends, a therapist, a dad, a big brother, and a mum to talk to about his feelings. However, he just……..can’t bring himself to reveal all of it because they are not the ones he wants to confide into. They are……always there for him, even when he doesn’t want them to. Iflar just isn’t like them. He isn’t suffocating like they are.

‘You’ve chosen life…and that’s how it should be...whatever the reckoning. And that’s why I’m going away, my dear. Oh, I…I can’t help you now. I can only confuse you more and destroy whatever chance you have left of happiness. You must make your own life amongst the living. And whether you’ll meet fair winds or foul…find your own way to harbor in the end.’” Reggie recites as sadly accepting as Captain Daniel Greggs from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is one of Reggie’s favorite romance, and he usually hates the genre more than sitting through another one of his mother’s history lectures, movies of all time.

During the initial weeks of recovery after his accident, Reggie took to watching classic movies because, for the most part, everything made sense. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is basically a romance movie from 1947 with Rex Harrison starring as the titular “ghost” Captain Daniel Greggs and Gene Tierney starring as the titular Mrs. Muir. Basically, Mrs. Muir is a widow who moves into Captain Daniel Gregg’s house with her daughter in order to get away from her pesky relatives. The captain doesn’t want them there because he doesn’t really like weak women, but, eventually, grows to accept her there to the point of helping her write a novel about him. Of course, problems arise with a rival love interest, like in all damn romance movies, but it worked out rather well. And the performances of Harrison and Tierney were superb and they banter quite well with one another.

Reggie prefers logical movies, for the most part, and most romances, to him, lack any scrap of logic. So this movie is basically the most pleasant surprise he has ever experienced, aside from his meetings with Iflar. Also, while watching the movie, several times he turned to the side to talk about it, but no one was there. Well, that’s not really true because either his ever-hovering mum or fretful dad would be at his side, but he didn’t want to talk to them about the movie. Rather, he wanted to talk to Iflar about the movie, even though Iflar probably has no idea what a movie is.

Reggie feels like Lucinda, or rather Mrs. Muir, where he feels like there’s someone missing. A ghost in his memories waiting for him. A cup of tea and being covered in a quilt won’t sate his emptiness. But then again, neither will exploring Crystal Cave. It’s not like he’s going to run into Iflar here. This is too far from the Mipedim Oasis and clearly OverWorld territory unlike Broken Edge. However, while he’s dying to meet or even see Iflar again, he is getting fed up with being unable to explore Perim as freely as he wanted to. And Crystal Cave is his first step into getting back to his explorer roots.

Now, Elliot did say there was a secret cavern somewhere in the Location. He looks out for the atypical signs for a secret entrance like different-colored crystals or if one crystal was bigger or shorter than the others. Unfortunately, Elliot “forgot” (or maybe he was miffed about the lengthy haggling) to mention that Crystal Cave is like a labyrinth. Luckily, he gathered a bunch of smooth, black pebbles that he found outside to mark which path he has gone through like Ariadne’s red thread or Hansel’s breadcrumbs.

He spends three hours navigating his way through the cave. Of course, he keeps his eyes peel for a subtle change in the environment, or rather anything that can give him some kind of clue that he was close to finding the hidden entrance, but, alas, everything looked relatively the same. Fortunately, there is only one path that hasn’t been marked by the pebbles. And he hopes that this path will lead him to something different, or else he’s going to wring Elliot’s neck.

This time he finds a change in this path. The crystals are not red in this path, but rather a bit more maroon-purple in color. Also, there’s more puddles of the lavender water than in any of the previous paths. He is very grateful for his parents springing him a top-of-the-line wheelchair for him; it’s waterproof, but it’s not exactly made for floating if it turns out that one of the puddles is actually as deep as a lake.

He finally comes across the atypical sign for the secret entrance to the secret cavern. There are maroon-purple crystals warped into a shape of a thin table presenting a giant crystal like a lever. And the lever-like crystals are clearly in front of a giant entrance covered in crystals. For some reason, Reggie is slightly disappointed by this simplicity, but, perhaps, this is something that isn’t meant to be hidden.

“I really hope that this isn’t some kind of trap like choosing between a cup of wine or poison.” Reggie sighed, and hears his complaint echoing throughout the cave. And then, like a well in a godforsaken desert, he hears a revitalizing chuckle reverberate back to him.

“Reggie, were you trying to find the hidden Location too?” Iflar’s voice makes Reggie’s heart speed up like he’s a kid again during Christmas. He hears footsteps splashing and running through the puddles to meet him.

“Oh Ludo, you’re Jareth the Goblin King!” When Reggie was too young for preschool, his older brother would watch him and they would frequently watch Labyrinth starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly mostly because Reggie loved the aesthetic while his older brother loved the music. Iflar has blue streaks in his black hair while wearing some cobalt-blue eyeshadow with white glitter like a mask. He has on a bedazzled indigo jacket of what looks like sapphires over a lacey dress shirt with roaming sleeves and a frilly neckline. He also has on tight indigo pants with black boots (or at least boots that are molded to his reptile-like feet).

“Was Jareth the Goblin King part of the wars for the Holy Grail?” Part of Reggie wants to basically go along with that because imagining the flamboyant Goblin King just wreaking havoc for King Arthur and Camelot just seems so hilarious! However, the rest of him doesn’t like lying to Iflar because no pleasure can be derived from lying to a friend.

“No, he’s just a villa-character from a movie that stole some girl’s baby brother, after she asked him to do this, and pretty much played mind games with her while singing fabulously. Also, a movie is basically moving pictures with sound.” Iflar blinks like he’s unsure if all the words from Reggie’s mouth was a compliment, since in actuality he can’t sing worth a damn, but he does offer a small smirk. The last part, however, he just chalks it up as one of those human inventions like their Scanners.

“So any particular reason you’re dressed like….an ancient Muge?” Reggie chuckles a bit at Iflar’s mental straining to analogize his costume.

“Oh, today’s Halloween back on Earth. It’s a holiday where people dress-up as whatever they want and go to parties or beg for sweets. So why are you dressed like……..Jareth the Goblin King?” Reggie inwardly curses his lack of creativity at the last part. Iflar has an expression like he’s in deep thought or is about to roll his eyes in sarcasm.

“Well, there was this party that my cousin was throwing because he wanted my forgiveness. Unfortunately for him, one of my Stalkers informed me of some hidden Location that Blazer liked to venture to in the OverWorld. I decided, at the last minute, to not attend and go find said hidden Location.” Reggie faces twists between curiosity and slight glee at Iflar’s answer. On one hand, Iflar unintentionally got back at Mudeenu for him. On the other hand, why?

“So did Mudeenu broke something of yours….or something?” Reggie is somewhat leading Iflar into giving him a favorable answer. And Iflar does not disappoint.

“I found out what he did to you all those months ago, which he did without my permission or even knowledge, and I wasn’t……happy. I admit I did suggest that you trade half of the map to the ‘Cothica’ to Frafdo, but I was hoping you would stash the other half……..in a safer Location for you. What possessed you to hide the other half at the Mipedim Oasis? It’s common knowledge that Mipedim Oasis is crawling with guards and spies, mostly invisible, who report directly to Mudeenu when I’m not there. And I wasn’t there!” Iflar’s teal flash dangerously like lightning during a thunderstorm. Reggie almost backs, or rather rolls, away from Iflar. The Crown Prince’s anger is more tangible than Mudeenu’s arrogance.

“Your cousin and I had a frank discussion about the Cothica. And when I voiced my doubts about its existence, he retorted, ‘Just because you can’t see a thing, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.’ Well, the quote kind of reminded me of the reason why I hid the other half of the map in Mipedim Oasis. OverWorlders can’t go to Mipedim Oasis without getting caught by said invisible guards, so I picked that Location because even Frafdo is smart enough not to charge into.” Honestly, Reggie just shoehorned in Mudeenu’s condescending quote because he’s hoping to redirect Iflar’s anger back to his cousin. And now, Reggie feels a bit dirty like an UnderWorlder for doing something this underhanded.

“And now Mudeenu has the other half of the map, but I’ll take care of that once I get back. Also, my cousin did not admit to injuring you when you were his prisoner. Did he do this to you?” Reggie feels a bit cold, but he knows that Iflar was going to ask about his disability at some point. Everyone does. However, Iflar’s expression is calculating like he’s weighing his choices on what to do to his cousin depending on Reggie’s answer. For some reason, Reggie almost pities Mudeenu in this moment.

“No, this happened back on Earth. I actually kind of hoped when I ported back into Perim that I would be able to walk. I knew that the Scanner couldn’t fix my spine on Earth, but I was really hoping that I would be able to walk in Perim. Well, clearly, that didn’t happen.” Reggie can hear the bitterness and anger in his own voice now that have been repressed in the beginning. When he first woke up in the hospital and was subsequently told by his tear-stricken family that he would never walk again, he was shocked and sadden. He refused to show his family anything less than his fairly normal, chipper self because he didn’t want to worry them any more than he has to. However, those feelings of bitterness, anger, fear, and impotence raged on under his smile.

He’s so strong!

Look at him preserve!

He’s the perfect child!

So many people told him those three lines many times after he got out of the hospital. From the nurses to relatives to classmates to even some punks. And each time, he has to resist the urge to exorcise those faceless word-demons with his fists. That’s what most people seem him as now since he got out of the hospital, a pitiful but optimistic child, and he would sometimes, in the darkest hours of the night, wish that he never woke up. But then he would’ve never saw Iflar again if that had happened. Sometimes suffering in silence does pay off, even if he had to wait seven months for him.

“Shame, I may have ditched Mudeenu’s party, but I really wanted to dance with someone tonight. Oh well, let’s check out this hidden Location.” Reggie is once again how quick Iflar is willing to just change the subject, but he does appreciate this. Iflar goes to the crystal lever and pulls it down which makes the door of crystals split open to reveal another path. Reggie peers inside and sees crystals as blue as the OverWorld color.

“Right, let’s go inside. Hopefully, there aren’t any traps.” Iflar comments before heading inside with Reggie in pursuit. It only takes them a minute to reach the hidden Location, and everywhere, like craters on the moon, there are blue crystals. There’s even a giant blue crystal jutting up from the center like a Christmas tree.

“Oh.” Iflar gasps in surprise. Reggie looks at Iflar and doesn’t see anything different about him.

“You don’t notice? I feel like I drank a Ravita Flower smoothie. Also, my sense of balance…..has changed.” Reggie does admit that his arms……feel a bit lighter but still doesn’t understand what Iflar means. And then Iflar jumps, he jumps high up like he’s on the moon.

“Oh, so the Location gives Creatures some energy and the gravity here is nearly a fourth of our normal gravity.” Reggie watches with delight and a bit of envy as Iflar hops around the Location like an astronaut. The Crown Prince is smiling with his teeth like he’s a child again. Iflar does flips, cartwheels, and somersaults like an Olympic gymnasts. Reggie wishes that he can join Iflar.

“Reggie, can your Scanner play music?” Scanners are pretty much like IPods and cellphones, however you can only call fellow Chaotic players with Scanners, and have an assortment of features. One of which is, thankfully, playing music.

“Yes, oh I’ll play one just fit for you.” He scrolls through his music and chooses “Magic Dance” from Labyrinth. Reggie almost giggles at the thought of Jareth-looking Iflar pretty much dance to one of Jareth’s iconic songs.

“You remind me of the babe.

(What babe?)

Babe with the power!

(What power?)

Power of voodoo.

(Who do?)

You do!

(Do what?)

Remind me of the babe.”

Reggie did not get the version listed on ITunes solely because it did not sound exactly like the song in the movie. Instead, he got his brother to pretty much download the song for him off a fairly shady website. Thank goodness, Scanners pretty much have the best anti-virus software in the world. Reggie smiles at the memory of himself worrying about messing up his Scanner.

“Come on now.” Iflar pulls Reggie from his chair like he’s a wallflower. Reggie drops his Scanner in surprise and it lands in the seat of his wheelchair.

“I can’t dance. I can’t even walk!” Reggie protests slightly; he feels a weird weightlessness in pit of his stomach.

“Quiet!

A goblin babe!

Ha ha ha!

Well?

(Ha ha ha ha ha!)”

“Dancing is supposed to be a share of equal power between partners. However, most of my dance partners have the nasty habit of stepping on my toes. You can’t do that. You can’t walk, but you can dance with me.” Iflar informs him. Reggie knows his feet are dragging, but he does not care. Like Iflar said, he can’t walk, but he can dance. With Iflar.

“I saw my baby, crying hard as babe could cry.

What could I do?

My baby’s love had gone

And left my baby blue…

Nobody knew.”

Iflar jumps up and spins the air with Reggie like a half-assed turn. Normally, Reggie would feel abnormal for letting someone do all the work, since all he’s doing right now is holding onto Iflar, but Iflar is beaming like a crazed rock star.

“What kind of magic spell to use?

(Slime and snails)

(Or puppy dog’s tails)

(Thunder or lightning)

Then baby said,

‘Wa la wa.’”

Reggie wonders how often Iflar gets to dance since he is the Crown Prince and all. He imagines that since the Crown Prince pretty much has the duties of a king, even if it’s without the title, Iflar must not have a lot of free time. However, from their previous meetings, Reggie cannot also help but wonder how on Earth Iflar is able to get away from Mipedim Oasis without Mudeenu sending out a legion after him.

“Dance magic, dance

(Dance magic, dance)

Put that baby spell on me.

Jump magic, jump

(Jump magic, jump)

Put that magic jump on me,

Slap that baby make him free!”

And then, Iflar throws Reggie very high up in the air. While in the air, Reggie waves his arms like he’s trying to do a flip but really looks like a princess being pushed from a very high tower. He falls gracelessly back into Iflar’s arms.

“In nine hours and twenty-three minutes,

You’ll be mine!

(Ah ha ah ha ha)”

“Wow, you weigh about as much as I do. They feed you on Earth, right?” Iflar jokes. Reggie does eat, but it’s mostly vegetables and chicken thanks to his health-conscious mum. Only in Chaotic or with his big brother at his house does he get to eat junk food.

“I can ask you the same thing. Do you eat sunbeams in order to hide in light?” Reggie cheekily retorts. Saucily, Iflar turns invisible and throws Reggie high up in the air again. I should’ve just kept my trap shut. Reggie bemoans inwardly.

“I saw my baby, trying hard as babe could try.

What could I do?

My baby’s fun had gone

And left my baby blue…

Nobody knew!”

His fall to the ground reminds Reggie of those slow-motion scenes in zombie movies where the stupid victim is basically about to be violently torn to shreds and eaten by hoards of the living undead. He wonders if he’ll break an arm when he lands or, the more logical possibility, if he’ll break his neck. He really hopes it’s the former.

“What kind of magic spell to use?

(Slime and snails)

(Or puppy dog’s tails)

(Thunder or lightning)

Then baby said,

‘Ha ha ha.’”

“I’m not as cruel as Chaor. In fact, I’m crueler.” Iflar discourses and catches Reggie by the scruff of his collar.

“Uh, thank you.” Reggie takes in this new piece of information like a blow to the head. A bit too violently.

“Let’s resume, shall we?” And they go back to dancing together.

“Dance magic, dance

(Dance magic, dance)

Put that baby spell on me.

Jump magic, jump

(Jump magic, jump)

Put that magic jump on me,

Slap that baby make him free!”

Reggie is reminded of the waltz that Sarah and Jareth share in Sarah’s poisoned-peach dream. Except there isn’t an assortment of creepy masqueraders or bubbles. He knows that the song is something that requires frenetic dancing and it’s usually danced by itself. Iflar probably could guess all of that from the song by now, but he appears to be apathetic to the demands of the song.

“To answer your question from earlier, I mostly subsist on tea and fruit.” Reggie didn’t expect an answer, but he does laugh into Iflar’s shoulder. Iflar is always full of surprises!

“Dance magic, dance

(Dance magic, dance)

Dance magic, dance

(Dance magic, dance)

Dance magic, dance

(Dance magic, dance)

Dance magic, dance

(Dance magic, dance)

Jump magic, jump

(Jump magic, jump)

Jump magic, jump

(Jump magic, jump)

Put that baby spell on me.”

And the dance ends. Iflar puts Reggie back into his wheelchair, careful in not letting Reggie’s Scanner be squished. It is odd to Reggie to be back in his chair again. It’s like a spell has been broken. For one song, he danced but could not walk.

“Here, you can have this.” And Reggie is handed a crystal orb. The crystal orb is spherical and looks exactly like the one that Jareth the Goblin King has in the movie. Reggie wonders if Iflar might be a real Goblin King.

“That is a key to my private chambers. As much as I enjoy our random meetings, I don’t want to wait another seven months or more to see you again.” And Reggie can feel his face almost split from the smile on his face. He can actually go into Iflar’s private chambers! He actually has a key to one of the most important and secluded chambers in Mipedim Oasis!

“I’m not going to tell you where exactly my chambers are located. Think of it as another hidden Location to find.” Iflar disappears, or more likely turns invisible, and leaves Reggie to dwell on one crucial question. Where the Hell am I going to hide the key?

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