Chapter 21 – Deals with She-devils
By the time the Inn of the Prancing Pony had finally closed, the only customers left were the ones who were planning on staying for the night. As such, G and the rest of the group had decided to rent out the available beds upstairs, which only made sense since there was no more need to travel and they were pretty much exhausted from everything that had happened earlier. However G still had some business to do with a certain trio of sirens before he turned in.
“What’s wrong, sis?” Aria asked, taking notice of Adagio’s shifty eyes as she and Sonata helped her clean the bar up for the evening.
“That bloke over there has done nothing but stare at us since he arrived,” Adagio replied, pointing a thumb over her shoulder.
Upon hearing this Aria looked over her sister’s shoulder to see what she was taking about, true enough someone was indeed there staring at them. To be more specific, G and Laura were still sitting at their table in the corner, with Laura keeping her back towards them while G focused his gaze upon their every move. Since G was still in disguise, neither Adagio nor Aria were aware of his true form, if they were they would have probably be a little more freaked out upon seeing him.
“You ever seen him before?” Aria asked with a raised eyebrow.
At those words, Adagio merely shrugged.
“Nope, probably just some pervert passing through town,” she replied with a sigh, accidently dropping an empty bottle from the bar and smashing it. “Jeez! How is it that THIS is our life now!?!”
Aria rolled her eyes at that, after all the years of knowing her sister, she always came to expect such one of Adagio’s usual tantrums when things got rough.
“Hey it could have been worse,” she said, trying to be reassuring but only coming out as sarcastic.
“Oh really? How!?!” Adagio retorted, kneeling down to pick up the broken piece of bottle. “Because granted, the last world we were banished to wasn’t so peachy, but at least it had indoor plumbing!”
Indeed that was a valid point, Middle-Earth wasn’t exactly as modern as Modern day Amareica. All of a sudden Adagio felt a small tap on her shoulder.
“Um… Adagio?” Sonata’s voice said, a small tinge of nervousness echoed in its tone.
“What?” Adagio snapped, not in the slightest mood for another one of Sonata’s idiotic quips.
However once she looked up, Adagio saw that Sonata’s face had a certain look upon it, a look that was a mix of shock and astonishment, a look that seemed to be directed at the disguised being behind Adagio. It was only then that both Adagio and Aria once again turned their heads towards the table by the window, upon which both of them put on the same shocked expressions as their sister. Now that there was barely anyone left in the bar, G felt no issue in opening up half of his cloak in the Dazzlings’ direction, making sure that Nyx was in full view whilst still sitting G’s inner pocket. At first Sonata was about to scream, but thankfully she wasn’t too dim as to ignore Nyx’s quick gestures of shush, which were quickly followed by another gesture of her hoof, asking them to come over to the table.
“Is that…?” Aria stammered, before being cut off by Adagio.
“Girls, get Chef,” she said, finally regaining her composure and narrowing her eyes with determination. “Something tells me that we’re going to need him out here for this one.”
Satisfied that Nyx had done her job brilliantly, G allowed Laura to hide her in her own cloak as she went back upstairs, leaving G alone to perform his business with the Dazzlings. Of course G knew that showing them an Equestrian citizen would obviously stir up a few questions in their minds, which in G’s opinion was a sure fire way to break the ice and give the impression that he was legit on whatever he had to say next. After another ten minutes of waiting, the Dazzlings came walking towards the table with Chef in tow.
“This had better be good, little girl,” Chef muttered angrily, he did NOT like being disturbed once his shift was over.
However the Dazzlings assured Chef that they had good reason to bring them out here, as all four of them reached G’s table, Chef was the first to speak.
“So these kids tell me that you’ve got… something of interest?” he said, not really sure of the right choice of words.
However the reaction Chef got was not what he expected.
“Are you hitting on me?” G asked, with a raised eyebrow.
As expected, Chef became startled by this sudden apartment misunderstanding.
“What!?!” he yelped. “No I…”
Thankfully G wasn’t planning on letting the joke go any further than that and simply laughed it off, cutting Chef off mid-sentence.
“Hey relax Hatchet, I’m just joshing ya,” he chuckled. “Please all of you, have a seat.”
However before anyone say down, Chef looked back at G with a surprised look upon his face.
“How do you know my name?” he gasped.
At those words, G’s expression turned serious and he placed an elbow on the table, leaning his chin into his fist.
“Oh I know all four of you,” he said calmly. “Chef Hatchet, Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk, and what’s more I know that you aren’t from around these parts so to speak.”
Upon hearing this all four of them gasped in shock and Adagio grit her teeth in suspense, she KNEW there was something strange about this guy, not only did he have a pony in his pocket, but he also knew each and every one of their names as if he was familiar with them.
“W… who are you?” Sonata asked, voicing everyone’s curiosity.
“Me?” G chuckled. “I’m the one who can get you home, but to be more specific…”
It was then that G felt the need to shed his disguise to emphasize his point, first he slammed his right hand onto the table as it hardened into its cybernetic metal, then he did the same with his left as it burnt away into bone, after which the rest of his form went up in blue flame and revealed his true mismatched appearance from his Cowboy hat to his Stegosaurus tail. Needless to say both Chef’s and the Dazzlings’ jaws dropped upon seeing G’ in his true form.
“I’m what you call a dimensional jumper,” G continued, smirking at everyone’s reaction. “And I know for a fact that you four are in the wrong one.”
After taking a few minutes to calm down from the sudden revelation, everyone then turned to each other and gave each other an understanding nod, the same train of thought running through their minds.
“Okay, we’re listening,” Adagio finally said, pulling up a chair and taking a seat across the table. “So start explaining.”
After Chef, Aria and Sonata followed Adagios example and sat down as well, G then proceeded to tell the same story he told the rest of his group back in Edward’s mansion. Starting from explanations about who he was and where he was from, leading towards Foxy and his two cronies following him to his home and the scuffle they had that caused the cracks. He then began to explain how he and anyone else was unable to get back to their own worlds due to the failsafe from his world, thus needing to go forward with his plan of tearing the walls of creation just enough to seep back in so that he can fix the damage and get everyone home. For the entire time, both Chef and the Dazzlings said nothing aside from the occasional question, however once G was finished, that was when they let out their voices.
“I see,” Adagio said, tapping her chin with thought. “So those cracks had been appearing across the multiverse huh? Guess we can take some comfort in knowing that we weren’t the only ones in this nightmare.”
With Adagio and her sisters being somewhat experienced in dimensional travel, it was no surprise that she would be accepting of the idea. Obviously G kept quiet about each dimension being the creation of someone else entirely since he was basically keeping it a secret anyway, and thus he will continue to do so.
“And you say there’s an entire group of you?” Chef added, growing a bit more intrigued.
G nodded at that.
“They’re all in rooms upstairs,” he answered. “I figured they deserved a bit of rest after everything they went through today.”
“And this plan of yours?” Aria queried. “You’re saying that you need to keep tearing up the walls of reality to reach your endgame?”
G rolled his eyes upon hearing that, he really hated having to repeat himself but in this case at least things were beginning to move forward slightly.
“That is the general idea yes,” he answered. “But enough about that. Tell me, how did three sirens and a cook from a reality show end up working in Bree’s local inn?”
Indeed that was a good question, something of which that had been playing about in G’s mind ever since he first laid eyes on all four of them earlier. At first G had expected for them to be reluctant to reveal anything, however it only seemed to be nothing more than a minor hesitation before they finally spoke again.
“Well we didn’t have much of a choice,” Adagio said with a small sigh. “I guess it all started when we ended up trapped in this world.”
“Do tell,” G replied, leaning into his hand again as he listened intently.
It was then that Chef began his explanation first.
“Well for me it started off as a simple day at work,” he said, scratching his chin. “I wake up, cook the dang food and get ready to make a bunch of sorry teenagers suffer for Reality TV. Then my boss Chris comes along and asks me to hunt down the local Freakshow, Ezekiel, so we could use him for a challenge, I was mere inches from luring him into a trap when all of a sudden a crack of light split the ground beneath our feet, causing us both to fall in. By the time I woke up that crazy fool, Ezekiel was gone and I was stuck in some forest about a mile from here.”
Hearing this G instantly began gaining answers to a few previous questions that had been going through his mind. If what Chef said was true then that would defiantly explain why Ezekiel was in this world too, he must have woken up before Chef did and ran off when he had the chance, after which he must had met Ranamon and instantly began following her like a puppy due to being smitten by her looks and her power.
“And you girls?” G asked, looking towards the Dazzlings, wanting to know more.
“Pretty much the same situation really,” Aria said with her casual frown. “We come home to our apartment, sulk after losing our singing voices, then poof! Crack in the ceiling that swallows us up and dumps us here.”
“As for why we’re working in this dump,” Adagio added. “Without our magical singing, surviving here wasn’t going to be easy. Luckily we ran into Chef here when we arrived here in Bree, at first we were planning on mugging him but then after a slip up on Sonata’s part we divulge the fact that we were from a different world, and to our surprise so did Chef. Thus we came to an agreement to work together in hopes of at least surviving in this new realm, reluctantly but in our situation, there was a need for such an arrangement.”
At those words Chef chuckled.
“So I whipped these lazy hides into shape and got us all jobs here at this inn,” he commented with a smirk.
“Brutally I might add,” Aria pointed out, rolling her eyes.
“Hey, it weren’t my fault that the innkeeper has a child’s bladder!” Chef retorted. “Honestly, I yell at the guy once and he wets his pants. Pathetic.”
Needless to say, G found the current situation quite amusing, not only have these four characters managed to survive the harsh environment of Middle-Earth together, but they also seem to be on good terms with each other too, which was surprising since the Dazzlings are considered villains in their story and Chef Hatchet is one of the brutal characters in creation when it comes to social interaction. And yet here they were talking to each other as equals, it must have be true what they say, a harsh situation can unite the unfriendliness of people.
“So this plan of yours,” Adagio said, snapping G out of his trance. “What’s this got to do with us?”
“Yeah,” Sonata added, not really knowing what else to throw in.
It was then that G’s smirk turned into a serious expression.
“Well I could easily just break down the walls by myself, however I cannot in good conscience leave a bunch of stranded souls in a dimension that is not their own, especially since I don’t know how long my plan will actually take,” he explained. “So I’m offering you all a choice, stay here and wait in a less than modern realm for a miracle that might take ages to come, or join me and my group on our travels. Who knows? Perhaps we can find a realm better suited for your… personal needs.”
Of course G would throw in the need for indoor plumbing somewhere into the conversation, he may be taking things seriously here but he certainly wasn’t above toilet humour. However despite the obvious dig the Dazzlings were still hesitant about what G was proposing, or even if he was being honest about the whole situation, in any case it was enough for Adagio to stand up and take her two sisters a few feet away from the table to talk in private.
“So what do you think girls?” Adagio asked, keeping her voice down so that G couldn’t hear. “You think he’s telling the truth?”
“Well I certainly haven’t seen the likes of him anywhere,” Aria pointed out. “Maybe he is.”
“Of course he is,” Sonata replied with a small smile on her face. “I can tell from that cute little smile.”
However as usual Adagio and Aria simply rolled their eyes at that remark.
“Oh do shut up Sonata,” Aria retorted. “I suppose the big question is that, how do we know we can trust him?”
“We don’t,” Adagio said bluntly.
“Well YOU three can do what ya like,” Chef declared with a roll of his eyes, reaching across the table to shake G’s hand. “You can sign me up for this trip, Bub.”
Turns out that both Chef’s and G’s sense of hearing was sharper than the Dazzlings thought, because both of them had heard each and every word. What was even more shocking was the fact that Chef was going along with the plan so easily.
“SERIOUSLY!?!” all three dazzling yelled simultaneously, all three of their jaws dropping to the floor at the same time.
“Chef’s abandoning us!?!” Sonata squealed hysterically, a flow of comedic tears running down her eyes.
“Not if you three are smart enough to take the offer,” Chef retorted, causing all three Dazzlings to instantly calm down. “Besides, anything’s gotta be better than staying in this dump. I’ll speak to y’all about the details in the morning alright?”
On that final note, Chef then rose from his chair and walked away, leaving the Dazzlings alone with G. Despite Chef quickly seizing the chance to escape this rotten dimension, the Dazzlings still weren’t that all convinced of G’s sincerity, realising this G knew he had to come up with something quickly if he wanted the Dazzlings to come with him, after all he couldn’t very well leave them alone here, who knows what sort of trouble they could get up to? Despite his better judgment, he knew that there was only one thing that would get the Dazzlings to cooperate, something that these three sirens treasure more than anything else.
“What if I told you that there is… another benefit to being our new traveling companions?” He asked, quickly grabbing their attention.
“Such as?” Adagio asked, raising an eyebrow.
“What if I told you that I can return your voices to you?” G asked, causing each of the Dazzlings to gasp in shock.
Return their voices? Was that even possible? After their magical pendants shattered, the Dazzlings had lost all hope of ever singing again, after all they depended of those jewels for everything in their lives, from their singing to the amount of years they had lived while banished from Equestria. Needless to say, Adagio was sceptical about the offer.
“I would say that you’re bluffing,” she said coldly.
However G merely chuckled at that.
“This isn’t poker Adagio,” he retorted. “I have many abilities at my disposal, and a simple trick like that would be of no trouble to me.”
“And I suppose that you would want something extra in return?” Aria asked, sharing in her sister’s scepticism.
Again G chuckled.
“Always the smart one, eh?” he replied. “Of course I wouldn’t just give you your powers back on a whim, after all I did say that I know all about each and every one of you, and as such it means that I know of your personal backgrounds, with crucial details to each and every misdeed.”
Now the Dazzlings were beginning to get agitated, if that was true then this G person wasn’t someone who could easily be fooled.
“So what exactly are you saying?” Adagio asked.
“Yeah, cause I’m starting to get confused here,” Sonata added, scratching her head puzzlingly.
“Pft, like that wasn’t a regular event,” Aria commented snidely, much to Sonata’s distain.
“Shut up!” she retorted.
However before Aria and Sonata could begin another argument, G quickly interrupted them by giving Adagio the answer to her question.
“What I’m saying is this,” he said. “If I give you your voices back, not only will you all travel with me and my group, but you must also swear not to partake in any form of villainous acts against them or anyone else we meet on our travels. Meaning no schemes, no tricks, no betrayals, should any of you break this vow then not only will your voices be once again be taken away… but I will also leave you stranded in whatever realm I see fit! And believe me, I know of a few doozies in which you three wouldn’t last a single hour.”
Needless to say, all three Dazzlings cringed in horror upon hearing that for they had no trouble believing that this guy was no stranger to horror, after all some of his actual body parts looked particularly freaky, especially the skull that served as his right pupil that seemed to be laughing manically at their reactions.
“So… do we have a deal?” G finally said calmly.
After taking a moment to calm down Adagio finally let out a heavy sigh and replied.
“Do we really have that much of a choice?” she asked.
“I’m perfectly happy to just take you guys with me and leave it at that,” G replied with another smirk. “However whether you make the choice to get your voices back and turn a new leaf is up to you. Think of it as a chance for redemption.”
At those words, Adagio couldn’t help but put of a small smile.
“You certainly know how to drive a bargain, don’t you?” she chuckled. “Deal!”
“Really?” G replied, somewhat surprised by Adagio’s quick response. “Does she speak for all of you?”
“Oh yes, I REALLY want to be able to sing again please!!!” Sonata replied in her happier, bubbly attitude.
“Pft, whatever,” Aria added in her casual moody manner.
G had expected such a reply from each of these Dazzlings, it was no secret that a Siren’s passion was within her voice, and without it then they are like children looking for their mothers. Satisfied with how this deal was going, G’s smile widened.
“Then let’s make it official shall we?” he chuckled. “So allow me to show you something magical and full of wonder…”
At first The Dazzlings felt a little at ease, believing that whatever G had intended to show them was going to give them their voices back, perhaps they were new pendants. However that’s was when G’s cheerful face turned glum and he pulled out a thick wad of paper of his vest pocket and slumped it on the table.
“… It’s called a contract.”
“How did you fit THAT in your pocket!?!” Sonata gasped.
“You want us to sign this?” Aria asked, once again ignoring Sonata’s outbursts.
“In a nutshell yes,” G replied bluntly. “I believe in getting everything in writing.”
Adagio had to give this guy a bit of credit, he certainly doesn’t like to screw around.
“And he’s crafty too,” she replied with another smirk. “Very well.”
At those words, G then hand each of the Dazzlings a pen each and they proceeded to sign their names, though not without any hesitation, by first glance the items in front of them seemed to be nothing more than a standard combo of ink and paper, there didn’t seem to be anything magical about it. Normally Adagio would have read such a document first, but for some reason G had somehow made it close to at least 80 pages long. Once the last letter was written, G quickly snatched the pens and the contract away and gave the Dazzlings another smile.
“Very nice,” he said. “And now since THAT has been taken care of…”
It was then that G once again began to pull a few items from his vest pockets, upon which the Dazzlings jaws once again dropped as they watched the assortment of items he pulled out, an old bottle of whisky, three shot glasses and cocktail shaker. G then proceeded to pour the entire bottle of whisky into the shaker, after which he then brought it to his mouth, watching all of this, the Dazzlings were then surprised when they saw G’s eyes shine a brilliant white as he breathed a small white flame into the shaker. After he did this, he then closed the shaker and shook in violently as if he were mixing up a regular cocktail, once he was done, the final step occurred. Before the Dazzling’s eyes, G then filled up the three shot glasses with the strange glowing, white liquid that was mixed up and pushed them towards the girls.
“Alright,” he said calmly. “Drink this you’ll be back to your gorgeous singing selves in about ten seconds flat.”
Obviously the Dazzlings were hesitant to drink such a strange liquid at first, however their desire to have their voice back quickly overshadowed that hesitance as all three of them took a single glass each.
“Well… down the hatch, I guess,” Aria sighed.
At those words all three sirens then clinked their glasses together and downed their contents in one gulp, after which they all turned a sickly shade of green and started gagging.
“Ugh!!!” Sonata yelped, sticking her tongue out. “It tastes like pureed chili peppers mixed with old socks!”
“Hey! I take offence to that!” G snapped, not liking what Sonata was implying.
As all three Dazzlings felt like they were about to be dreadfully sick, they couldn’t help but think that there was a strong chance that G had just poisoned them with whatever he had just mixed up. However after about a minute of heaving and gagging, all three of them finally felt better as they each let out a small belch that caused a small blue mists to escape their mouths. After that little display was over, not only did the Dazzlings feel more at ease, they were eager to see the results.
“Did it work?” Sonata asked hopefully. “I don’t feel any different.”
“Same here,” Aria added. “How do we tell?”
It was then that a sinister grin spread across Adagio’s face, her gaze fixated on the small creature sitting across from her. Having a rough idea of what was going through their sister’s head, Aria and Sonata shared the same evil smirk.
“I suppose there is only one way to find out for sure,” Adagio declared, slamming her hands on the table.
Before G had any time to react, the sound of the Dazzlings’ new voices echoed in his ears. To say the sound was beautiful would have been an understatement, even the Dazzlings themselves were surprised with the results, so much so that Sonata couldn’t help but shed a few tears of happiness upon hearing the enchanting melody again. It was as though they were hearing the heavens themselves echoing the sweet melody of their voices. But something just didn’t seem to click in the same way it did before, at least not in Adagio’s opinion, granted it was great to be able to sing again, but for some reason her power felt… different, as though her voice had time to evolve into something more beautiful after taking a break from its owner. But even better, the magic their new voices held seemed to be stronger than ever too, within seconds G gained a blank look upon his face and was drooling on the table like a zombie. Once the three sirens finally stopped singing, G looked as though he had become brain-dead, it was at that moment the Dazzlings felt the need to celebrate their apparent victory with a high-five and a few cheers, now that they had gotten their powers back, there was no stopping them in being able to do whatever they want, and the first step was to make G take them back to Equestria by force. However the said living genre could no longer keep up his charade any longer, within a matter of seconds he finally burst out laughing at the Dazzlings’ expense.
“W… what!?!” Aria gasped, instantly confused as to what was going on.
Needless to say the same confusion spread through both the other sirens too, just a few seconds ago the Dazzlings had practically turned G into a vegetable using their restored power, and now he was laughing? Just what was going on!?!
“Oh man, that was too good,” G chuckled, calming himself down and wiping a happy tear from his eye. “You didn’t really think I’d give you your OLD powers back did you? The power that needed negative energy to thrive is long gone. What I gave you is the reverse of what you had, the kind that fed off POSITIVE emotions… oh and I’m also immune to something I created myself.”
So G was just mucking around with them? And what’s worse, the so-called power that the Dazzlings had just required is something that’s not even their own? What started off as a cause for celebration for the trio of sirens now turned into a cause for despair, and what’s worse they had basically signed over their lives to this weirdo for this rip-off of a power, needless to say Adagio was truly ticked as the knowledge began to sink in.
“You…” she muttered, her eye twitching with fury. “You double-crossing little weasel!!!”
“What can I say? You should have read the fine-print,” G retorted calmly as Aria and Sonata tried desperately to hold Adagio back while she tried to lunge for G’s throat. “Oh and by the way, since I already knew you’d try something like that, I’ll simply let that little slip-up slide. However try anything like that again and you know what’ll happen.”
At those words Adagio instantly felt silent and tried to calm herself down, as much as she hated to admit it, she and her sister have been played. G offered them something they couldn’t resist and they went for it like a fish to bait, there was no turning back now.
“So what now?” Aria asked with another scowl “Do we just pack up and leave?”
Hearing this G smiled again.
“Sorry, but I can’t do that just yet,” he said, standing up from his chair. “You may not know this but even the smallest of my tricks take up a bit of energy, and I’m afraid I’m gonna need all of mine to open up another portal out of here. So for now I bid thee goodnight, I’ll probably be at full strength by this time tomorrow evening, goodnight girls.”
On that final note, G then pulled out what appeared to be an egg from his vest pocket and threw it to the ground, at that moment a cloud of purple smoke erupted from the smashed egg and shrouded G’s entire form, as soon as it dissipated, G was gone, leaving the Dazzlings alone in the bar.
“Damn that sneaky rat!” Adagio yelled, slamming her fist of the table. “Who does he think he is!?!”
“By my reckoning, someone who can easily pull the wool over your eyes Adagio,” Aria commented, not being able to resist giving a sarcastic remark.
“Uh… wouldn’t it be easier just to pull her hair over her eyes?” Sonatas asked, causing both of her sister to slap their foreheads with embarrassment.
“Ugh, go back to sleep Sonata,” Aria groaned.
By the time G had finally returned to the room that he had rented for the group, it was well past midnight, however that didn’t stop everyone else from waiting up for him with anticipation, obviously they wanted to know what happened during his meeting.
“Well?” Laura asked curiously as G walked in.
At first G said nothing in response, allowing the drama to build up, however with one gentle smile he finally gave his answer.
“We leave tomorrow evening,” he said. “And all four of them have agreed to join us.”
Hearing this everyone couldn’t help but sigh in relief, it wasn’t much of an answer but everyone felt like they could trust G’s judgement on this one.
“Preferably a realm that isn’t so dangerous this time eh?” Lug asked, nudging his elbow into G’s side, causing the latter to chuckle slightly.
“Let’s hope,” G admitted, hoping for a chance to catch a breather after all that has happened during the last week. “Goodnight guys.”
Hearing this, everyone else then said their goodnights and finally made their way to bed, the only ones left afterward were G and Nyx, obviously Nyx wasn’t too sure about having the Dazzlings come along on their travels, especially after all the stories her mother told her about them. However G had assured her that he will keep them in line before he even went to the meeting with them, giving her a small wink, G made sure Nyx knew that he intended on keeping his word. Giving him a small smile in response, Nyx then turned and went towards the bed she shared with Laura. Before G turned in for the night himself, he couldn’t help but smile as he looked at his friends getting comfortable in their beds, for whatever its worth, having them around made everything that’s happened this past week worthwhile. Suddenly he snapped out of his train of thought when he felt something oozing from his nostrils, reaching up to wipe it away, G gasped in horror as he saw the droplets of crimson blood smeared across his metallic hand.
“Oh no,” he gasped, keeping his voice down so that he wouldn’t disturb the others. “It’s started already?”