Author Topic: Moxie of the Sea  (Read 7920 times)

Moxie of the Sea
« on: January 08, 2011, 07:03:21 AM »
I said I would start this a long time ago, but I ended up getting sidetracked and not having ideas. But then I had some, as well as being motivated by recent happenings. There will probably be quite a few things I need to fix, particularly because I'm using MotK members (!!) as characters, but we'll see how this goes!

---

Prologue

?Minion!  Come to me!?

?Yes, sir, I am here.  What is it that you wish??

?Go to the outpost and tell the warriors to prepare.  It is time.?

??Time for what, if I may ask?  Are the dolphins stealing things from the populace again??

?No, although we should probably go remind them not to do that.  What we are preparing for?is war.?

?War, sir??

?Must I repeat myself??

?No, sir, but?I?m afraid I don?t understand the reasoning.?

?Look around you, for your diety?s sake.  Haven?t you noticed all the used chewing gum that?s been spilling forth from the stenchhole??

??You mean the sewer runoff pi??

?Don?t interrupt me!  ?This chewing gum is being foisted upon us by the people called ?adventurers? from the surface.  They are truly ignorant creatures, going around killing innocent creatures for their meat and fishing out artifacts of great value from their waste system only to pollute it ? and by extension, our land ? further.  Despicable ingrates??

??I think I understand, sir.  When should the soldiers be ready??

?Ten hours from now.  Then?we march.?

?March?  ?We have no legs, though.?

?Fine, fine, we?ll swim.  Just go inform them of my orders.  ?Oh, and fetch me my foodbucket before you go; I?m feeling a bit peckish.?

?Yes, sir!?

---

Chapter 1

Ahh? Nothing like laying in the middle of a field, away from the constraints of society, but where I could possibly be attacked by a bugbear at any moment.

The Nearby Plains were fairly quiet during the afternoon, when many people had already finished their adventuring for the day.  It was during this time when Stein liked to come out and breathe the fresh air, and forget about things for a while.

A Disco Bandit by trade, Stein was quite proud of his ability to pocket other people?s things when they weren?t paying attention.  He could also cut a rug faster than anyone in his guild, ?Maidens of the Kingdom of Loathing? ? without scissors, at that.  What really made him unique among his guildmates, however, is that he could somehow subsist off of nothing but the air around him.  No food ever entered his stomach, and no booze ever clouded his thoughts.  However, the lack of either type of nourishment made him a little?

?Aha, foul beast!? yelled Stein as he suddenly got to his feet and brandished an arrow, glaring at a spot five feet in front of him.  ?You think you can sneak up on me?  How about I sneak this dagger into your face??

Because Stein didn?t eat or drink anything, his brain wasn?t getting any nutrients, causing it to process things that weren?t there.  As such, he frequently saw hallucinations, or saw things as something other than their true identity.  In order to quell the hallucinations for a while, he?d chew on wads infused with the essences of hot, cold, stench, spookiness, or sleaziness, or sometimes just pieces of gum sprinkled with glitter.  His spleen hated him for it, but at least the wads made his mind function more normally for a while.  At the moment, however, he was running on empty.

?I?ve got you now, you filthy hippy!  Disco Dance II,? Stein said, spinning around a bit and lunging forward with the arrow, ??Electric Boogaloo!  Yeah, and stay down!?

?Oi, Stein, there you *hic* are!? came a voice from over Degrassi Knoll.  The Disco Bandit looked and saw a meatcar barreling over the hill, with another Disco Bandit driving it.  Said driver appeared to be rather drunk, but one wouldn?t be able to tell just by looking at her.

?What do you want, Arashi? I?m kind of busy,? said Stein to the woman as she pulled up beside him.

?Yeah, yeah, fighting the *hic*ies and all that.  Listen:  Garlyle, rdj, and Tear just came back from *hic* the field, and they brought some worrying news with them.  So I?m *hic* taking you back to the clan hall so we can fill you in.?

?Worrying news?  Oh, I can already imagine what it might be; perhaps it?s some sort of horribly contrived plot to make up the backbone of a story, or it could be an April Fool?s joke, or??

?And there you go rambling *hic* nonsense again,? said Arashi, shaking her head.  ?Come on, get in the back seat and let?s *hic*.?

?Was that an invitation??

?No.?

?Man??

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 07:08:15 AM »
KoL fic?
Indeed this promises much fortitude and sarcasm.
I applaud your chutzpah.

Iced Fairy

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Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 07:11:29 AM »
You forgot the most important detail.

Do they know that they have torsos?

And fish invasion?  Oh dear.  Fish are nasty.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 07:12:25 AM »
Do they know that they have torsos?
What's a torso =D

Anyways, a promising start. Keep at it!

Jana

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Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 07:17:37 AM »
Psh, I know what a torso is! I keep telling you guysh that its liek a small tornado!

Good work, keep going!

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 07:49:02 AM »
Sorry the update took so long, but I just wasn't feeling inspired recently. Didn't know where exactly to take the story to reach its conclusion, and all that. I'd like to thank Sana for indirectly helping me get some inspiration, though!

---

Chapter 2

Arashi?s meatcar finally came to a stop in front of a moderately-sized base in the Clan District of Seaside Town.  A banner hung over the door read ?Maidens of the Kaleidoscope,? the clan name.  Stein hopped out of the vehicle and strolled inside while Arashi made sure it wouldn?t get stolen by any rushing bums that might rush by.

Stein breathed deeply as he wandered down the hall to the ruckus room.  To him, the air inside the clan?s base was fairly tasty ? moreso than many of the places he could visit, at any rate.  He preferred the slightly spicy smell of the air South of the Border, but he never really went there unless he was aching for some Red Minotaur, a local specialty.  The clan?s air was the next best thing, as it somehow had just the right balance of particles to make his vision clear.

Finding a door, he opened it and stepped inside, greeted with the sight of--

?Are you serious?!? yelled a rather enraged Disco Bandit as he brought his fists down on the ruckus room table, causing his Cocoabo to bolt in fright.  ?There are invaders from the sea coming here?!?

?For Sneaky Pete?s sake, Shim, stop beating on the table,? said an Accordion Thief sitting across from him, trying to nurse both a hangover from the previous day and a headache he was getting now.  ?But yes, that?s what Garlyle, Tear, and I found out.  An army of Mer-kin has declared war on the Kingdom of Loathing, because they?re upset over the pollution of their??oh, hey, Stein,? he said abruptly, noticing the Oxygenarian?s entrance.  ?Come take a seat; this is important stuff.?

?Sure thing, rdj,? said Stein as he sat down next to Matsuri, a Pastamancer known for smacking people with his chefstaff if they misbehaved, and his Flaming Gravy Fairy, Lobelia.  ?What?s the haps??

?As I was just telling Shim, there?s an aquatic race known as the Mer-kin who have declared war on the kingdom.  They?re furious over the mass amounts of chewing gum that people use to fish out worthless trinkets from the sewer ? that gum is apparently raining down on their structures and generally making a mess of the sea floor.?

?So naturally, we?re going to protect the kingdom,? said Matsuri, pushing his Copper Alpha of Sincerity around with his finger.  ?Sure, the Mer-kin can do whatever they want with the Council, not gonna lie, but as long as the king?s safe, things will be okay.?

Stein thought for a moment, absorbing this information.  ??So, these Mer-kin.  What do they look like??

?We saw one while we were out at the beach looking for any trace of that Grimacite site,? said Tear, a Seal Clubber sitting to rdj?s left.  ?They?re scaly, and don?t have any legs, so they kind of flop around on the ground to move.  Oh, and they carry spears with hooks on them, and all sorts of other strange items too!?

?So they?re fish?? asked Stein, trying to visualize this in his head.

?Not entirely fish,? answered Garlyle, yet another Disco Bandit, holding a black cat and sitting on the other side of Matsuri.  ?They can breathe on land, evidently; otherwise, they wouldn?t be able to start this war.  They?re also pretty powerful; even rdj had some issues fighting off one of their grunts, and he was the strongest of the three of us.?

??So they?re strong, and fish, but not quite fish?  And if they?re carrying things, they have hands??

Shim?s Cocoabo emerged from hiding to see Stein suddenly slapping the table, and again fled in fright.

?I?ve got it!  They must be squid!  If they?ve got all sorts of items, then they need to have enough limbs to hold them all!?

??Err, no,? said Matsuri, his hand meeting his face.  ?They?re more like merfolk than anything else.  Hence their name.  ?Anyway, Ruro and Chaore are in the basement, running some tests on skin samples the adventure team brought back.  Once we know what that skin reacts to, we can collect materials to make more of it and drive them back into the ocean.?

?Why the basement, again?? asked rdj, confused.

?It was either there or your bedroom, since it?s the cleanest out of everyone?s, and Chaore didn?t want to listen to whatever accordion music you had playing on your record player.?

?But it?s Cletus? Canticle of Celerity!?

?Exactly.?

??point taken.  So, if you two would accompany me down there,? said the Accordion Thief, pointing at Stein and Garlyle, ?we?ll go check on their research and see if we need to get anything for them.  ?Oh, and Garlyle, you might want to put The RNG away for a bit.  Don?t want her wreaking havoc in the basement.?

?Aww?but she?s so cute!? protested Garlyle, hugging his cat tightly.  ?Haven?t spent a battle without her since we met!?

??All right, but make sure she doesn?t break anything.  Black cats are bad luck.?

The three rose from their chairs, waved at the others, and began making their way down to the basement, wondering just what Ruro and Chaore had come up with in their testing.

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 08:01:57 AM »
?Aww?but she?s so cute!? protested Garlyle, hugging his cat tightly.  ?Haven?t spent a battle without her since we met!?

Except that one... :V

Chaore

  • Kai Ni Recipient Many Years Late
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  • You Finally Did It, Kadokawa.
Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 04:56:14 PM »
That poor cocoabo.

Shim must have scared it past death already!

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2011, 10:20:24 PM »
late updates whee

...honestly, I have no idea where this is going at the moment. Coupled with my lack of writing experience compared to others here, well... :ohdear:

---

Chapter 3

??I think we?ve got it this time, Rawro.  Never mind the fact that I said that the last thirty-seven times in a row; I think this is it,? said a young man with a turtle firmly affixed to his head, holding up a vial of a strange, swirling liquid.

The woman behind him put down her glass of strawberry wine and turned around to look. ?Hmm?I think you?re right, Chaore!  Look at the way it?s spinning?that certainly fits the description of the potion.?

?Yeah.  Now we just need to find someone new to test it on?I don?t think Sheldon?s in any condition to try any more of them,? said the man, motioning toward a very twitchy Untamed Turtle that was wandering around next to him.  It appeared to be suffering from a withdrawal of some kind?or perhaps just had too much caffeine.  One of the two.

The sound of footsteps descending the staircase caused them to look up from their discussion.  Coming into view were two Disco Bandits and an Accordion Thief, presumably to see how they were doing with their research.

?Hey, Ruro, Chaore,? greeted rdj as he waved at them.  Stein and Garlyle followed suit, The RNG hopping out of Garlyle?s grip in the process.  ?How?re things??

?Ah, you guys are just in time,? said Chaore.  ?Come look at this; I think we?ve made a breakthrough.?

Their curiosity aroused, the three reached the basement floor and walked over to the work table.  As they sat down, Chaore showed them the vial.

?Based on the information and sample we were given earlier today, we think we?ve produced something similar to the potions those Mer-kin were carrying.  If our calculations are right, it should make us better divers so we can go take the fight to them!?

?Ah, that?s coo--?waaaaiiiit,? said Garlyle, Chaore?s sentence sinking in.  ?We?re going to fight them?  We as in ?this clan???

?Council?s orders,? answered Ruro.  ?I don?t really like the way they run things, but since the king?s been kidnapped by the Naughty Sorceress again, we have to listen to them.?

?Right, right.  Stupid council quests.  So, what?s this potion about??

?Well,? explained Chaore, ?we think these potions are a mixture of--?wait, where?d it go?? he asked, looking around for any sign of its disappearance.  ?I was just holding it!?

?Looks like that black panther over there wanted to have a taste,? said Stein, pointing at the corner of the room.

rdj squinted, looking for the black panther Stein was talking about, and only saw The RNG messing with the cork on the vial.  ??I don?t see any black panthers, just Garlyle?s cat.  How would a panther get down here anyw??

He abruptly cut himself off, realizing what he had just seen.  He yelled, ?Garlyle, quick, call your cat back!  That potion might be dangerous to him!?

?Huh? Why?? Stein interjected.  ?It?s not like the potion has any side effects other than making us better divers, right??

Chaore winced.  ??Well, you see, Rawro had me test a few prototypes on Sheldon, and?let?s just say he was the most hyperactive turtle I?ve ever seen.?

Garlyle?s face blanched.  ??Hyperactivity, you say?  B-but when The RNG gets hyper, he?he??

The Disco Bandit didn?t have to finish that sentence, as everyone heard a cork popping off a container.  They slowly turned to see The RNG downing the contents of the vial.  He meowed in contentment, then suddenly began twitching uncontrollably.

Everyone released a collective ?Uh-oh?? and braced themselves.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
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  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 02:23:32 AM »
Garlyle, your stupid cat will be the end of us all >:<

Garlyle

  • I can't brain today
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Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 04:39:50 AM »
Except that one... :V
Which is why I'm still stuck with him in this life, apparently 8D
Garlyle, your stupid cat will be the end of us all >:<
but he's so cute <3 he will be the most adorablest armageddon ever
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 04:41:25 AM by Garlyle »

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2011, 03:50:44 AM »
yaaaaaay updates that took forever to resolve

My statement from before the last chapter still applies. ...even more so, I'd say.

---

Chapter 4


Garlyle instinctively blocked his face with his hobo code binder and moved as The RNG leapt at him, legs flailing about as if everything in the immediate vicinity was a scratching post.  Chaore reached for his bindlestocking, hoping that he could end this quickly by whacking the cat with some hobo?s Crimbo gifts, but Ruro stopped him from doing so.

?We don?t want the cat dead, just?not trying to kill us,? she cautioned.  ?Use something else.?

?Fine, fine,? said Chaore, picking up Sheldon and hurling him at the cat.  As Sheldon was a turtle, he wasn?t at all harmed by his subsequent impact with the wall.  The fact that he hit the wall in the first place, however, indicated that he?d totally missed The RNG.  Chaore said nothing, though the look of irritation on his face was unmistakable.

The upbeat strains of Brawnee?s Anthem of Absorption began to fill the air, and then abruptly ceased as The RNG hopped onto Stein?s head and then used it as leverage to tackle rdj, interrupting his music.  The Accordion Thief fell to the floor and banged his elbow on a wooden stool, causing him to wince.

Stein, noting that the panther was preparing to make his friends its next meal, thought about what would stop a fast-moving feline predator from aggressing people.  Okay, so predators eat meat, so should I just throw meat at it until it calms down?  Or perhaps, since it?s a cat, I should just roll a ball of yarn on the ground and see how it reacts??

?Stein, what are you doing just standing there?  Help us out here!? shouted Ruro as she brought up the flat of her chrome sword to block the cat from slamming into her face.  The RNG rebounded off the sword and descended upon Garlyle, whose hobo code binder wasn?t as good a shield as he thought it would be.  The Disco Bandit was getting badly scratched up, but wasn?t making any effort to retaliate.  The cat was his familiar, after all, and he was loath to hurt the friend he?d spent all his adventuring with.

As Chaore rushed to help Garlyle out, Stein looked like he had a sudden flash of realization.  He calmly walked over to rdj, who was trying to nurse his elbow with a tin of Doc Galaktik?s Restorative Balm, and looked down at him.

?I have a question for you,? asked the Oxygenarian.  ?Can you tell me why you?re making this happen, rdj?  Really, was this fight necessary??

The Accordion Thief was perplexed, and looked at Stein in confusion.  ?What are you talking about??

?This.  This whole thing wasn?t necessary at all, was it??

?I don?t follow,? said rdj, picking himself up off the ground.  ?Why are you asking me this??

?Oh, I dunno,? Stein answered, in a clearly sarcastic tone.  ?Just the fact that we?re not really even here.  We?re just ordinary people that you happen to play some game with, aren?t we?  And one day you got this crazy idea to write a story about said game, but didn?t know where to take it, didn?t you?  So you took the easy way out and wrote about us!  And you still don?t know what the heck you?re trying to do with this, so you shoehorned this fight in here!?

rdj was utterly lost at this point, and sighed.  ?Something tells me you overworked your spleen today, because I have no clue what you?re??

The Accordion Thief didn?t get to finish his sentence before The RNG leapt off of Garlyle and latched onto his Trickster?s Trikitixa, apparently intending to prevent it from playing any more horrible music.  Stein took this opportunity to continue.

?Seriously, you should know better than to introduce a plot device and then try to cover for the fact that you don?t know what to do with it,? he said, shaking his head.  ?So let?s start this scene over, all right??

With that, he withdrew a round, flat, black object from his pocket and swung it at The RNG, apparently scooping him into some pocket dimension.  The cat momentarily emerged, looking quite tuckered out and not at all the ball of pain it was a moment ago.  Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief, glad that there wouldn?t be any further damage to the basem?

?NOOOO!? cried Garlyle as he crawled over to his familiar, still very much in pain.  ?That battle?since we were fighting him, I?I think it counted as fighting without him at my side!?

Ruro raised an eyebrow.  ?Is it that big a deal? People fight without their familiars all the time.?

?I was read a fortune once,? answered Garlyle, petting his now-calm black cat.  ?It stated that if one goes through all their battles with a black cat at their side, something wonderful happens.  ?I?m not going to get to see that wonderful thing in this lifetime, though?? he muttered, hanging his head.

?I see?? said Ruro, now understanding the man?s despair.  ?It?s not the end of the world, though; you still have each other, don?t you??  When she received a shallow nod in response, she continued, ?Good, so you know what matters.  Friends matter more than treasure or fortunes.?

Looking around at the basement, the Disco Bandit realized that The RNG had used up their prototype diving potion.  She sighed and quickly came up with a new course of action.

?We?ll need to make more potions before we can do anything else about the Mer-kin.  rdj, get Garlyle to the infirmary and start patching him up, then try to fix all those holes in your accordion.  Arashi can help if you need it.  Stein, you?re coming with us to pick up a few things??

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2011, 10:32:11 PM »
We're a bunch of moxie classes, so no wonder we suck at hitting things. :derp:

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 10:37:16 PM »
We're a bunch of moxie classes, so no wonder we suck at hitting things. :derp:

Well we should hit things fine if we're using ranged weapons, we just take forever to do enough damage. :V

Chaore

  • Kai Ni Recipient Many Years Late
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  • You Finally Did It, Kadokawa.
Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2011, 10:45:35 PM »
We're a bunch of moxie classes, so no wonder we suck at hitting things. :derp:

If you all let me hit it we would've been fine. >: <

The bindlestocking isn't all that strong anyway! It'dve been fine.

Garlyle

  • I can't brain today
  • I have the dumb
    • Tormod Plays Games
Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2011, 05:25:48 PM »
;_;

you've condemned me to another lifetime with a cat ;_;

(On that note, that fight needs to actually be in KoL.  It would be great)

Re: Moxie of the Sea
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 02:16:49 AM »
*insert excuse for late update here*

This one seems to be a lot longer than the other chapters...hopefully the quality (what little there is, anyway) is still the same (ideally, better).

---

Chapter 5

Ordinarily, a trip to the Desert Beach would be just the thing to help someone relax after a hard day of adventuring and looting.  Currently, however, the Mer-kin threat had driven off all the tourists and weaker adventurers; the only people remaining in Bordertown were the brave, the foolish, and those required to work in the Mall of Loathing to peddle the wares of the greedy.

The owner of the Gift Shop walked outside to make sure his windows were still boarded up, and noticed a meatcar approaching from over a sand dune to the east.  His face blanched as he assumed it was Mer-kin reinforcements coming from the other side of the island, and he ran back into his store, slamming the door behind him.

??huh.  Looksh like there?sh *hic* nobody here,? said Arashi, maneuvering the meatcar to the nearly deserted parking lot in front of the Mall of Loathing.  ?Guessh the Mer-kin shcared?em off.?

??Your speech is getting a bit slurred there, ?rashi,? said Chaore to the group?s designated driver.  ?Are you sure you?re not overdrinking??

?Don?t *hic* worry aboume, Shore; jusht shtay *hic* focushed.?

As Arashi, Chaore, Ruro, and Stein got out of the vehicle, they noted that even though it was daytime, the moons could both be seen in the sky, off to the south.  Ronald, the larger of the two, and Grimace, the smaller one due to a comet impact, were both in their waning crescent phase.  The group could feel the moxiousness radiating from the nearly completely dark sides of the moons ? the three Disco Bandits especially, as their lives were moxious by definition.

?Aww, yeah, this is gonna be AWESOME!? yelled Stein. ?I can already taste the spicy air from here! So what are we gonna do first? Try to get a poultrygeist from the aren??

Ruro shuddered involuntarily, and held a hand up to silence Stein.  ?No, we?re not going for a poultrygeist again.  Ever again.  Those poor roosters??

Stein?s mood shifted from excited to slightly somber when he realized what he?d suggested.  ?Oh?well, uh, what did we come here for, then??

?Today, we?re here for a couple handsomeness potions and a can of Red Minotaur,? answered Chaore, pulling out what appeared to be a shopping list from his pocket.  ?According to the recipe that Rawro and I came up with, the potion we need to use to reach the Mer-kin stronghold is made up of lots of stimulants.  There?s caffeine from the Red Minotaur, and, uh?I?m not sure what?s in handsomeness potions, but Sheldon seemed a bit livelier after drinking one.?  At the mention of its name, Chaore?s Untamed Turtle poked its head out of its shell, blinked, and pulled it back in again.  The Turtle Tamer shrugged.

Ruro, having regained her composure, cleared her throat. ?All right then?the plan is for Chaore and I to patrol the area and make sure there aren?t any Mer-kin invaders lurking about.  Arashi will see about collecting some Red Minotaur, and Stein will go after the handsomeness potions.?

?Wait, wait, wait,? said Stein, protesting this decision.  ?Why can?t I go collect the Red Minotaur??

?You know what t*hic* shtuff doesh to yer shpleen, man,? answered Arashi, nodding matter-of-factly, if unevenly.

?Says the person who is a stone?s throw away from liver failure.?

?Hey, at leasht my drinksh *hic* give me energy!  All that crap you drink doesh *hic* ish make you beat shtuff up.?

?Arashi?s right,? said Ruro.  ?If you?re going to tear your spleen apart, at least do it with those strange elemental wads instead of the Red Minotaur.  They?re more nutritious?somehow.?

?Fine??

---

After finalizing their plan for the next couple of hours, the group headed South of the Border.  The region they were entering was home to a few of the finest mariachi bands around, as well as many young, aspiring children ready to get out into the world.

??Quieres chicle??

However, the condition of the region was only decent at best.  When the Mall of Loathing moved to its current location, people started flooding across the border looking for higher-paying jobs.  As such, South of the Border had fallen into disrepair, a shadow of its former self.

??Quieres chicle??

The populace that remained had become victims of the Mall of Loathing?s capitalism.  As Stein wandered through the streets in search of a handsome mariachi to ?buy? a handsomeness potion from, he was being followed by one such victim: a young boy holding a box of gum.

??Quieres chicle??

?No, I don?t want any gum.  Sorry,? said Stein to the kid, moving onward.  The boy was persistent, however, and continued to follow.

??Quieres chicle??

?No, no quiero chicle,? repeated Stein, in Spanish this time.

The kid frowned and narrowed his gaze.  "El portero est? quemando mi chaqueta en la cocina del hotel, gringo tonto."

??wait, the doorman is burning your jacket in the?what?? the Disco Bandit asked, perplexed about what that statement had to do with gum.

??Quieres chicle??

Stein sighed.  Apparently he wasn?t getting out of this deal.  He pulled out 30 meat and handed it to the kid, who in turn handed him a piece of tamarind-flavored gum and ran off.  Stein looked at the gum, frowned, and pocketed it; maybe he?d find a use for it later.  Then, from behind a nearby building, he heard what sounded like a guitar being played.

When he poked his head around the side of the building, he saw a rather dashing mariachi performing for a group of children.  The folksy song he played was quite catchy, and the kids seemed to enjoy it thoroughly; a couple of them were even singing along to the lyrics.

Excellent, thought Stein, the guy?s distracted.  It should be easy to swipe one of his handsomeness potions without being seen, especially with the moons being the way they are.  ?But wait, Murphy?s Law.  Bad things ALWAYS happen in easy situations in stories like these.

The Disco Bandit mulled over his options for a moment, then figured he?d just get it over with and deal with the inevitable brawl when the time came.  He stealthily slipped behind the raised stage the mariachi was performing on, reached over the edge and into the man?s pocket, and?successfully removed a handsomeness potion from it without incident.

?well, that was unexpected.  Things aren?t supposed to go right in these kinds of situations; it goes against every rule of literature!  ?oh well, at least I got it.

Shrugging, he slipped back out of sight and headed back to the meeting point.